From the FanPosts. Is it mock draft season already? -Joel
Chris Burke of SI.com released his 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 today, and it was an interesting read. Here's what he said about the Chiefs:
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
The way this mock has fallen, there are still a number of talented WRs out there: Paul Richardson, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief and Brandon Coleman, to name a few. The 6-foot-3 Matthews might be the best of the bunch, with his ability to play all over the field and clear knack for finding soft spots in coverage.
If you notice, he has the Chiefs picking at 23 which is both a positive reflection of their record right now, and an endorsement of their playoff chances. So that's a nice feeling (though largely irrelevant to this discussion).
Since we're talking about the draft, it would be helpful to make a list of the Chiefs' needs (a.k.a. weaknesses) at this point in the season. Mine looks like this: TE, OL, WR, DL, RB, CB, S. It's important to note this list is going to change dramatically over the course of the season, and is based largely on player health and a very small sample size of what we have seen so far.
Taking a WR in the first round doesn't usually work out (see: Baldwin, Jonathan; and Jenkins, AJ) unless they're a Dwayne Bowe or Marqise Lee type player (Burke has Lee going at 14 to the Jets). Further, the Chiefs aren't looking for another No. 1 WR, they're looking for a No. 2, and spending a first round pick on a No. 2 WR isn't a great use of resources in my opinion. (Also, we don't know whether or not Donnie Avery is that guy.) So I'm not really a fan of the Matthews pick.
The temptation, for me, if the Chiefs were to go after a pass catcher in the first round would be to go after Eric Ebron (UNC) or Colt Lyerla (Oregon), because the Chiefs' TE situation right now is a mess. Fasano is mediocre (at best) and overpaid, McGrath is only playing due to injuries to Moeaki and Fasano, Dorsey is signing guys off the street out of desperation, and Travis Kelce hasn't even played a snap yet. However, there's a lot of season left for Kelce to get healthy and show what he can do.
Most of the upper-tier offensive lineman are already gone by the time the 20's roll around in the draft, so that seems to not really be an option. Obviously Branden Albert's contract situation will greatly affect what the Chiefs do (though I wouldn't discount Dorsey letting Albert walk, moving Fischer to LT, and sliding in Donald Stephenson in at RT).
There is one option, however, that would provide a clear upgrade to the team, even though it would be considered a "luxury" pick: take a defensive lineman.
In Burke's mock, Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame), and Will Sutton (ASU) are all still on the board. Tuitt is a more traditional 3-4 DE, while Sutton is a DT and Nix is closer to a 3-4 NT than an end. But all three are talented enough to play around on the line, something Bob Sutton likes doing with his defensive linemen. DeVito is fine as a player, but he's not irreplaceable. Depending on Tyson Jackson's situation (I'd like him to re-sign for the right price), drafting someone like Nix, Tuitt, or Sutton would allow DeVito to be part of the DL rotation, not a starter.
It's a move that has the potential to make the defense even more dominate, and the Chiefs can address needs at WR, TE, and OL in the later rounds. Obviously there is a ton of season left, at both the college and NFL levels for players' stocks to rise and fall, and we don't even know who will for sure be in the draft. But it's an interesting first look, and obviously we'll be shaping our own "needs" lists throughout the season.