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Kansas City Chiefs’ 5 biggest needs ahead of the NFL Draft

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Andy Reid says the Kansas City Chiefs could line up and play tomorrow if they had to, which is a testament to how strong and deep he believes this roster to be. The Chiefs will get a chance to add to that this week with the 2018 NFL Draft starting on Thursday and the pursuit of undrafted free agents after it ends on Saturday.

The Chiefs do have needs. They may have fewer immediate needs than other teams, but like everyone else, you’re also planning two to three years down the road. And what do I see down the road? The Chiefs need a pass rusher, a starting cornerback, defensive lineman and ... did I mention a pass rusher?

Pass rusher

This is a long-term view of the Chiefs pass rush. Somehow, in the weird world of the NFL, 29 is old(er) and they need to start thinking about what life looks like without Justin Houston. Dee Ford is in a contract year so I think he could have a strong year in 2018 but right now I would predict he is not a Chief in 2019. Tanoh Kpassagnon still looks like he has a ways to go, or maybe he’ll have a breakout year. We just don’t know.

The Chiefs don’t have a first-round pick where a lot of those pass rushers go. They have had some success getting third-round picks to produce (hi, Justin Houston) so I wouldn’t hate if one of their first two picks was a pass rusher.

Kentucky v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Cornerback

The Chiefs have three corners on the field a lot of the time, so cornerback is a smart prediction for a high draft pick. Two starting corners on their rookie contracts sound nice.

Defensive lineman

The Chiefs added defensive lineman Xavier Williams over the offseason after losing Bennie Logan. They’re going to take a defensive lineman; it’s just a matter of which round.

Offensive line — all of it

It’s kind of cheating if I use one need for both a tackle and an interior lineman, but I wouldn’t hate it if they drafted one of each.

Maybe a curveball here if we haven’t talked much about a tackle. Imagine swapping out Eric Fisher’s contract for a much smaller one. They can start to (maybe) think about doing that in 2019. Draft a second or third-round tackle this year so he’s ready to go in year two. I could see it.

As for an interior guy, the Chiefs got Zach Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in the sixth round, so I wonder if they think they can find a guy like that later in the draft.

Quarterback

If we don’t have Tyler Bray to obsess over, which late round or undrafted quarterback will it be?