Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Kansas City Chiefs [full archive here].
Season Recap – Similar to the Bucs, the Kansas City Chiefs had a much better season then most people predicted. After picking Eric Berry fifth overall in 2010, Scott Pioli showed many why he was such an important hire. Coming from New England, Pioli knows talent and is very successful at the draft. Matt Cassel had a pro-bowl season and Jamal Charles was second in the league in rushing yards. Losing offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will hurt, but previous offensive line coach, Bill Muir, is a capable replacement.
1. Outside Linebacker - AFC sack leader, Tamba Hali was scheduled for free agency, but was franchised. Hali has developed into one of the top 3-4 OLB’s but doesn’t have much help. Mike Vrabel failed to record a sack and at 35, along with becoming a free agent, it seems Kansas City will have a new starter in 2011. Justin Houston has been linked to the Chiefs in round one, but I don’t think he’ll be available. Brooks Reed would be a good fit.
2. Nose Tackle – Kansas City is starting to become a complete defense, but they still lack a couple key positions. Nose tackle is a spot the Chiefs will hope to upgrade. 2010 starter, Ron Edwards is a free agent, which leaves only unproven Anthony Toribio on the roster. Phil Taylor could be the pick in round one, who seems to be rising up the draft boards with each passing week.
3. Wide Receiver – The Chiefs have two solid options in Dwayne Bowe and slot receiver Dexter McCluster, but need an upgrade over Chris Chambers. Chambers only managed 213 yards last season and is not the option he once was. Matt Cassel needs another target as he continues to grow into Todd Haley’s offense.
4. Left Tackle – Brandon Albert, a former first round pick, hasn’t been horrible, but would be much more effective moved inside to guard. There was speculation that the Chiefs were considering drafting an OT in the first round last year, but decided on Eric Berry. While they certainly don’t regret the selection, I’m sure Kansas City would still like an improvement. The Chiefs could select an OT in the first round if some of the defensive prospects are off the board.
5. Center – Casey Wiegmann is a free agent, and at 38 he may be calling it quits. Kansas City has to keep up with their O-line if they want Jamal Charles to continue his success. Under the guidance of Scott Pioli, Kansas City will find a capable center for the 2011 season.