Welcome back to the Flea Flicker! ChiefsEnthusiast is back once again, with more talking about football and even more talking about not football. Are you ready? Let’s go!
It’s much too early in the game for me to go into full 7 round mock draft territory yet (I’ll start posting my annual Weekly Mock Draft megathreads the week after the combine, as that’s when the fever really hits me) so I decided I’d do some quick writing about our needs for the offseason, ranking each one of them on a scale of 1-5, 1 being very badly needed and 5 not needed at all.
QB - 2
We’ve hit our ceiling with Alex Smith. He’s a league average starter in many ways, below average in some and above-average in some others. However, I can’t see this team winning against good teams in the playoffs with him unless I go into full homer mode. While Smith at QB isn’t as bad as Cassel or Palko or some such bum, it does mean our ceiling is AFCCG loser at the highest.
Projected starter: Alex Smith
RB - 2
Ware is a very nice complimentary back, but I’m worried about him as a full-time guy. He slowed down hard after his concussion, going from a stud to a meh, and I think we could use an upgrade at the position. A strong running game will help take pressure off of the QB, whoever he is, and allow the Chiefs to be more dynamic in their attack.
Projected starter: Draft pick
FB - 5
Sherm is a very good FB that never sees the field. Maybe if Poe leaves, we can put in Sherman for those goal-line situations instead.
Projected starter: Anthony Sherman
WR - 3
Jeremy Maclin had a bad year, but I believe he will rebound in a good way this year. Tyreek Hill has the potential to be a better version of DeSean Jackson and Devin Hester combined, and Chris Conley is talented enough to produce more, but suffers due to scheme and deficiency at QB. As far as depth goes, Al Wilson should be gone with Demarcus Robinson developing, which should mean that we can draft a WR5 in the later rounds and be fine.
Projected starter: Jeremy Maclin, Ty Hill
TE - 4
Travis Kelce is a BAMF and I will suffer no ill talk about him. With that being said, I truly hate Demetrius Harris and would probably fight him on sight (I would also get my ass handed to me, but that’s irrelevant.) We need a depth TE, but that is such a luxury pick that I’m not worried about it at all.
Projected starter: Travis Kelce
LT - 4
Fish is fine, despite what Chiefs twitter and the AP comment section has to say. He’s improved every year he’s played, and did a good job for a vast majority of this year, holding call excluded. A depth T should probably be considered in the middle rounds.
Projected starter: Eric Fisher
LG - 3
Parker Ehinger looked good in the beginning of the year, and if he has recovered by camp, then he should regain the starting job from Zach Fulton, who should be buried on the depth chart and forgotten about. Insurance at this position might be needed, especially if Ehinger’s recovery is slow, but we can likely roll with what we have for this year.
Projected starter: Parker Ehinger
OC - 5
Mitch Morse is a frigging stud, and even though he wasn’t as great this year as he was last year, we have our center locked up.
Projected starter: Mitch Morse
RG - 4
LDT played well this year, as a solid run-blocker and an average pass protector. While we could use an upgrade, RG is a low priority this season.
Projected starter: Laurent Duvarney-Tardiff
RT - 5
While Mitchell Schwartz didn’t play like the best RT in football last year, both his contract and history of play means we stick with him this year. He’s due for a bounce-back season after a mildly-disappointing 2016 where he played nearly the entire season hurt.
Projected starter: Mitchell Schwartz
DE - 3
I doubt that defensive end is a high priority for the Chiefs right now, as they seem to have an embarrassment of riches at the position: young buck Chris Jones joins veterans Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard, along with promising rookie Rakeem "Nacho" Nunez-Roches. However, as Bailey didn’t play well in his short 2016 season and Jaye Howard’s contract is up at the end of the season, it could be worth investigating another DE.
Projected starters: Chris Jones, Allen Bailey
NT - 1
I doubt we’ll ever see the Poe Man’s Dream back next year, despite what Dorsey says. Poe will probably sign somewhere else for a big money contract, and I wish him well. That said, he needs to be replaced by someone who isn’t backup NT Jaye Howard, who plays well usually but probably can’t hold up there as often as we can ask. I suggest looking to the draft.
