If the draft was today, which player would you be hoping to get with the 21st pick?
Nick Athan: This team needs defense but on offense if Alabama Wide Receiver Julio Jones is on the board, and the Chiefs didn't sign or trade for Vincent Jackson or Larry Fitzgerald, then Jones has to be the guy.
KC's defense is going to be much better in 2011. Yes they need another impact pass rusher and speed at linebacker but they need to score more points if they're going to win ten games again next season. To me Jones, is the one player at that position that could impact the Chiefs right away. Offensive guys generally take a while to produce but the system he ran at Alabama could offset any slow starts he may encounter in a Chiefs uniform.
C.E. Wendler: I'm in love with Justin Houston. He's everything the Chiefs need right now - explosive, athletic, hard-working and comes from a big school. He fits the Patriot way, and he has the size the Patriots covet in 3-4 outside linebackers. To me, that means he should be on KC's radar screen.
Everyone is talking about Von Miller, but I'd be much happier if the Chiefs grabbed Houston. Not only did he have great production (17 sacks his last two years), he did it against big-time competition.
Josh Scotten: This is such a difficult question to answer given the lack of a CBA, which is sure to stifle the free agency process for all teams. Right now, the Chiefs have gaping holes in the middle on both sides of the ball at center and at nose tackle.
Penn State center Stefen Wisniewski appears to be the best at his position coming out of college and will most likely be available when the Chiefs select in the first round. This could be looked at by some as a reach this early, but if he is indeed the apple of the Chiefs' eye, they may not be able to wait till round two to pick Wisniewski up.
The NT skyrocketing up draft boards is former Baylor Bear Phil Taylor. At 6'4" and 337 lbs, Taylor is the perfect fit for Romeo Crennel's system and I would love to see him in Chiefs red on Sundays.
The Kansas City defense is a couple of players away from being dominant, and for that reason I would like to see Taylor selected to help push this team over the hump and give an identity to this faceless franchise.
Michael Ash: As far as a specific player goes, I don't really have a favorite this far out. My #1 choice is for the Chiefs to look at a pass rusher. But Von Miller will be long gone, perhaps as high as the top 5. Missouri's Aldon Smith once seemed like a possibility, but he should be off the board by #21 as well. At this point, I'm wondering if Justin Houston will even make it to the Chiefs' spot.
No offense to any other pass rushers, but those are my three favorites, and if they're gone then it's probably time to look to another position.
If a lockout lasts until the summer, how do you think it would most impact the Chiefs? Would it give them an advantage over teams like Denver and Oakland, who have new coaches and coordinators? Would they be at a disadvantage compared to any other teams?
Nick Athan: First it won't happen. The players will buckle well before that happens. It won't go a day past the NFL draft. That opinion aside, the Chiefs are certainly ahead of the Broncos and Raiders. With GM Scott Pioli at the top of the Chiefs food chain he's had plenty of time to consider all his options regardless when free agency starts or the season for that matter.
Chiefs GM Scott Pioli is already many paces ahead of the rest of the teams in the AFC West.
He's already put so many things into motion that his counterparts in Denver and Oakland simply could not do because of their coaching overhauls. You can say what you want about Pioli's methods and decisions. But in the NFL game of Chess he's already at least - five moves ahead of anyone else in the division.
C.E. Wendler: I think a lockout will definitely hold back teams who are just installing their programs this summer. The Raiders and Broncos will definitely be behind the eight ball. But to be honest, everyone is going to be affected.
With the Chiefs re-tooling their offense, you wonder what a lockout Will Do to their preparation if there are no OTA sessions, especially in the event of working in a new starter at wide receiver. That could really throw a monkey wrench in the 2011 offense.
Josh Scotten: The Chiefs had an offseason for the books in 2010 and the main catalyst for that was the dedication from both the players and coaches to the offseason program. If K.C. wants to continue to progress at the same rate in 2011, they will certainly need the same commitment in the next several months.
