I have always said that NFL free agency is like a massive garage sale. One mans trash is another mans treasure as they say. One the first day, there are crowds of people you have to battle through to try and find the good deals. Most of the really good stuff, seems to disappear the first day, as frenzied bargain hunters swarm in like piranhas , picking the prey clean. Then , you have the second day of the sale. This day still has some good stuff laying around, overlooked by anxious shoppers. But you really have to look long and hard to find anything worthwhile. By the third day, you are just hoping to run into anything of any value. You are searching in every corner , every cranny to find anything even worth your quarter.
This free agent period is definitely on the third day. Most of the players that would help a franchise,have already been swooped up long ago. Now, you are just looking for scraps , crossing your fingers you find some value.If you are a team waiting now to try and fill holes on your roster , you are in trouble. Lucky for us, KC was very active in free agency on day one. In fact, they were so active, that they had to cut Andy Studebaker just to have cap room to sign there rookies from the upcoming draft. I haven't seen a spending spree like this in KC for quite some time. It is a welcomed change for many Chiefs fans and a departure from the hold the checkbook tight approach of Scott Pioli. Whether these moves will equal wins , only time will tell. But, we can no longer say this franchise is cheap under Clark Hunt. We just needed an aggressive leader , a person not afraid to pull the trigger on bringing guys in here
But many of us have forgotten all the moves Dorsey has made before the free agent period even began. Not only was KC aggressive in March, they were aggressive in February also. None of the players Dorsey signed before the start of free agency are what you would call household names. They were mostly guys off other teams practice squads , or guys off another teams scrap heap. But , that does not mean we shouldn't examine these guys and what(if anything) they can add to this team. Because just like in the draft , it's the good teams can hit on rounds 1-3, it is getting those gems in the 6th and 7th rounds that separate the good teams from the great. It is the good teams that take a Jerome Harrison or a Mike Vrabel from another team and turn them into a star, not just teams that overspend on high profile names in free agency. Most of those guys Dorsey brought in are what they are, camp bodies. But, I see several real gems that will surprise us on opening day. Lets take a look at some
Steven Baker OT
Incumbent he threatens : Lucas Patterson
It seems like there have been two things (well there are three , but we won't talk about that other one) that this team can't ever seem to get right. We can never seem to get good, quality, consistent safety play and we can never seem to get any OL depth . The first personnel move John Dorsey made as GM, was signing Steven Baker, a massive offensive tackle . Baker went undrafted in 2012 , despite being 6'8 315 LBs and running a 4.9 forty on his Pro day. He bounced from the Colts and Cardinals practice squads in 2012. This guy is a specimen . He looks a little light in the legs to me. But if you drew up what an offensive tackle should look like , this guy is it in my opinion. He has a ton of upside .Only a one year starter at East Carolina
As I said earlier, I can't remember the last time this team had real depth on the offensive line. It finally looked like we were going to have quality depth this year, with the selection of Allen and Stephenson in the draft. But then injuries happened and those guys had to play right away and what do you know, we had no one capable of backing them up. Not to mention the fact that the OT spot is the most in flux position on the team right now . More questions surround that position , than any other spot on the team. That only helps Baker making this team
David Mims was the greatest player never to play in a game in Chiefs history. He had more fans for a practice squad player than any other player I have ever seen in my life.I think Baker becomes that guy this year. I think he is at least a practice squad layer. Lucas Patterson has been hanging on by a thread for a couple of years now. I think Baker at the least takes his spot on the roster. But I can see this guy really being something for the future. But he needs a lot of coaching and work to reach his potential
Daniel Muir NT
incumbent he threatens: Anthony Torribio
Daniel Muir is kind of an interesting player. He played briefly for the Packers in 07 and played for the Jets last year. So he has a familiarity with Sutton and Dorsey. But he played the majority of his career as a one technique in the Colts Tampa two defense. His best season came in 2009 , where he tailed 49 tackles ( three for loss) and a half a sack. He was a starter for the Colts in the Super Bowl in 09 .It has been kind of down hill from there however . From 2011 to 2012 he bounced around from the Colts to the Packers to the Rams to the Jets, all very short stays .He hasn't played a significant role with any team since 2010
I wouldn't exactly call our defensive line rotation a thing of beauty right now. And at NT, the only players Muir has to compete with right now, are somewhat underachieving Jerrel Powe and fellow journeyman Anthony Torribio. There are things to like about Muir for this team. First, he has experience starting and or playing in multiple defensive schemes. Neither Powe or Torribio can say that. Second, he has real big game experience. He has started multiple games throughout his NFL career. Again, neither Torribio or Powe can say that. But, he seems to be limited to running downs. He has no upside as a pass rusher. It is hard not to look at Muir and see basically a clone of Anthony Torribio. I would be very surprised if KC kept three NT's on the roster again this year. So I think Muir (and Torribio for that matter) are going to have a hard time making this teams final 53
Kevin Brock TE
Incumbent he threatens : no one right now
Kevin Brock was somewhat of an enigma at Rutgers. He was blessed with great height and speed for the position , but he never really had the production that you would expect out of a player with his dimensions . He caught 49 passes for 541 yards and four TD's in his two seasons at Rutgers. Despite running a 4.64 forty and benching 225 22 times at his pro day, Brock went undrafted in the 2009 draft. The knock on him is that he gives little effort as a blocker and has inconsistent hands . He also seemed to disappear for long stretches at a time . He hasn't really landed on a team full time and only has two receptions for 27 yards in two games ,despite being in the league for four years.
