We are one day away from April and there are two things I look forward to in April; Easter and the NFL Draft. The Chiefs enter the 2012 NFL Draft with very few holes to fill with really the only glaring hole(s) being at nose tackle and arguably quarterback. The Chiefs could pick really anyone they wanted with the 11th pick or trade down. I expect the Chiefs to draft a guy in the trenches with their first pick. The three candidates so far for the 11th pick are: Guard David DeCastro, nose tackle Dontari Poe, and inside linebacker Luke Kuechly. I am not being a homer, but the Kansas City Chiefs 2012 roster as of right now is stacked and finding a gem in this years draft could take Kansas City to the next level.
Round 1, Pick No. 11: David DeCastro, Offensive Guard, Stanford
This pick will ultimately come down to DeCastro, Poe, Kuechly, or trade down. I have been wanting the Chiefs to draft Dontari Poe for awhile now, but after reading and hearing about him, I realized that he would be a huge risk. David DeCastro is arguably the safest pick in the draft and reminds me a lot of the Eric Berry pick back in 2010. DeCastro is the best interior linemen in the draft and has Steve Hutchinson like potential. DeCastro would instantly make the Chiefs' offensive line among the best in the division and he would most importantly keep Matt Cassel on his feet.
Round 2, Pick No. 44: Josh Chapman, Nose Tackle, Alabama
With the Chiefs passing up on Dontari Poe in the first round, expect for them to look for a nose tackle immediately after their first pick. The Chiefs could go Josh Chapman or Alameda Ta'amu from Washington with this pick, but Chapman played on one of the best defensive units in the history of college football and Ta'amu played on one of the worst defenses in all of college football. I don't expect Chapman to start right away for the Chiefs, my best bet is that they bring back Kelly Gregg or sign Aubrayo Franklin to help groom their next nose tackle. Chapman is a tough, gritty player who played most of the 2011 season with torn knee ligaments and still played great. Chapman also has experience in the 3-4 defense, something not many recent Chiefs defensive linemen have had in recent years.
Round 3, Pick No. 74: Markelle Martin, Safety, Oklahoma State
Peyton Manning is now in the division and the Chiefs must add depth at all defensive back positions. Markelle Martin would do just that and more. Martin is among one of my favorite prospects in this years' class and has a ton of potential. Martin is a big, strong, and physical safety that would add a whole new element to the Chiefs defense. Martin gets physical when covering receivers as well as being one of the best run defending safeties in this class. With all of the blitz packages Romeo Crennel uses with his defensive backs, Markelle Martin would fit great in his defense.
Round 4, Pick No. 107: Nick Foles, Quarterback, Arizona
The Kansas City Chiefs have stated that they are going to try to give competition to every position on the field and quarterback is a must. Ricky Stanzi didn't do anything as a rookie and the Chiefs just brought in Brady Quinn, so adding another quarterback to that mix could be a possibility. Foles has great physical attributes and has a strong arm, but makes shaky decisions at times. Foles would compete with Brady Quinn for the number 2 quarterback spot.
Round 5, Pick No. 146: Shaun Prater, Cornerback, Iowa
Scott Pioli loves players from Iowa, they tend to be harder workers and smarter players coming into the NFL. Shaun Prater is a likely candidate to be that Iowa guy the Chiefs select this year. Prater had a pretty decent senior season with the biggest stat line having forced four fumbles as a senior. Prater also ran a fast 40 at the combine with a 4.47 time. Prater would add depth to the Chiefs' already talented defensive backfield.
Round 6, Pick No. 182: Cody Johnson, Fullback/Running Back, Texas
With the departure of Le'Ron Mclain, the Chiefs have lost their starting fullback. The Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis that has experience as a fullback, but will likely get a ton of carries at running back. The Chiefs drafted fullback Shane Bannon last year, but has yet to impress anyone in Kansas City. Cody Johnson was a great blocking fullback at Texas as well as being a great short yardage back, he could potentially fill the holes left by Le'Ron McClain and Jackie Battle. Oh, and he wore number 31 at Texas, remember the last guy the Chiefs had who wore number 31 at Texas?
Round 7, Pick No. 218: Adrien Cole, Inside Linebacker, Louisiana Tech
The Chiefs have one of the best inside linebackers in the game right now in Derrick Johnson and a solid inside linebacker in Jovan Belcher , but the one thing Chiefs lack at inside linebacker is depth. Adrien Cole was the WAC conference player of the year in 2011 and could be a potential late round steal.
Round 7, Pick No. 238: Dan Hoch, Offensive Tackle, Missouri
With the Chiefs' last pick in the draft they go with local missouri product Dan Hoch. With the addition of Eric Winston the Chiefs have one of the best offensive tackle duos in the NFL. The Chiefs need depth at offensive tackle and Dan Hoch would do just that. Hoch is big standing 6'7 and weighing 315 pounds and would likely be a backup right tackle for the Chiefs. Hoch could also move inside and play guard if needed.