As far as an advantage over Denver or Oakland is concerned, in my eyes, they already have that advantage regardless. My main concern with the lockout would be the development of the young players on the roster. All of the Chiefs draft class from 2010 contributed vastly and the KC will be counting on them all to return even better in 2011. In order for this to happen they will need all of the offseason training they can get and if there is indeed a time of deferment, it will severely hamper their overall development.
Michael Ash: The biggest impacts should be felt across the board. For example, if a lockout lasts into the summer, then the draft will happen before free agency, which will force all kinds of tough decisions to be made. Teams with holes in their roster may be forced to draft for need in some cases.
As it relates to the Chiefs specifically, the biggest impact will probably be in the lack of practice time. If they add some much-needed pieces like a new center or a new receiver, these are players who will need to have reps with Cassel and the rest of the offense. But there are very few teams that will keep the exact same lineups they had in 2010, so I don't the Chiefs would be at any significant disadvantage there.
The biggest problems would indeed go to the teams like Denver and Oakland, who have new coaches and are likely installing new systems on one or both sides of the ball. Going back to the topic of continuity with the Muir promotion, that issue may be more important going into this season than in any other year in league history. What do you think Bill Muir's promotion will mean for the Chiefs' offense?
Nick Athan: Based on the bashing I've received on our message boards about this very topic, I'm not a fan of the move. I don't think Muir can run an entire offense. Nor will he be calling the plays on Sunday. That job will be reserved for the Head Coach.
Time will telll if Muir's rise to OC is just to appease his Head Coach or if it was truly the best decision for the Chiefs offense.
Todd Haley has received what he's wanted. He now has complete control of the offense. And I'm not confidence he can get the job done. In his first year as OC in 2009, he won four games. And when you factor his input was on display in the Chiefs final losses in 2010 (Oakland and Baltimore), you can see for yourself why I feel the way I do.
But it's time to move on. I'll rethink my stance after the Chiefs complete the first quarter of the 2011 season.
C.E. Wendler: It means we find out just how legitimate Todd Haley's status as an offensive guru is. We know Muir isn't going to be the architect of KC's offense. Haley will now shoulder that responsibility and he'll take the blame if things go awry.
Outside of the blame game, Muir's promotion means the Chiefs have one less experienced, successful offensive mind to lean upon during the week and on gameday. Whether or not Haley and Charlie Weis were constantly bickering, I don't see how that's a good thing.
Josh Scotten: There really is no track record for Bill Muir because he has never called plays as an NFL offensive coordinator. So the real question is: what will this offense look like with Todd Haley calling the plays?
Looking at his time spent calling plays in Arizona, it would appear Haley is the type to air it out. But judging by what we have seen so far in Kansas City I can only assume it will be more of the same. Until the Chiefs offense adds some more legitimate playmakers to the offense, and more specifically at wide receiver, this team is going to have to ride their rushing attack.
As second year players like Dexter McCluster and Tony Moeaki continue to develop, you may see Haley open up the offense as the season progresses. But let's make no mistake about it, the Muir promotion was little more than a formality and this offense is going to rise or fall with Haley.
Michael Ash: The good news is that it should allow the Chiefs' offense to pick up right where it left off. There should be no adjustment period where Matt Cassel and his teammates have to learn new tweaks in terminology and that sort of thing. That kind of continuity is essential to the grown of both a quarterback and an offense as a whole, and Haley cited it as a major reason that he opted to go with Muir.
As for the negatives, we still don't know who will be calling the plays, but let's say Muir handles those duties. How adept is he at handling in-game adjustments and that sort of thing? We have no idea. On the other hand, if Haley calls the plays, will it lead to him overburdening himself with extra work during the week?
One major concern we know for sure is that Muir will now be taking on the coordinator job in addition to keeping his duties as the offensive line coach. I've been clear in previous roundtables that I was concerned about the regression of the Chiefs' two tackles, particularly Branden Albert, when it came to pass protection during the second half of the season.
Now, not only will Muir be staying on as the line coach, he'll be stretching himself thin with the new job as coordinator. It doesn't inspire much confidence about the coaching the linemen will be getting, and this will be an important offseason for the offensive line. At the very least, a new center should be in the cards.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
With free agency on hold, KC is focusing on the NFL Draft. So who do you think they should take in round one?
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