The tight end production on this team since Tony Gonzalez was traded (talk about sellers remorse) has been overall , pretty non existent. It got to the point where we laud Tony Moeak's 500 yards receiving like it was some record shattering event. What we need on this team at tight end, is a guy that can get downfield , over a safety and make a big play. We have plenty of guys who can block on this team. We don't need more of that from another tight end.
That is where Brock comes into play. He brings a vertical element that has been sorely lacking for quite some time. I am very big on the tight end that can make plays after the catch. And Brock seems to have at least the athletic ability to make that happen. Many would say , ''ya but what has he done in four years''? The answer is of course....nothing. But I look at that as somewhat of a positive. The guy keeps trying, he hasn't given up on his dream of becoming a pro athlete . That at least says to me that he has drive and a work ethic. And of course teams are willing to keep giving him opportunities . That says that more than one GM has looked at him and thought he has the talent to sign. This year was no exception. We had a player in Steve Maneri , who in my opinion has a lot of potential.They basically cut ties with him, even though they could have kept him for nothing, in favor of signing Brock. So again , that says to me they really see something in this kid
I'm not saying this guy is going to be the starting tight end for this team any time soon. But , he has what the other tight ends on this roster do not have, long speed. There will be more players added at tight end by the time training camp starts .So he will have to beat out a couple guys for that final spot. But, he is a guy I really like .It may be too soon , but MOAR Kevin Brock
Marcus Dixon DE
incumbent he threatens: Allen Bailey
Marcus Dixon has had a rather arduous journey to the NFL. He had a full scholarship to Vanderbelt University , bypassing his home state Georgia because he wanted the best education available. He then was arrested, as the 18 year old Dixon had sex with a 15 year old white girl. Dixon was then prosecuted for statutory rape and sentenced to ten years in prison. Outrage over the case got the NAACP and eventually the Supreme Court . The Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the grounds the sex was consensual and Dixon was released from prison after 15 months served . His scholarship was revoked from Vandy and he enrolled in the Hampton , he went undrafted in the 2008 draft
Dixon was a mystery coming into the 2012 season. Despite playing well and at times looking dominant in the second half of the 2011 season, he was cut in 2012 , re signed and cut again by the Jets. He hasn't played since September of last year . But if you draw up what a five technique defensive end should look like, he is it. 6'4 , 295 lbs and quick and powerful, Mixon has the physical talent to excel in either a two gap or one gap defensive scheme
This team needs a pass rush from their defensive line like the Sahara desert needs rain. We haven't had even a flirtation of a pass rush from our line, since Wallace Gilberry had seven sacks in 2010. And I am not exactly positive about about our starting unit producing much in that area this year. Someone needs to step up and get to the QB from this group. Dixon has the ability to be that guy. Every year, it seems like we pick up a journeyman defensive lineman and he exceeds expectations. And then we pound the table for that guy to be re-signed in March. I will go out on a limb and say Mixon is that guy for us this year. I think he will be a valuable role player for this team. And besides, it just sounds too good saying no RB can cross the Marcus Dixon line
incumbent he threatens: every WR on the roster not named Dwayne Bowe or Donnie Avery
The NFL is always looking for height/speed guys at receiver .Guys who can make plays after the catch are in more of a high demand than ever . So it was surprising when Tyler Shoemaker , a highly productive WR from Boise State went undrafted in 2012. Shoemaker ran a 4.4 forty, had a 37 inch vertical and a 9'8 broad jump and caught every pass thrown at him at Boise States pro day, at 6'2 212 lbs. Tampa Bay signed him after the draft , but he was waived when he basically quit the team. KC is the first team that he has signed with since May of 2012.
