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The Perfect Draft: Kansas City Chiefs

Apr 13, 2009 – 3:00 PM
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Dan Graziano

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With the draft approaching, we ignore projections and identify the dream scenario for each team in a series we call The Perfect Draft.

Lots of changes this off-season in Kansas City. New GM, new coach, new quarterback and a new defensive scheme. That last change might be the most significant, as the Chiefs need to change a lot on defense and a switch to the 3-4 might help erase the memory of their 2008 failings. The Chiefs were the worst pass-rushing team in the league, recording just 10 sacks all year. (No other team had fewer than 17.) So, if it's to be a 3-4, you have to think they'll need outside linebackers. Which leads us right into...

The Ideal Pick

Aaron Curry. Yes, the Chiefs already picked up Mike Vrabel in their big deal with the Patriots and signed Zach Thomas over the weekend. No, Curry wasn't a pass rusher in college, which means he might not fit the Chiefs' most pressing defensive need. But Curry is the best all-around defensive player in this draft. He doesn't have much experience as a pass rusher, but he has the physical tools to develop into one, and the consensus is that he's a good, coachable kid who will play within any system in which he finds himself.

The Chiefs' truly ideal scenario may be to trade down and take a more obvious fit (Rey Maualuga, for instance) later in the draft. And there's been some talk lately that they would use this pick to draft a big tackle such as Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe (whichever the Rams don't take right in front of them) to protect new quarterback Matt Cassel. But drafting a left tackle and moving last year's first-rounder, Branden Albert, to right tackle seems like a rearranging-the-deck-chairs kind of move for a team with this many needs. For all the reasons there may be to not like Curry at No. 3, I can't help coming back to the belief that he may be the very best player in this draft, and that the Chiefs would find a way to use him and to give him a chance to develop into an elite pro player.

Other Needs

The Chiefs don't pick again until No. 67 in the third round, having shipped their second-round pick to New England in the trade that brought Vrabel and Cassel. But as the rest of the draft unfolds, Kansas City could look for an interior offensive lineman like Oregon State's Andrew Levitre if he lasts that long, more help at linebacker or in the secondary and maybe even a running back to help replace Larry Johnson, since that relationship looks to be irretrievably broken. Think somebody like Andre Brown, Shonn Greene or Glen Coffee if they go RB early, but more likely somebody like Tennessee State's Javarris Williams if they wait until the late rounds.

Filed under: Sports