The Kansas City Chiefs have transformed as an organization in recent years.
The legendary Lamar Hunt passed and his family has taken over the franchise. Arrowhead Stadium underwent a renovation. The business and marketing side of the organization has been revitalized by some brilliant hires.
The football side was also shaken up with the hiring of former Patriots personnel exec Scott Pioli as general manager and head coach Todd Haley in 2009. After a 4-12 season in 2009, Pioli and the offensive-minded Haley helped the Chiefs offense improve from 23rd in points to 14th in points in 2010. The defense also made a jump from 29th in points allowed in 2009 to 11th in 2010. The results also showed in the win-loss column where the Chiefs finished 10-6 and won the AFC West.
Primed to be one of the up-and-coming teams in 2011, injuries knocked the Chiefs down a notch. The Chiefs lost quarterback Matt Cassel, running back Jamaal Charles, tight end Tony Moeaki and safety Eric Berry last season. Haley was fired mid-season and replaced by defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Kansas City ended Green Bay's undefeated season and finished a respectable 7-9, which earned Crennel the full-time head coach gig in 2012.
Without Charles, an electrifying back, the Chiefs offense struggled and finished 31st in the league in points scored. The defense was steadfast finishing 12th in points allowed.
At this point in the draft, the Chiefs could go in a number of directions. On offense, the line would be the most important place in need of an upgrade. Either Riley Reiff from Iowa or Stanford guard David DeCastro would make sense, maybe DeCastro more so since the Chiefs signed Eric Winston to start at right tackle this offseason.
With the way the fan mock draft has unfolded thus far, don't be surprised to see if defense is the way the Chiefs go. The Chiefs have spent premium first-round picks in recent years on defensive ends Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey. Neither has been outstanding. Jackson just restructured his contract and reportedly took a pay cut. The Chiefs could envision Dontari Poe or Michael Brockers as an upgrade along the defensive line.
The Chiefs could have been intrigued by Luke Kuechly if he was still on the board. With him gone, the Chiefs could look for an edge rusher in their 3-4 scheme in the mold of either Melvin Ingram of South Carolina or Alabama's Courtney Upshaw to pair up with Tamba Hali. The Chiefs signed Stanford Routt at cornerback, but lost Brandon Carr to the Cowboys. South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore could compete for a starting job right away or learn for a year and take over in 2013.
There are a number of good players available with the 11th overall pick. Which player will be selected? That choice is up to you.
1. Indianapolis – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
2. Washington – QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
3. Minnesota -- OT Matt Kalil, USC
4. Cleveland - RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland
5. Tampa Bay - CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
6. St. Louis - WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.
7. Jacksonville - WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
8. Miami - QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
9. Carolina - DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State
10. Buffalo - LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
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