Monday, May 18, 2015

Chiefs - Moving Forward?

Chiefs Draft/Free Agency Analysis

Time to un-mothball the pigskin chatter and find out where the Chiefs are now – and, more importantly where they are going.

First the moves in free agency.  The tribe were winners and losers.  They grabbed Jeremy Maclin, a proven NFL receiver. This addresses need number one.  The signed Ben Grubbs, another NFL proven talent.  The also added OL Paul Fanaika.  The is a solid base of new talent to add depth, provide some kind of a passing threat and get the O-line moving in the right direction.  Overall a B or B - is my verdict.

In the draft, the Chiefs look like making an already sound defence better.  First round, a cornerback from Washington, Marcus Peters.  As with all first round picks, you need them to make the team, make an immediate impact and be a starter for years to come.  On this basis, the Chiefs record is patchy at best.  Remember that great wide out Baldwin?  I do.

They added Missouri guard Mitch Morse in Round 2. Georgia wideout Chris Conley and Oregon State cornerback Steven Nelson were selected in Round 3.  These are solid selections addressing the needs of the team.  Good.

Later round picks:  the Chiefs kicked off Round 4 by selecting former Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson and added guys like D.J. Alexander and James O'Shaughnessy later in the day.

Overall a solid, if unspectacular draft.  But, when free agency is added into to the mix, things look a lot better.  The two things must be seen together as the team moves forward to 2015.

I particularly liked the analysis of where the Chiefs are in relation to the division done by Arrowhead Pride.

They say:

1) Does this team have a great quarterback OR a way to neutralize a great quarterback?

Good question.  The verdict on QB Alex Smith is still out.  This year should provide him with the tools he needs to do the job - a better offensive line – better receivers. Can he move up to the next level?  Does he have to?  Remember, it's defence that wins Super Bowls and the Chiefs should be better on that side of the ball.  Can Smith get enough production out of the offence?  I think he can.

2) Does this team have any glaring weaknesses good teams will expose in the playoffs?

Another good question.  Last season the run defence failed miserably at critical times.  Will it be better?  It depends on a large number of variables.  Will Eric Berry be back, fit and able?  Will Derrick Johnson be back and as a solid LB?  Mike DeVito, returning from injury, competing?  This could be the crunch topic.

3) Does this team show the ability to beat other playoff-caliber teams?

I was happy to be at Arrowhead to see the boys demolish the Pats.  The big question is can they find a way to beat Peyton and the Broncos?  They may.  That will be the crunch for the season and this topic.