Drafted: The Right Players

Were the Chiefs good on offense a year ago? No, they were mediocre.

Do they need more talent? Yes. The Chiefs badly need an influx of youth and skill along the offensive line, at wide receiver and in the backfield.

Should they have dedicated their entire draft to finding that talent? Absolutely not.

No matter how many fans and media scream about the state of Kansas City's offensive line, it's not going to change the approach that Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards has toward the draft – you don't reach. You take the best available talent – if at all possible, at a position of need – when your pick comes up in each round.

This is how good teams, teams built for the long haul, are constructed. Chiefs fans should be happy to have a head coach that understands this. His philosophy was evident a year ago when the Chiefs drafted five players with the potential to be starters this year and in the future.

And it was evident over the weekend, when the Chiefs stuck to their board and didn't reach.

Dwayne Bowe at #23 was obviously the correct move. The Chiefs have sorely needed a possession receiver to complement Tony Gonzalez for years now. Maybe some people would have liked to have seen Kansas City grab a faster wide receiver to stretch the field (Tennessee's Robert Meachem, perhaps), but saying Bowe can't open things up in a similar manner is ludicrous.

Watching Bowe on film, he's every bit of Terrell Owens on the field. Big, strong, with dazzling run-after-the-catch skills.

Owens has opened up every offense he's ever played in. Newsflash – he was a third-round pick, and ran a slower 40 time coming out of college than Bowe.

By the way, Meachem reportedly has difficulty getting off the line and has all the toughness of Ashley Lelie. Samie Parker times much faster than Bowe, but who do you think will wind up taking more pressure of Larry Johnson and Gonzalez? The Chiefs made the right decision.

On to the second round. Do the Chiefs need an offensive tackle? Certainly. The only problem was that the tackles with second-round grades were already off the board. Arron Sears, Justin Blalock, Tony Ugoh – all long gone by the time the Chiefs picked at #54.

Should the Chiefs have traded up to select one of these players? No. When you're building a team for the future, the last thing you need to be doing is trading draft picks (unless you're completely desperate like the Browns).

James Marten and Ryan Harris were the next tackles off the board, and neither was going to save KC's O-line this year, and maybe not even in the future (Marten has slow feet, Harris has a number of issues). Selecting any offensive tackle at #54 would have been a reach.

We've seen how that works out for the Chiefs in the past. They badly needed a defensive tackle after the 2003 season. What did they do? They reached for Junior Siavii in the second round. He peaked in his first pro game.

Could the Chiefs have taken another wide receiver in the second round? Sure, and Jason Hill would have brought a ton of speed to KC's offense. He soared up draft boards after running a 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Warpaint Illustrated draft guru Mike Campbell had Hill rated as one of the top wide receivers on his value board.

But guess what? Selecting two wide receivers that early in the draft just wouldn't have been smart. The Chiefs have two young speedsters on the roster already in Jeff Webb and Chris Hannon. Before the team goes drafting any more young wide receivers, they need to see what they have in the ones already on the roster.

Nope, the Chiefs played it perfectly. After the Bowe pick, defensive tackle became the weakest position on the entire roster. Selecting Turk McBride in the second was a good value pick, and the Chiefs definitely need someone to fill in for Jared Allen during his suspension.

McBride and third-rounder Tank Tyler could team to lead the Chiefs' best defensive tackle rotation in years. By sticking to their board, the Chiefs may have solved the problem Dick Vermeil created by whiffing on defensive tackles – like Siavii.

They can worry about the offensive line next year. I'm guessing that was KC's plan anyway, as they screamed it loud and clear when they acquired a stopgap offensive tackle in free agency (Damion McIntosh) this offseason, and another (Chris Terry) during the 2006 regular season.

By the way, the Chiefs didn't totally ignore the offense. Fifth-round pick Kolby Smith will compete to be Johnson's backup, and kicker Justin Medlock could be an elite kicker.

The Chiefs also showed tremendous foresight in the seventh round by drafting a monstrous tight end with speed – excellent value so late in the draft. They're clearly planning ahead for the eventual retirement of Gonzalez.

Stick to your board, don't reach and take the best player available. That's how you build an NFL team. Finally, the Chiefs are doing it the right way.

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