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2016 NFL mock draft: 3 reasons Chiefs and a defensive lineman make sense

When in doubt about who Andy Reid will be drafting, go with the fat guy. That hasn't been true in each of his three years in Kansas City with John Dorsey as the GM but Andy Reid has a history of drafting plenty of offensive and defensive linemen early in the draft. That's part of the reason I'm wondering if the Chiefs could be taking a defensive tackle in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Dorsey drafting a defensive lineman to replace Jaye Howard and Mike DeVito is very much in line with how the Chiefs have drafted previously. That's why I don't think Dan Kadar is too far off here projecting the Chiefs take DT Sheldon Rankins out of Louisville in his latest mock draft.

The Chiefs clearly have talented pieces up front with Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey, but some questions after those two. With the addition of Rankins, a quick and strong lineman, they'd have a complete starting unit with few peers.

I don't know as much about this particular player -- other than that my dog's name is Sheldon, too -- but I can buy into the idea of a defensive lineman for a few reasons.

Don't count on finding another Jaye Howard. The d-lineman who was cut and then claimed off the waiver wire and goes on to sign an eight figure contract is pretty rare. Howard, an underpaid player, was a luxury last season. The Chiefs will likely need to invest a high draft pick or lots of free agent money to get another player like Howard.

Proven depth is a problem. If Howard AND DeVito are gone next season, the Chiefs have a gaping hole at defensive tackle. They have unproven depth such as Nick Williams, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and others. It would be great if they were ready but we have no idea if that's the case.

The Chiefs need a cheap defensive line option. Operating under the assumption that Dontari Poe will be extended sometime in the next year or two, the Chiefs will have two well paid defensive linemen. They need a cheaper option. Last year's 28th pick signed for four years for $8.55 million. The Chiefs probably can't make significant free agent investments along the d-line when you've got a big Poe contract coming.

Free agency is in March while the draft is in April. We will know before the draft whether Howard is gone or not.

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