Following the end of the Kansas City Chiefs regular season, GM Scott Pioli went did an interview with 610 Sports here in KC and said something we've referenced a few times around here. Asked about the priority list entering the offseason, Pioli said back then:
"We have to get better on the offensive line somehow, some way," Pioli told Fescoe and Klingler. "We don't know who's going to be here and who's not. We have a long list in free agency. We have to improve our offensive line. We have to improve the depth of the football team."
Did any of us realize back then that the Chiefs would make the improvements that they did? That they really would get this much better along the offensive line?
We're looking at potentially three new starters along the offensive line -- Eric Winston is your starting right tackle and Rodney Hudson will probably be your starting center. 2nd round pick Jeff Allen could potentially be a starter at guard down the road, depending on what happens with Ryan Lilja. Ditto for 3rd round pick Donald Stephenson, depending on Branden Albert's future.
The Chiefs improved the starting quality along the offensive line in a major way, taking the biggest weakness and making it a huge strength. They also improved the depth with guys like Allen and Stephenson.
The 2009 draft was a bit of a wash but the focus then was defensive end. The 2010 draft was about adding team speed. The 2011 draft was taking a risk on some playmakers.
And, now, the 2012 draft is shaping up like the theme will be the big uglies along the defensive and offensive line.