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Chiefs mailbag: NFL Draft targets, o-line needs and more

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Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

They say necessity is the mother of invention (or is it innovation? I have no idea, and am too lazy to type a few words to find out). I'm quite certain whoever first said this was talking about the offseason and the mailbag. They are like peanut butter and jelly.  A perfect match.

With the arrival of the offseason, we're going to likely go back to doing a weekly mailbag. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind people that the mailbag is an equal-opportunity question-space. What I mean is this; don't limit yourself to football. There are only so many variations of "What should the Chiefs do this offseason" we can talk about before we slowly go mad and start eating one another (yes, that was subtle manipulation to bring back zombie questions).

I like football, food, television, kids, lawyer stuff, and basically everything. Let's let chaos reign this summer. I look forward to your questions and am consistently amazed to the strange and wonderful places we visit in this particular column. Are all of those places HEALTHY ones? Well, no. But if we were concerned about health, we wouldn't be Chiefs fans.

With that in mind, let's mailbag. Future questions can go to @RealMNchiefsfan or (if you want to feel like you're time traveling) to I'll answer them and everything!

I've talked about the Chiefs need along the offensive line before. They need more than just draft picks to staunch the bleeding along the line, particularly the interior. They need immediate, legitimate competition along the line. I want multiple moves made on the line to ensure the Chiefs don't see a similar disaster in 2015.

One guy people keep mentioning is Mike Iupati, And while I agree he'd be a massive upgrade at guard for the Chiefs (frankly, anything would be from what we've seen this year), I'm not sure he's the right choice. His name outmatched his play this year from everything I've heard, and his pass blocking still isn't anything to write home about.

The problem with Iupati is he's a "name." Which means he'll in all likelihood command top dollar. While I think COMPETENT guard play is highly important, I don't believe the position warrants paying a guy top-end money. I'd rather go with the slightly less expensive guy than the very top-paid one at this position.

In this case, that guy (I think) is Orlando Franklin. Yeah, the man is a Bronco. But that doesn't mean we should TOTALLY discount him. He's played pretty well at guard this season and shouldn't (I don't think) completely break the bank in free agency. He won't come cheap, either, but lowballing the position got us the disaster that was 2014. I'd love the signing.

A cheaper option would be Clint Boling. I haven't seen a ton of his tape, but whenever I've watched Cincinnati I've been relatively impressed with their line as a whole, and he's looked like a solid enough player. Again, my biggest goal here is getting a SURE upgrade on the line. Boling absolutely would do that.

I'm sure there are readers / commenters here on AP who spend more time examining potential OL free agents, and they'll be more than happy to educate the rest of us.

Blind stats test time!

QB Number 1: 60.6%, 7.54 YPA, 5 TDs, 6 INTs, 78.66 rating

QB Number 2: 63.6%, 7.44 YPA, 5 TDs, 2 INTs, 90.9 rating

I bet you anything you know what two quarterbacks I'm talking about there. In fact, I bet you've seen something similar to this.

Quarterback Number 1 is Peyton Manning over the last five weeks. Quarterback Number 2 is Alex Smith over the last five weeks (well, not including the week he had that whole lacerated spleen thing going on).

Now, calm down people who like to fight about Alex Smith. In no way am I claiming Smith is a better QB than Manning.

What I'm pointing out is that Manning has looked significantly UN-Manning-like over the last month and a half. He's been statistically inferior to Smith during a stretch of games some Chiefs fans have been HIGHLY critical of Smith. That says volumes about how much he's struggled. His passes have always been ducks, but they've looked duckier. Even MORE wobbly. Even LESS velocity.

Look, Father Time is undefeated. And Manning, this season, with the same weapons and a revamped running game (lately) to threaten defenses with, hasn't looked as dominant as he did last year. Remember the game at Arrowhead? I've never seen Manning play so poorly (made the loss even more frustrating).

My point is that Manning has been mortal this season. The Chiefs already HAD a shot to take the division this year, had they not choked it away all on their own. As far as Rivers goes ... well, the Chiefs beat the Chargers twice this season and ended up closer to the playoffs than the Chargers. So, yeah, I don't think Rivers is keeping the Chiefs down.

I'm going to keep saying it this offseason; the only thing keeping the Chiefs from the division title in 2015 is themselves. Manning is not what he was, and the Chargers are not as good an overall team as the Chiefs.

Manning and Rivers will be around next year. And it doesn't have to matter. I'd rather the Chiefs go through them than wait them out.

If you're secretly the real Andy Reid... yes, yes it will.

If you're NOT actually Andy Reid? Yes. yes it will.

Eat all the barbeque, folks. All of it. If you live in Kansas City, stop taking it for granted. I'd do anything to live by all that tremendous food.

I really do think it's over for Chase Daniel. He's a very, very expensive backup. I liked (but didn't love) Aaron Murray's college tape, and I assume Reid saw a guy who was smart enough to run his offense without screwing things up. You know, basically exactly what he asked of Chase when he saw the field.

Tyler Bray is a mystery to me. His arm talent is top 5 in the league, but I haven't heard anything to indicate the Chiefs think Bray is more than that. I wish I did. I've liked some of the things he's done in preseason. It wouldn't TOTALLY shock me if Bray was the backup next season and Murray was on the fringe. No, seriously!

I should move on to another question before I change my mind between the two again...

Um... I'm gonna go ahead and let Doctor Cox field this one for me.

I have nothing further to add.


Well, OK, I'll actually address it. Charles is coming off a season where, despite horrifying blocking and nagging injuries, he still averaged 5 yards per carry and looked just as unreal as ever. NO ONE in the NFL can run like Charles. No one. He is still incredible and has added some power to his game. He's the best running back in the NFL.

He DOES have a terrible habit of dropping a gimme pass that costs the team yards every other game or so. But that is, quite literally, his only weakness as a player. He has incredible vision, incredible speed, incredible balance, incredible change-of-direction ability, and above-average power at this point. He's amazing.

Besides that, sure, why not? :)

(Side note, is there a better television character than Dr. Cox? Maybe Coach Taylor and ... um ... yeah. I'm out. Sounds like the makings of a mailbag question. Hint, hint HINT)

I put both draft-related questions together because I have something to admit. Something terrible. A deep, dark secret that may well lead to me losing half my fanbase (and all two of you will be sorely missed).

I don't watch college football.

Whew, I'm glad that's out there. I feel better.

It's just never something I've gotten into. I already spend way too much time on the Chiefs, I never went to a single college long enough to become hardcore about the sports at said college (I took the, um, "long plan" through college). And I just don't enjoy the game as much.

Because of this, I'm always WAY behind most people when it comes to college player hype this time of year. So I've got nothing to offer you regarding various college prospects.

I do intend to try to make up some ground, though. So here's why I'm going to do. If you've got a player you want me to take a look at via Draft Breakdown, let me know and I'll see what I can find (via email or tweet. Not the comments. I will absolutely forget if it's in the comments). I'll start with Scherff next mailbag. I'm most excited about wide receivers, so suggestions on who to watch there would be great.

But yeah, that'll never lead to a mock draft. It won't. IT WON'T!

I mean, unless I change my mind. I'm weird like that.

I'll very likely begin the first of many All-22 film studies next week. That's another place to shoot me suggestions. In the meantime, let's buckle down and get through the Chiefs-less postseason together. I hope the Broncos lose their first game by 50.