Chiefs Could Draft Kaeding Early On Saturday

The Chiefs have a plethora of needs as they make final preparations for the 2004 NFL Draft this Saturday. With only two starting jobs up for grabs this season at right tackle and place kicker, the Chiefs are looking for depth.

The most obvious situation the Chiefs must address is on defense. They need to upgrade their defensive line, linebackers and cornerbacks. But drafting 30th in the first round might not yield the type of player they're looking for as far as an impact player.

So with that said, don't be surprised if the Chiefs trade out of the first round as they focus on two players they hope to acquire in the second round. Place kicker Nate Kaeding from Iowa and defensive end Igor Olshanksy from Oregon.

Kaeding is the hottest kicker to come out of college since Sebastian Janikowski. The three teams that have showed the most interest in Keading are the Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars with each hoping to snag him in the second round. Keading likely won't be available at the 30th pick of the second round and it would be a shock if the Chiefs took him in the first round. But it would be a prudent move if the defensive player they covet is off the board.

The Chiefs also covet defensive tackle Marcus Tubs from Texas but his stock is in the eye of the beholder and the New England Patriots are looking at selecting him with their first of two picks in rounds one. They select 22nd in the first round and again at 32.

The Chiefs know they have to upgrade the defense and that's why they are setting their sites on Olshanksy. He's quickly climbing the draft boards. He had a monster workout at the combines and his draft status has soared from a third round selection to an early second and possible late first rounder. But at #30, he has too much upside for the Chiefs to not select if he's still on the board.

The other are of need is wide receiver and the Chiefs have targeted Wisconsin wide receiver Lee Evans and Oklahoma State Standout Rashaun Woods. Evans has recovered from a potential career ending knee surgery and Woods was a standout in the Big 12. Both have the potential to become solid #1 receivers but Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil understands that this years crop of wide receivers is deep and talented.

So they might wait for the second or third round before selecting a receiver. The Chiefs have not done well in the draft with wide receivers. One possibility remains open that the Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns continue talks about Dennis Northcutt.

The Browns are in serious negotiations with both the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders about moving up in the first round to draft offensive tackle Robert Gallery. SO any talks in regards to Northcutt are on hold for now but Browns officials will more than likely be a draft day trade to someone. The only other team mentioned in the Northcutt sweepstakes is the Baltimore Ravens who have offered a 4th round pick for Northcutt.

The Chiefs would have to part with their third round pick to probably pull a trade. If the Chiefs can manage that and acquire Northcutt, who could replace Johnnie Morton in the starting lineup, they might then pick the best defensive player and look to move up in the second round and select Kaeding.

An old rumor is popping up in NFL circles as of late Thursday night involving the Chiefs. The Pittsburgh Steelers are once again shopping Plaxico Burress, the disgruntled wide receiver who is set to become a free agent after the 2004 season. Now some suspect initially that this was purely an internet rumor two monthse ago might have some validity after all. The Steelers are resigned to the fact that they have no untention of re-signing the man some refer to as Plexi-Glass but they won't give him away for free either. It seems that the Steelers are fielding a few more calls for their inagmatic wide receiver. The Chiefs might be one of those teams.

Kansas City has had a quiet of-season to date with only two signings, tackle Chris Bober and defensive tackle Lionel Dalton. If the Chiefs have anything up their sleeves, they're keeping it close to the best.

Only time will tell if they'll make a move on draft day. Either way, we'll know in about 48 hours. Top Stories