Projected starter: draft pick/Jaye Howard
OLB - 2
This should be obvious from how little pass-rush we got in the late season/playoffs. Justin Houston (who I still love) has struggled with his injury, Tamba is old and playing very few snaps, and Dee Ford disappeared for a vast swath of the season after he lead the league in sacks for a week. Dadi Nicolas also got hurt, so another pass-rusher should be a high priority this offseason.
Projected starter: Justin Houston, Dee Ford
ILB - 2
I miss you DJ, please come back. Mauga is mediocre to okay, Ramik is okay but needs to shore up his technique, and DJA hasn’t shown the ability to play in our regular defense yet (although he got a lot of reps at the Pro Bowl, so go figure.) We need the future at ILB in a bad way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is where Dorsey looks in round 2.
Projected starters: Derrick Johnson, Ramik Wilson
CB - 3
Marcus Peters is still a stud, no doubt about that. However, what about CB2? Terrence Mitchell played well at the end of last year, but I’m not ready to blindly trust him with the keys yet. Steve Nelson is pretty good, but if he’s the CB2, who plays the slot? Philip Gaines is made of glass and crashed hard last year, and Kenneth Acker is a nobody.
Projected starters: Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson
S - 4
If Eric Berry doesn’t come back, Dorsey has failed. He’s a goddamned hero on this defense, the vocal leader, and if you still think he’s not good in coverage, then you’re not watching closely. Dirty Dan Sorenson and Ron Parker played well in the back half of the defense, and they should both return for the year.
Projected starters: Eric Berry, Ron Parker
Hot Take of the Week
I've said this many times and it never fails to get people mad at me, but Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is far and away the best prequel movie. Phantom Menace has Liam Neeson and Darth Maul, true, but the Tatooine bits are painfully bad, the way that they set up the universe's views of the Jedi makes no sense in the universe (more on that on request) and the final battle is boring and annoying thanks to Jar Jar Binks (no hate towards Jake Lloyd, though, as he apparently got really screwed up because of the vitriol from fanboys. Revenge of the Sith was just uninteresting, and the battle scenes were underwhelming throughout. However, Attack of the Clones does a lot of things well in my opinion, even if the "romance" scenes between Anakin and Padme are... creepy? Awkward? Something like that.
Obi-Wan's subplot, following Jango Fett and the mystery of the clone army, seems kind of out-of-place, but also is an excellent reminder that Obi-Wan, rather than the fairly-useless apprentice of the first movie, was a serious badass, and, to me at least, is how the Jedi should have operated, stealthy and low-key rather than the Magic Rulers of Wisdom and Goodness that the prequels as a whole made them out to be. And while I also have problems with Yoda's presentation in AotC and RotS, his action scene with Dooku makes for a stunning bit of choreography, especially when you remember that Christopher Lee did all the heavy lifting during filming, with Yoda CGI'd in afterwards. Finally, the coliseum sequence on Geonosis was a ton of fun and I will fight anyone who disagrees.
Song of the Week
How I Could Just Kill a Man - Rage Against the Machine
God damn, this is a really good song. I've been really diving into Rage Against the Machine the last week or so, it makes for surprisingly good studying music. Don't come at me with "Bulls on Parade," either: it's way overplayed.
- Highly recommend "Norse Mythology" by Neil Gaiman. What little free time I have has been utterly devoured by it recently, and it's a good primer on the mythos if you know nothing about it past Thor being an Avenger.
- The Giants released Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings, both of them key members of the "Always Hurt All Stars."
- If you're into watching other people play video games, might I recommend one of my favorite YouTube Lets Players out there right now, ManyATrueNerd. Funny, insightful, and deeply knowledgeable about everything but mechanical engineering (if you're a car guy, his videos about My Summer Car are infuriatingly funny), Jon from Many A True Nerd is one of the best guys to watch for gameplay. He just wrapped up a series of playing Mass Effect 2, one of my personal favorite games, and I can't say enough nice things about it.
- Thoughts and prayers to K-State football coach Bill Snyder, who's battling throat cancer.
- For those into comics, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things is a riot.
- My Portland Trail Blazers traded away Mason Plumlee, which I will defend vigorously for having one of the best basketball names out there.
- Will be seeing Lego Batman one of these days, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm excited, more so than even the 11 year old cousin that I'll be taking with me.