Up until Eric Winston put pen to paper, the Kansas City Chiefs were handcuffed to drafting a right tackle with their first round pick. It's fun to throw names around like Ryan Tannehill, David DeCastro, Dontari Poe and so on, but none of them would've or should've been the pick.Now with Barry Richardson mercifully being replaced by a stalwart such as Winston, Scott Pioli can look elsewhere when April 26th rolls around.
In the NFL, you win and lose up front. Many talented skill position players can adorn your roster but without the big uglies, the team is sunk. Kansas City had a gaping hole on the right side which is now filled by one of the best at his position.
Winston will presumably hold down that spot for the duration of his contract - four years - and maybe even further on than that. It now can be legitimately argued which way the Chiefs will go with the 11th overall selection.
DeCastro is a solid option at guard out of Stanford. He would solidify the line, with the oldest member of it being Winston at the ripe old age of 28. DeCastro would also make Matt Cassel better instantly, provided he lives up to his hype.
Luke Kuechly would be an excellent pick for Kansas City. He would be an impact player from the start who upgrades Jovan Belcher and in turn the depth at linebacker. Kuechly was a one-man wrecking crew at Boston College, amassing 191 tackles last season, easily leading the nation. He also covers very well, something that would allow more freedom to Derrick Johnson and especially Justin Houston.
The nose tackle position obviously makes a lot of sense, except Poe was very underwhelming in college against subpar competition. How that doesn't worry people, this man will never know. Yes, he looked great at the combine and plays a position of considerable need, but potential against statistics is a dangerous game.
The draft is only a month away, so the masses will find out sooner rather than later what Pioli is thinking. This certainly isn't the typical team drafting so high that usually comes with bad players in many areas. Instead, it's a team looking to add a few final parts to the mix.
Regardless, Pioli should be given major kudos for bringing Winston on board. He's just another piece in a puzzle that suddenly is looking very complete sans a few tweaks. Cassel may still be the weak link who could hold this team back, or he could be getting on the ride Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer have taken.
Everything remains to be seen for a Chiefs team that isn't far away from serious contention.