When the season ended January 2nd it was clear that Kansas City had an inferior defense. With the addition of cornerback Patrick Surtain, linebacker Kendrell Bell, safety Sammy Knight and defensive end Carlos Hall; all that has changed.
Now with the draft just hours away, the Chiefs are in an enviable position. They can draft for need or best available athlete. That means they could draft virtually any position with the 15th pick in the first round. Or they could trade that pick and add even more players to the roster by maneuvering to the bottom of the first round. Thus giving them an extra draft pick in the second or third round.
But where is the need for the Chiefs with so many questions answered on defense? They still could use another cornerback, a linebacker and a pass rushing defensive end. In addition, they could use another safety if they move one or both of last years starters. Both Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley are being shopped for first day draft choice but thus far; the Chiefs have been unable to get anything in return for either of last years disappointing safeties.
Still that could change on Saturday; because there could be a team willing to take on their salaries and offer up a first day choice that would satisfy the Chiefs. Of the two, I would think Wesley because of his age has more trade value but its clear to me that Woods could be the one to go.
There is no scenario that I can see that places Wesley, Woods and Knight on the roster on September 11th for the season opener against the New York Jets. You can make that assumption based on the fact the Chiefs brought in four yet to be drafted college safeties in for visits last week.
They brought in safeties Thomas Davis (Georgia), Josh Bullocks (Nebraska), James Sanders (Fresno St.) and Brodney Pool (Oklahoma). Of those three only Davis is a sure fire first round draft choice and I believe that Kansas City could trade down in the first round to select Davis. He's the hardest hitting safety to come out of the NFL in my opinion since Ronnie Lott.
Granted a promising linebacker like Shawne Merriman could be available or outside linebacker Demarcus Ware or Derrick Johnson from Texas might slide down to the Chiefs spot. But what happens if defensive end Marcus Spears is still on the board. Would the Chiefs take one of those four? Of course they would.
Though Kansas City might be tempted to take another cornerback even with the addition of Surtain. West Virginia's Pac Man Jones is slipping on most draft boards. While the Chiefs primary target Carlos Rogers from Auburn is shooting up into the top 10. Miami's Antrel Rolle is the least polished of the top three cornerbacks but he's going to be the first one at his position to be drafted. That means the Chiefs will have plenty to think about if the draft holds to form. But this won't be a draft that holds to form. Outside of Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards; any of the other Top 31 players could go in any order to any team in the first round.
This draft is loaded with talented players but no real superstars. It's a good draft that can help teams like the Chiefs. But I think this draft will turn out more outstanding players who won't be drafted until the second or third rounds.
So we're going to see some major surprises on Saturday. One that could include the Chiefs grabbing USC wide receiver Mike Williams at the 15th pick of the draft. I've been banging my chest for the Chiefs to draft the Pac-10 standout since I began talking about the draft in February. I don't think he'll fall to #15 because the Tennessee Titans are reportedly the team in the Top 10 that is expected to snag him.
But that could be a smokescreen as they need much more help on defense than on offense and they should take one of the top cornerbacks or defensive ends on the board. The Titans have fallen victim to their own greed by circumventing the salary cap to make a run at Super Bowls. It failed miserably and now they are paying a price; one that puts them in the category of one of those teams that does not have the cash or talent to compete in the NFL for years to come.
The Chiefs however have managed the cap very well this off-season and were able to add six players to the roster with little disruption to this years salary cap. However, they can't stand still and they need to continue that aggressive attitude and make some strong moves this weekend.
That means they need to draft one of two players in this draft and that would require them to move up in the Top 10. They need to make a deal with either Washington at #9 or Detroit at #10 to draft either Derrick Johnson or Carlos Rogers. Those are the only two defensive players who can make an impact on the Chiefs roster in 2005. Outside of that pair; they can get a solid player who might surprise them this season but nothing as sure as the two aforementioned players.
If they can't swing a deal for either one of them, then look for Kansas City to make a trade with Philadelphia to swap the Chiefs 15th pick in the first round and the their fifth round choice #147 to the Eagles for the 31st pick in round one, their second round pick #35 and their third round pick #94.
The Eagles have 13 draft picks and it's doubtful they'll keep all of them and they are the wildcard in this draft. Plus the Chiefs are the perfect candidate to move down because the top players on their board who have value at #15; will all be gone unless there is a run on offensive players.
So with that said, the Kansas City Chiefs at #31 will take defensive end David Pollack from Georgia who slides down unexpectedly and with the 35th choice they'll take outside linebacker Kevin Burnett from Tennessee. That is of course if they don't take Williams at #15, #10 or #9.
Have I mentioned that I really Like Mike?