FanShot

FO: Four Downs -- AFC West

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Kansas City Chiefs Biggest Post-Draft Need: ‘Good’ Matt Cassel Since our prior column, the Chiefs chose to keep Dwayne Bowe, while letting cornerback Brandon Carr depart in free agency. The Chiefs did sign Stanford Routt, formerly of Oakland, to take Carr’s place. Routt led the league in defensive pass interference penalties in 2011, but had good numbers according to our game charting project and was clearly the Raiders’ best cornerback. Meanwhile, the recoveries from injury of Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki, and Eric Berry all appear to be on schedule. With Bowe still in the fold and Charles and Moeaki returning, plus the addition of Eric Winston at right tackle and guard Jeff Allen in the second round, the Chiefs should be poised to be much better on offense when they were in 2011, when they ranked 25th in passing and 30th in rushing by DVOA. The magnitude of that improvement will depend on quarterback Matt Cassel playing better than he did in 2011. Cassel has been a well below-average quarterback in two of his three seasons with the Chiefs, ranking 39th in 2011 and 37th in 2009 by DVOA. He’s performed better when the offensive personnel around him has been better, but if the Chiefs struggle offensively again in 2012, an upgrade at quarterback should become a high priority. Important Undrafted Free Agents Few, if any, Chiefs made it to the various lists of top undrafted free agents. Kansas tight end Tim Biere has strong local support, and the Chiefs’ interest in Dallas Clark suggests there might be room on the roster for another tight end. Defensive backs Neiko Thorpe from Auburn and Tysyn Hartman from Kansas State may have the opportunity to make the roster if they excel on special teams.

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