The Kansas City Chiefs drafted a player for all of their biggest needs in April’s draft, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot of work to be done. Football Outsiders feels that Scott Pioli and company’s biggest post-draft need is at nose tackle.
The Chiefs play a 3-4 defense under coordinator Romeo Crennel, but that’s a bit of a misnomer because Crennel will put his defenders in frequent four-man fronts as he did when he helped Bill Belichick in New England. No matter whether it’s three or four down linemen, the Chiefs will need better effort than what was seen from starter Ron Edwards and reserve Shaun Smith.
And that’s where Kansas City’s draft was curious. Taking Pitt receiver Jon Baldwin in the late first round may have been a reach, but the real problem was leaving two possible fringe first-rounders — North Carolina’s Marvin Austin and Oregon State’s Stephen Paea — on the board when they took Baldwin. There may be options in free agency, or sixth-round pick Jerrell Powe might surprise, but if the Chiefs want to climb to that proverbial next level, they’ll have to find a way to stop the run inside.
I was surprised that the Chiefs decided to pull the trigger on Baldwin in the first-round but not because guys like Austin or Paea were better options rather due to his character issues. From a talent perspective, I would much rather Pioli and Todd Haley take a player that has the potential to be one of the best players in the draft than reach for someone with a much lower ceiling.
With that being said, there is still a very large hole in the middle of the defensive line. Unless Crennel feels that he can start to line up Glenn Dorsey inside more often, the Chiefs will need to bring in at least one veteran to add bulk to the middle.