When a team is saddled with the worst record in the NFL, it comes with the assumption that it was largely a lack of talent that brought a franchise to such a low level. The Kansas City Chiefs have the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, so it's understandable if the common perception is that the team has several holes to fill. Interestingly enough, the Chiefs are in solid position for such a high pick.
Even for the teams selecting after the Chiefs, the holes are almost too many the mention. The Jacksonville Jaguars have many holes to fill on both sides of the ball and lack impact talent all over the roster. The Oakland Raiders are in worse shape than the Jags due to a decade of front office ineptitude. Yet the Chiefs, who call their own shot at the top of the draft, have surprisingly few needs if you buy the press.
This morning Pro Football Talk unveiled their Chiefs entry for their "Team Needs" series and it's the sort of checklist that a team near the bottom of the round might expect:
1. Offensive tackle
2. Back-up running back
3. Inside linebacker
4. Pass rush depth/development prospect
5. Young tight end prospect
Some of those near the bottom of the list are luxuries. Others, like the need at linebacker, are loaded with potential answers of prospects or free agent possibilities with months of the offseason to spare. Only offensive tackle is an immediate need and it was one that the Chiefs have created.
Of course, not every fan will agree with this list. Alex Smith has his doubters, and if the new starting quarterback doesn't work out, that's obviously the biggest hole of all for the Chiefs. Wide receiver is also a problem area after Dwayne Bowe. Safety could use some attention, and the defensive line is shallow on the depth chart.
All things considered, however, the Chiefs are in good position for a team at choosing at the top of every round. The team had six Pro Bowl performers just last season and took care of several issues this year already in free agency. The team is clearly focused on winning immediately rather than a long-term rebuild. Fans should be excited for the potential of the upcoming season rather than resigned to losing yet again.
The Chiefs definitely have needs and the team has a lot to prove on the field. But for a team up first in the draft, the Chiefs have more reason to hope than they should.