The bad news for KC Chiefs fans, this is arguably the worst WR unit in the NFL. Other than Dwayne Bowe, we have no one on the roster that looks like they can make an impact from this group. The good news for Tyler Shoemaker, this is arguably the worst WR unit in the NFL. Other than Dwayne Bowe, we have no one on the roster that looks like they can make an impact from this group. Shoemaker has what really no other wideout on the current roster really has. That is , that coveted size/speed combination. Bowe and Baldwin have great size, but neither are really burners. Dex and Wylie ,Avery all have that speed you want, but are short. So Shoemaker has a leg up on many of the bottom of the roster guys we have currently. And he has over a month over anyone we bring in, in that he has had time to study the playbook.
The Chiefs more than likely are going to bring in more bodies at WR , before the start of mini camp. So this group is going to get real crowded , real quick. Shoemaker is going to have to show something to stick around past the first wave of cuts. But , I think he makes this team. Not only that, I think we are going to ask ourselves how in the hell we got this kid. I expect some big things out of this kid in pre season.
Chad Kilgore LB
incumbent he threatens : Corey Greenwood
Northwest Missouri State University, awww......the memories. The times I has on that campus, in those parties, in those bars will stay with me forever. The stories I could tell on here......ummm well anyways . So needless to say, I have a soft spot for the Bearcats. Even though I was born and raised in ST.Joseph, I cheer on my Bearcats over the hometown Griffons any day. So I always root for these guys when they get an opportunity in the NFL. And when one of these guys is a local kid and the went to NW and they play for KC, well now, that is a recipe to get me excited about a guy.
Kilgore is a blue collar type layer that should quickly get the affection of fans when he heads to training camp. He was all over the field at NW. He had 392 tackles (165 solo), seven sacks, five INTs, 12 passes defensed and three forced fumbles in 57 games with the Bearcats. He spent the year on Oaklands practice squad last season. I have heard nothing but praise about his intensity and work ethic
If the season started right now, Kilgore would be the starting SILB for this team. That is how little depth we have at that position. I am disappointed Dorsey didn't make a push for Brad Jones or at least another veteran. You can bet ILB will be addressed in the draft , probably with more than one pick. I hope Kilgore makes an impact with this team. God knows, we need some depth in that unit. But if he is just a special teams player , I think I will pass. When Belcher died, we didn't have one guy that was capable of producing on defense from that unit. It's great to find guys that can play special teams, but they have to be able to contribute elsewhere as well. If Kilgore can prove his worth on defense as well as on the special teams unit, we very well could have a find here
Ryan D'Impero FB
incumbent he threatens : Patrick Demarco
D'Impero played MLB for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights . He totaled 177 tackles, six sacks, 2 interceptions in his four years with the team. He was voted second team all Big East his senior season. But perhaps ,it was his running a 4.68 forty at 245 LBs that convinced the Vikings to take him in the 7th round of the 2008 draft. But playing LB wasn't in the deck of cards for MR. D'Impero , as the Vikings saw a better fit at FB, where D'Impero played at in high school. In 2011 , he played in twelve games with one start, he had two catches for seven yards. He was eventually replaced with Pro Bowler Jerome Felton
It will be interesting to see how Reid uses a fullback in this offense. Reid has always carried a fullback on his roster as a head coach. The past few years, Reid employed more of H -back type of receivers in that role. The fullback has always had a role in the west coast offense , dating all the way back to Tom Rathman in San Francisco . The fullback in this offense needs to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as block. Patrick Demarco proved he can be an effective blocker last season. It is his receiving skills I want to see more of. I would love to see a guy catch the ball as well as Kimble Anders did for this team in the 90's. Maybe Demarco can be that guy. Oh, as far as D'Impero goes, no chance he makes this roster
incumbent he threatens : Devon Wylie, Dexter McCluster
Once upon a time , Mardy Gilyard was one of the most productive receivers in the country. He had 168 catches for 2,247 yards and 22 TD's in his final two seasons at Cincinnati. Blessed with great elusiveness and run after the catch ability, Gilyard was looked at as one of the best slot receiving prospects to come out of college in quite some time. He was taken with the 99th pick by the Saint Louis in the 2010 draft to go along with newly acquired QB Sam Bradford. Rams fans crossed their fingers that this would be a Brady to Welker combination for years to come.
