Hear me out on this one and give me a chance to explain.
Prior to the the beginning of free agency, five positions were commonly said as needs in the draft for the chiefs. QB, RT, NT, RB and ILB.
We have completely eliminated RT and temporarily eliminated RB as our needs with the signings of Winston and Hillis. QB is a whole 'nother discussion and isn't going to be addressed in the first round of the draft. This leaves us with NT and ILB.
Most of the mock drafts are now predicting one of three players to the chiefs.
1. Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis.
2. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford.
3. Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College.
Poe and Kuechly both fit the NT/ILB needs and are the top ranked players in the draft at their respective positions. DeCastro doesn't fit an immediate need because Lilja is serviceable (for now) but he is mocked to us because he is probably the safest pick in the draft and a fantastic prospect.
What about Jovan Belcher?
First off, don't get me wrong, I do like Jovan Belcher. I think he's a good story, an undrafted free agent out of Maine who has stepped in and really helped the chiefs out. I'm very happy the chiefs tendered him and I do want him to have some kind of role in the chiefs defense this year. However, to have any kind of chance at a deep playoff run this year, the chiefs need to have a terrific and intimidating defense. I just don't see a defense with Belcher as being top notch. I think more of the recent Pittsburgh defenses that fielded LB's like Farrior, Foote, Porter, Woodley, Harrison....etc.
Point is I think we need to upgrade our SILB spot and I'd rather not address it in the first round of the draft unless we have to.
Now on to what this article is really about, Curtis Lofton.
If you haven't noticed, linebackers not named D'Qwell Jackson (the browns of course) are signing very team friendly deals, the market just seems to be weak. Stephen Tulloch- 5 years 25 million. Dan Connor 2 years 6.5 millon. Jameel McClain 3 years 10.5 million. You get the point, Lofton probably won't get overpaid this offseason and could probably be had on a decent deal, especially with the negotiating skills of Scott Pioli.
I realize Lofton played ILB on a 4-3 defense for the falcons and he will have to transition to our 3-4. The good news is, its much easier to transition from ILB-->SILB than ILB-->WILB. The SILB has much less responsibility in coverage, which is good because Lofton is mediocre at best in coverage. The SILB MUST be good against the run and Lofton is a premier run stopper. Lofton is a vocal leader and has been called the soul of the falcons defense.
Can you imagine having three Pro-Bowl caliber linebackers on the roster? Now thats what I call scary.
Now I realize its gonna be tough to lure him out of Atlanta without overpaying, but I'm pretty sure Pioli can pull it off. The longer he remains on the free agency, the cheaper he will become.
Keep in mind, if we were to get Lofton, that would continue to open our draft options up a bit and would narrow it down to basically DeCastro or Poe.
What do you think?