The Chiefs Should Make a Run at Kendrell Bell

With a 7-9 record the Chiefs will have the 15th pick in April's draft. Which defensive position will they select, defensive back, linebacker, or defensive linemen could hinge on what if anything they do in free agency. But it's clear they need help in all three areas.

Steelers linebacker Kendrell Bell will be an unrestricted free agent after the Super Bowl. However Bell has spent most of his career on the sidelines with numerous injuries. But he's an amazing talent who plays with a passion. New York Jets defensive end John Abraham is starting Saturday's playoff game against the Chargers. Abraham spent the last few weeks with an injury and his availability could hinge on the Jets tagging him.

The Chiefs might also go after some June 1 cap casualties-the Giants landed former league MVP Kurt Warner after that date. It was rumored last summer the Dolphins could cut All-Pro defensive back Sam Madison, but he managed to stay on the club. He did not impress anybody coming off a year he would rather forget with no interceptions.

Patriots cornerback Ty Law will become a free agent, however for Law he did spend much of the season on the bench with a foot injury. Law spent much of the off-season complaining that he couldn't get a new deal. He could be out of the Chiefs price range and though he's still young enough to be effective tying him up to a long term deal might prove to be a bit risky for the Chiefs.

Another potential free agent corner could be the Seahawks Ken Lucas. He's reportedly unhappy playing in Seattle and he's still yet to reach his prime and has a lot of upside, although, he will be expensive because of his age.

"But you just don't automatically change personnel when 31 other (teams) have the same opportunity to do what you do." Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said, "The draft restricts you. We're 15th (in the draft order), so 14 people will get a better shot at somebody. We hope we can do a good job. In free agency everybody will have a shot at a free agent and also there's a limit to the amount of money you can spend."

The NFL combines will also give the Chiefs a look what players could help for 2005 and beyond. A few players that might be around at the 15th pick when the Chiefs are on the clock are Boston College linebacker Mathius Kiwanuka, who is said to be a blend between Jason Taylor and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

Also University of Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson, who had six tackles in the Rose Bowl against Texas on New Years Day. He helped shut down the Longhorn pass attack for only 180-yards and one touchdown.

Jackson is said to be late first round pick or an early second round pick so the Chiefs could make a steal in the first round if Kiwanuka is not there at 15. Jackson was on the list for many post season awards that included the Jim Thorpe Award and a Ronnie Lott Trophy candidate. But drafting corners are always a risky proposition.

"You look at the top picks at corner the last few years." Vermeil said, "One's playing at Dallas, another's at Seattle. They're struggling. The rules are going against those guys. That's the way it is. It's the way (the NFL) wants the game played. We have to fit within how the game is played."

The rumor mill will be hot and heavy over the next few months as teams start positioning themselves to get under and create cap room. The Chiefs will be busy studying tapes and interviewing potential draft picks. For the Chiefs they have done well in the late rounds of the draft. There are always steals in the late rounds of the draft. Former Broncos running back Terrell Davis and Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas were found in the later rounds.


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