In-Depth Chart: Chiefs Cornerbacks

With the NFL Draft concluded and NFL Free Agency still in limbo, all we have left is to dissect the current roster. In our first of eight position breakdowns, we go inside the cornerback position for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli has said that he would like to take a quarterback in every season's draft class. And after selecting 5 defensive backs in the past 3 seasons, it is apparent that philosophy is being applied to the defensive side of the ball as well.

And why shouldn't Pioli stack the corner position considering it's one of the highest valued positions on the defensive side of the ball?

The Chiefs will start the 2011 season with one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL with Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr. It is unlikely however that both will patrol the Chiefs secondary as a duo in 2012 simply because the Chiefs probably can;t afford to sign both to long term contracts.

Pioli has already invested a small fortune on the defensive line (Dorsey/Jackson) and the contracts that both Carr and Flowers will request will force the Chiefs to make some tough decisions.

But when the Chiefs selected Colorado Corner Jalil Brown with their 4th round pick in last month's NFL Draft, the emphasis on building towards the future was obvious and evident.

In his post draft press conference, Pioli emphasized that none of these picks should be interpreted as ushering another player out the door.

"Don't ever read into us drafting players or us signing other players as it being the swan song or the certain end of any other players" Pioli said. "I think it would be really unfair to the player and certainly inaccurate from our standpoint".

I take his word on that but there is no denying that Pioli is setting up his team's depth so they can avoid being handcuffed in the future.

This is what makes Pioli one of the best in the game: he never lives in the present.

We as fans however do live in the present and currently the Chiefs have a treasure trove of gifted corners.

One day Jalil Brown could supplant one of the Brandon's as a starter for KC's young and improving defense.
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So don't expect anyone to replace the Brandon's in the starting lineup this season. But depending on how training camp unfolds, I would suspect that the Chiefs coaching staff takes a long hard look at Brown and last season's second round draft pick Javier Arenas.

Arenas earned a lot of playing time in 2010 and I suspect we'll see more of his blitzing skills and pass coverage on display this year. Although the Chiefs like using Arenas in various roles, I believe that the Chiefs see him as a true corner down the road. With the addition of Brown to the depth charts, Pioli has created the much emphasized competition that he believes will elevate the play of his entire roster.

If the Chiefs suddenly find themselves with four legitimate starting corners, it will enable Pioli to make similar moves like trading one of his corners for future draft picks. Assuming that the NFL eventually opens up the trade market, the Chiefs would have some of the most valuable blue chips available in the trade game.

Jalil Brown was an afterthought on the Buffaloes defense behind Jimmy Smith, who went 27th overall to the Baltimore Ravens. The oversight by the rest of the NFL was something that Pioli and his staff felt they needed to capitalize on.

The truth is, Brown and Smith are almost identical in size, speed, and skill level. On paper the only difference between the two seems to be how much money each will be making in 2011. Many suspect there will be more of a learning curve for Brown but the corner position is one that relies on athleticism and intelligence---Brown excels at both. With the tutelage and experience of Chiefs defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas, the learning curve for Brown could be relatively small.

Brown's progression will have little effect on Flowers or Carr in 2011 but his addition will likely push backup Travis Daniels off the depth chart.

Daniels filled in admirably for Flowers over the past two seasons but his time in Kansas City is probably limited. Daniels has staked his claim on the Chiefs roster by being a dependable veteran in the secondary and a solid special team's contributor. Although Brown lacks the savvy of an NFL veteran, his contributions on special teams will overshadow those of Daniels.

Corner may not have been an obvious position of need but the Chiefs snagged a 1st round talent in the 4th round which is a undeniable great pickup.

However that depth manifests itself in the future I am not able to predict at this point but it will only lead to more options for the Chiefs down the road. Considering Pioli is just in his 3rd year with the Chiefs and he is already thinking about the future, that road seems to be well lit expressway.

Next Up: Quarterbacks

Will Arenas or Brown supplant Flowers or Carr?

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