As exciting as checking the the third box is for Chiefs fans, Kansas City cannot afford to stop there. There are several smaller boxes to be checked, too, if KC is to make a serious run to Detroit. There are positions that need to be filled and to be honest, players that need to be replaced. At this point in free agency, filling these boxes should be much less expensive, and the draft offers opportunity to fill them as well. Let's take a look at those smaller boxes and what free agents or draft picks could fill them.
Box 1: WR – Johnnie Morton's tenure in KC will likely end June 1st. At a minimum, the Chiefs need a reliable, sure handed WR to replace him who can make critical catches and keep drives alive. Preferably, they'd find a playmaking WR that opens the field up for the rest of the weapons at Al Saunders disposal. Travis Taylor would have been an ideal fit for this offense, but was signed by Minnesota unfortunately. One free agent who is still available is UFA Kevin Johnson from Baltimore; he would fit nicely into the Chiefs offense. He has deceptive speed and is very sure handed. The Chiefs are expecting him for a visit on Wednesday. In the draft, Mark Clayton could be available when the Chiefs 15th overall pick, and could also become a playmaker in this offense. As the market seemingly dries up around him, Plaxico Burress could very well hit the Chiefs radar screen if he remains unsigned for another week or two.
Box 2: Nickel CB – Since we'll give Peterson credit for acquiring Law or Surtain, it's safe to assume that Dexter McCleon may join Morton on a one way flight out of KC June 1st. That being the case, Chiefs fans definitely don't want to see a jersey with a big 24 and the name Bartee sewn above it manning the secondary on passing downs. A nickel CB is a box that needs to be filled. The Chiefs have already met with Kelly Herndon, restricted free agent from the Denver Broncos, and he may be able to fill that box. Alternatively, Auburn CB Carlos Rogers could be an option if we choose to address the need through the draft.
Box 3: OLB – The signing of Bell greatly improved that Chiefs LB corp. However, they could still use a playmaker at OLB. Anthony Simmons, released from Seattle, would seem to fill the bill. He's battled some injuries recently, but remains athletic and fast. The Chiefs entertained Keith Adams who started for the Eagles at outside linebacker in the Super Bow. In the draft, Darryl Blackstock from Virginia or Kevin Burnett from Tennessee could be available in the 2nd round to check that box for the Chiefs. Much like Plaxico Burress, the Chiefs could still sign Ed Hartwell as the market around him dries up. Hartwell would be the MLB and Bell would be the playmaking OLB.
Box 4: DE – The Chiefs made the right move and released an underachieving Vonnie Holliday, whose roster spot remains to be filled. The Chiefs recently entertained Carlos Hall, UFA from the Tennessee Titans, who would be a very good backup DE with the potential to start if called upon. Chris Canty from Virginia would likely be available in the 2nd round and would be a nice addition to the Chiefs defensive line rotation.
Box 5: Punter – Nick Murphy was the last man standing as punter for the Chiefs last season. He was the 3rd guy to fill that role, and it is almost certain that he won't enter training camp with a lock on that spot. Nick Harris, UFA from Detroit, was among the league leaders in landing punts inside the 20 and could win a spot in KC. In the draft, Dustin Colquitt from Tennessee is the best prospect in this year's draft. He has a powerful leg, but the Chiefs may need to use a 4th round pick in order to get him.
There are others to be filled as the Chiefs look to the future as well: 3rd RB which could be filled if the Chiefs sign Robert Holcombe, left OT, OG, a back-up or future QB, and yes, another WR. If the Chiefs are going to be contenders this year, though, these five boxes must be checked along with the big three.