But Gilyard's career has never taken off as many expected it to. He has been active in all of seventeen games since 2010 and has a grand total of eight catches for 78 yards. He has yet to show the explosion that set him apart while playing for Cincinnati in college. He lost his slot responsibilities to undrafted Danny Ammandola in 2010. Since then , he has bounced around the NFL, trying to recapture his glory days . To be fair, he has never really had a good QB throwing to him . He has also been picked up by some pretty dysfunctional franchises the past few years. But, it seems like the one time college star is running out of chances in the NFL
like Shoemaker, Gilyard is blessed to be on a team with little talent at wideout. But unlike Shoemaker, Gilyard is on a team with guys that do basically what he does. McCluster , Wylie, Avery are all slot receivers . All posses the run after the catch ability that Gilyard has. So unlike Shoemaker, he doesn't have anything new to bring to the table. He probably has to win the kick return job in order to secure a roster spot.
The thing I will say that does help him, is the fact that McCluster and Wylie aren't Reids guys. He didn't draft them, so he has no emotional connection to them. He doesn't care that Dexter was a second round pick or that Wylie was just drafted last year. He is looking at this strictly from a roster standpoint. So if Gliyard beats someone out, he gets the job. McCluster is no longer a sacred cow on this team. He has to earn his spot . You can't have this many slot receivers on one team , so someone has to go. I just have a hard time believing that Gilyard has a future on this team , that is unless injuries hit , or he blows everyone away in practice/pre season. But is he can realize his potential, lookout , we will have a player here in KC
Frank Zombo OLB
incumbent he threatens: Edger Jones
The newest member of the Chiefs was signed today as a matter of fact. Frank Zombo was somewhat of a star during the Packers Super bowl run. When injuries devastated the team, Zombo took over and had four sacks as a backup outside linebacker. He even sacked Ben Rothlesburger in the Super Bowl . It has been some tough sledding from there though. He has missed twenty games the last two seasons with injuries. In 2011, he missed the first five games with a broken collar bone. On his first game back, he injured a knee and missed another game, when he came back from that injury, he pulled a hamstring and missed three more games. In 2012, he was on the P.U.P . list with an ankle injury. He was a RFA this offeseason, until the Packers decided not to tender him , thus, making him an UFA
With the release of Andy Studebaker earlier in the week, this may very well be the thinnest unit on the team. So far, Zombo's roster spot is uncontested . That is likely(hopefully) to change in the upcoming weeks. Zombo has produced some on defense in the past, something Edger Jones can not say. But, his durability issues are a red flag. He makes Tony Moeaki look like Walter Peyton when it comes to durability. If he can stay healthy and contribute on special teams, KC has found an upgrade over Studebaker. But if history is any lesson, he will be hurt again and you won't be able to count on him.I am waiting for something to break on this guy, he is too unreliable for me to say he will he will help this team in any way
Hussain Abdullah safety
incumbent he threatens; Kendrick Lewis
Abdullah looked to be on his way to a solid payday , when he decided to take the Hajj to mecca for his religious requirements. It was wondered if Abdullah would ever play in the NFL again. At just the age of 25, his future seemed in question. Abdullah was a solid safety with the Vikings. he was ranked in the to 25 safeties in the NFL when he left the sport. He was actually a guy that I wanted KC to sign in 2012. So I was excited to see that he chose KC to try and resurrect his promising career. I do worry about the layoff and what effect it will have on him . I also worry about the concussion he received in 2011 that forced him to miss seven games.But, at a low risk signing for little money, there is little to worry about he fails to make the team
Of all the players that KC signed that you would consider under the radar, Abdullah is the one that has the chance to start. Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis were supposed to give us the best , young safety tandem in the league for the next eight years. But one or the other seems to be hurt, or ineffective. It has gotten to the point where Lewis is just unreliable . Abdullah is 27 , but he is a young 27. He only has 24 starts in the NFL. So his body has taken a beating like Kendrick Lewis has. And from what I have seen, he is at least respectable in coverage and willing to tackle. I really can't say that about Lewis the past couple of seasons. If Abdullah can stay healthy and knock off the rust from his year and a half layoff, he will have something in KC
The good teams in this league hit on their first, second and third round picks. The good teams in this league hit on their big free agent signings. But the great teams find those 6th round gems, they find those guys wasting away on another teams practice squad. That is what defines the great teams. So the next time you see the Chiefs sign a guy you never heard of, don't blow it off. Don't ignore them. Do a little research . Find out about the guy. He might be the difference between going to the playoff and watching them at home