This draft should be an easy one for Scott Pioli and the Kansas City Chiefs. The free agents already added, particularly Winston, Hillis and Routt, now allow the team to draft with an eye toward adding to strengths instead of fixing weaknesses. After Pioli's successful start to free agency, this roster now has fewer holes than just about any team in the AFC. Here's what I would do in the draft to put the final pieces in place for a successful 2012 season.
With the 11th overall pick, the Chiefs should select David DeCastro of Stanford. I understand the argument to wait and get a very guard a little later, but I see this as a rare opportunity (picking higher than we should be after the bad breaks of '11) to add an extraordinary player with almost no bust potential at a position of need. The Chiefs are clearly a team that has needed to get better in the trenches for a long time and DeCastro, the best player available, is the correct choice.
Now I believe the attention should turn to the defense. With the 44th pick, the Chiefs will have a great opportunity to add talent to a defense that must gear up in order to play the style of ball they seem to want to play. I believe the pick here should be the best available 3-4 defensive end, a strong position in this draft and an area of need for Romeo's defense.
Personally, I would like to see Glen trade at some point before the preseason, though I doubt we will see that. Glen is a great teammate and a solid player but I believe the Chiefs need a bigger, stronger, more explosive presence starting at end in order to be a complete defense. In any case, Dorsey probably will not be back after his contract runs up in a year, so it is time to get his eventual replacement, who may be an upgrade even as a rookie.
The best 3-4 DE prospects this year are Cox of Miss State, Brockers of LSU and Still of Penn State. But two other guys I love are Connecticut's Kendall Reyes and Cincinnati's Derek Wolfe. They both have the ideal size that Dorsey lacks- at least 6-4, 295- to go along with on-field production and impressive combines. Reyes's stock is higher right now and, though things can change, I feel like the Chiefs would be lucky to have him fall to 44 while picking Wolfe there might be seen as a reach. Either guy, however, would fit my plan just fine.
Next, the Chiefs need to look at the secondary, and the third round is the perfect time to get a safety. The team is in a great position here to be able to add a pretty high end player purely for depth/and or special packages. In this scenario, the Chiefs would have their pick of some real quality safeties. Check out scouting reports for guys like Martin of Okla. State, Taylor from LSU, Allen of South Carolina or Trumaine Johnson of Montana, who has apparently drawn interest from the club. Each of these guys have some different strengths and weaknesses, but it seems like any of them would give terrific depth and talent to the back end.
With their remaining picks, the Chiefs could to in many different directions. I'm not going to project any more beyond the third round, for a few reasons. But I will say a couple more things about the draft plan above. You'll notice there is no nose tackle. That is because I think Jerrell Powe can be the starter. Imagine for a moment if Powe played at Alabama or LSU last season. I think it's a pretty safe bet that he would be considered a potential first-round nose tackle. Powe has now been in the Chiefs' program for a year and with a full preseason should be ready physically and mentally to take his talents to the field. I believe a front-3 of Jackson/Powe/2nd Rounder would give us so much physical potential (in addition to what is around them) that we would finally start seeing some collapsing pockets and pressure from the down linemen. Adding Antonio Garay to pair with Powe could be the final free-agency master stroke by Pioli, although they might be content with Amon Gordon as the sub NT.
I followed similar logic in declining to address middle linebacker. I don't think the value is there, unless they like the idea of getting Hightower in round 2. I could go along with that, but would rather have Belcher/Siler plus a real 3-4 DE (not a slam on Bailey by the way, but I'm not certain on him as a 3-4 starter and they still need another one of those body types). Another area of need in my opinion is cornerback, as you can never have too many sticky cover guys in today's game. The reason I didn't go that way here is because I feel that Arenas is still improving plus the fact that they took Jalil Brown in the 4th last year. Still, they might want to consider another corner in the middle rounds. Other positions they should target in the middle-late rounds: WR, OT, HB and LB.
I don't post a lot but am familiar with a lot of the frequent posters, and I especially like the Xs and Os stuff that some of you guys put up. What do you think of my (unintentionally long) plan?