NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. WR - 4.0
2. DT - 4.0
3. LB - 3.5
4. OC - 3.0
5. OT - 3.0
6. S - 2.5
7. RB - 2.0
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - After struggling in his first year in KC, Cassel had a strong season in 2010, pushing any doubts about whether he is their guy for the future to the back burner. Croyle's contract is up and while Haley is a fan of his, they might move in a new direction and start to developing a new backup. That would likely come in the latter portions of the draft. NEED: 1.5
Running Back - The combo of Charles and Jones proved to be very productive for the Chiefs offense this year. Charles contract is up and should be in line for a big extension, but durability remains a concern. Jones is in the last year of his deal and will be 33 at the start of the season, meaning that the time is ripe for the team to try and draft his replacement and heir apparent to bring a power back that can be a change of pace for Charles' speed. NEED: 2.0
Fullback - Castille and Cox split reps this past year. Cox is probably the better blocker, but Castille gives them a bit more punch on offense. Both should be back next year to compete for this job. They could probably upgrade, but it's not an immediate issue. NEED: 1.0
Wide Receiver - Bowe had a very productive season, but it's clear he needs someone to relieve some pressure off him. McCluster wasn't quite the impact playmaker they hoped him to be, and Chambers at this point in his career should be a No. 3 or 4 guy rather than a starter. They need to get another playmaker here. NEED: 4.0
Tight End - Moeaki had a strong rookie season, and Pope is a decent No. 2. But they could upgrade there and probably will bring in another option perhaps in the late rounds to push him in the blocking role, even if Pope is re-signed. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Tackle - Albert didn't bounce back quite as much as hoped, but he improved in his third season after a disappointing sophomore campaign. The Chiefs still may need to question whether his long-term future is at left tackle vs. right tackle. But that potential move will require them to find a better option on the leftside. Richardson and O'Callaghan are a serviceable pair of options at right tackle, and the Chiefs need to find an upgrade. Either by getting a good pass protector to man the left, or to find a strong run blocker to man the right. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Guard - Waters has been on the verge of retirement, and 2011 will be the final year of his deal. So he probably won't be around for 2012, but the threat of a lockout could push him out sooner this off-season. It's one of the reasons why the team drafted Asamoah a year ago as his heir apparent. His presence however won't stop them from adding more depth and insurance. NEED: 1.5
Center - Both Niswanger and Wiegmann are free agents. Niswanger has to prove he's more than just a backup candidate. Wiegmann will be 38, so the time seems ripe for the Chiefs to move in a new, younger direction. NEED: 3.0
Defensive Tackle - Edwards has been a serviceable starter for the past two years at the nose tackle position, but really should be a backup instead of a starter. The Chiefs should be looking hard either in the draft or free agent who can be their version of Wilfork or Hampton. NEED: 4.0
Defensive End - Dorsey continues to be solid, and Gilberry continues to impress as a pass rush specialist. Jackson improved, but still needs work before he can be relied upon to be a starter. And because of that, they could definitely use more depth and help at this position. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - They got Johnson re-signed to a long-term extension, and doing the same for Hali will likely be a priority as well. Belcher is fairly solid at the other inside spot beside Johnson, although they could seek another impact playmaker there. But their bigger priority is getting someone to play opposite Hali on the outside. Vrabel is a free agent, and while Studebaker is a decent pass rush specailist, he's got room to grow before he's a capable everydown player. They will likely target another guy that can bring steady pass rush. NEED: 3.5
Cornerback - Flowers and Carr are two of the better young pairs of starters in the league. But their depth is a concern. Arenas had his moments as a nickel, but had no picks, and they could probably afford to add more depth to try and generate more interceptions since Flowers and Carr combined for only 3 this year. NEED: 1.5
Safety - Eric Berry had some early growing pains, but really started to grow into his own as the season wore on. Kendrick Lewis was the other starter, and while he's a nice young developmental option, they would probably be better off grooming him on the bench. If they make a move here, it's likely to add a veteran to provide some stability in free agency. NEED: 2.5
Kicker - Succop is still young and growing into his role, but there isn't an overwhelming need to make a move to go in a new direction. NEED: 0.5
Punter - Colquitt is one of the best young punters in the league. NEED: 0.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.