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Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Team Needs – TSJ Sports

Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Needs Andrew Mather/ via


Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Needs

The Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed another successful regular season in 2016, going 12-4 and clinching the AFC West title. The Chiefs did all this despite several injuries throughout the season to key players such as Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, and others. Kansas City fell short in the playoffs however, losing at home in the divisional round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2017, the Chiefs will look to repeat their success from last season with hopefully a different finishing result. If the red and gold are to achieve their goals next season, having a successful off season is a must. This includes addressing holes on the roster through the draft, free agency, or trade. The Kansas City Chiefs offseason needs include the following:

Wide Receiver

Chiefs fans were treated with watching 2016 5th round pick Tyreek Hill have a very successful rookie season and establish himself as one of the most explosive players in the league, which earned him the nickname “Cheetah”. Hill was deadly returning kicks and punts, in the running game, and catching passes. He is expected to get even more involved on offense next season, but the Swiss-Army knife isn’t your prototypical number one wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin only played in 12 games last season while catching only 44 passes for 536 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Chiefs could use some youth and talent at the wide receiver position, especially with Maclin‘s injury history and age (he will be 29 once next season begins). There are several options in free agency including Alshon Jeffery, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and others. However, these more appealing free agent receivers either have injury history (Jeffery, Jackson) or are up there in age (Jackson, Garcon). If the Chiefs are to address wide receiver the draft may be the way to go. There are several first round options including Washington‘s John Ross, Western Michigan‘s Corey Davis, or Oklahama‘s DeDe Westbrook. If these receivers aren’t available or Kansas City opts to go a different route at the 26th overall pick, John Dorsey might need to get creative in the later rounds or through trade.


This “need” differs from the rest in that it may not help the team next year. Alex Smith is a solid starter in the NFL, but does Kansas City need more than a passer who only threw for 15 TDs last year in order to get over the hump? Many Chiefs fans believe the answer is yes. There are no options in free agency superior to Smith, with the likes of Brian Hoyer, Mike Glennon, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and others headlining the class. Tony Romo may be available via trade, but his advanced age and even more advanced injury history is not very appealing. The Chiefs need to go young at the quarterback position, even if it means keeping Smith at the helm for another year or two while the hypothetical young QB of the future develops. There are several quarterbacks who are expected to be taken early in the first round such as Clemson‘s DeShaun Watson, North Carolina‘s Mitch Trubisky, and Notre Dame‘s DeShone Kizer. Unless one of these three unexpectedly fall to the 26th pick, Kansas City will have to go a different route. Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech may be available, but he could also potentially be snagged prior to Kansas City‘s first round pick. Later round options could include Brad Kayaa from the University of Miami, Davis Webb of Cal, and Chad Kelly of Ole Miss. Andy Reid has made it clear he’s a huge supporter of Alex Smith, but even he must realize he may not be the answer for much longer.


There are several talented linebackers on the roster, there’s no doubt about this. Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, DJ Alexander, and Derrick Johnson form one of the most dynamic linebacker corps in the league. The catch? Derrick Johnson is 34 and coming off of a major achilles injury that has put his future in doubt. Tamba Hali is 33 and saw a more limited role this past season while also dealing with nagging injuries. Suddenly, a once deep unit looks thin when riddled by injuries and advanced age. There are a few intriguing options in free agency with the likes of Dont’a Hightower, Gerald Hodges, and Zach Brown. Kansas City however, has not been connected to any of these players which may have a lot to do with limited cap space. The more likely route is to find a young Linebacker in the draft, particularly in the first round. Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt and Raekwon McMillan of Ohio State both look like they could fit the mold perfectly of young, athletic, explosive athletes the Chiefs could more than use at linebacker. Later round options include Jalen Reeves-Maybin of Tennessee and Kendell Bethwick of LSU among others.


Marcus Peters is a budding superstar in this league and a complete shutdown corner. Once you look beyond Peters however, is where the depth chart looks pretty thin. Terrance Mitchell was solid in limited action and Steven Nelson was average in coverage this past season, while Phillip Gaines was repeatedly torched each week. Cornerback is not only the deepest position in free agency this year but also in the draft, so this bodes well for the Chiefs. Free agent options include A.J. Bouye, Trumaine Johnson, Logan Ryan, and others. These corners will likely command large contracts however and Kansas City will have to clear cap space if they are to land one of the prized FAs. The 2017 draft class is littered with exceptionally talented corners such as Quincy Wilson of Florida, Cordrea Tankersley of Clemson, Marlon Humphrey of Alabama, and several other intriguing options both in the first and second rounds. Kansas City could very well find another solid coverage corner to compliment Peters in this year’s draft class the way Sean Smith did prior to his departure.