The Kansas City Chiefs center position is one of the most obvious candidates for more competition given that the only center on the roster is 2013 sixth round pick Eric Kush, who has very little experience. Maybe Kush is the guy and gets the job. Maybe someone else is brought in and beats him out.
What we do know is that the Chiefs front office says Kush has a future, as Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard told the Chiefs website.
"You never get to keep everyone you want to keep because of the salary cap and the way things work out," Ballard said. "Losing Rodney [Hudson], great teammate, great player, happy for him. But we had a young guy in the wings in Kush who we think has a bright future."
"Rodney is a very good player but sometimes you can't retain all of the players you hope for and you wish for. I have full confidence in Kush. I think he'll do a nice job. We will always be looking to turn those rocks up and make training camp as competitive as we can."
Remember what ultimately matters here is what the Chiefs do, not what they say. Whether or not they bring in legit competition for Kush will say a lot more about how they feel about him.
The Chiefs have been rumored to be poking around some players such as center Tim Barnes but he's not the type of veteran competition I thought they would consider. Barnes hardly has any NFL experience.
The Chiefs can address this position in the draft with a player such as Florida State's Cameron Erving, who sounds like a first or early second round prospect. That might be too early in the draft for some.
A few other notes from Ballard's interview with KCChiefs.com. Watch is here.
- He said they had a philosophy about being strong on the offensive line. He pointed to some of the Eagles teams who were strong up front.
- He said that it's "rare" to get a player like Maclin who can step right in and play.
- The Chiefs philosophy is best player available. "We just think for the long term future of the organization and the team you want to take guys who are going to be on the team for their contracts. When you reach up and start taking needs, you end up passing good players."
- "Every draft has good players. Everybody talks about draft depth at this position, there are enough colleges in this country and enough good players that we're going to get our fair share."
- Ballard said they evaluate everyone in the draft but trim back the list in February.