Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Off-Season: Top 3 Needs

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KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 13: Linebacker Derrick Johnson #56 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks across the line at quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers during the second half on December 13, 2015 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

The Super Bowl is over and that means the NFL off-season is in full swing. The Kansas City Chiefs had a great 2016 season with them winning the AFC West. They came up short in the playoffs though losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers without giving up a single touchdown.  The off-season debates are heating up with the possibility of Tony Romo going to a team that might be a quarterback away from a Super Bowl run. Alex Smith has his flaws but quarterback is not one the biggest three flaws for the Chiefs as of right now.

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Off-Season: Top 3 Needs

Inside Linebacker

Derrick Johnson went down with a torn Achilles in Week 14 and the defense was never the same. D.J. Alexander showed some promise in the Pro Bowl but it’s hard to really use that game to judge. Ramik Wilson and Alexander both were in their second season so it is hard to gauge how good they could possibly be. This is likely an area that the Chiefs look at in the draft due to the age of the talent at the position. Johnson has suffered the same injury in two out of three seasons. The Chiefs all-time leading tackler isn’t getting younger either so he might not have a lot of seasons left in the tank.

Guard

2016 fourth-round draft pick Parker Ehinger tore his ACL in Week Eight.  The former Cincinnati Bearcat started week one but missed two more games with a concussion. This gives the Chiefs a small sample size of the rookie left guard. Right guard, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, played his third season with the Chiefs and has shown promise each year. Guard is the weak spot, however, when it comes to the offensive line. Mitch Morse has done well at his role at center. Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher have played very well at tackles. When Ehinger went out with his injuries he was replaced by Zach Fulton.  Fulton has since proven that he is not a reliable starter for the Chiefs at guard.

Receiver

It was not that long ago that Dwayne Bowe was the Chiefs number one receiver. Since that time the Chiefs have featured a more improved receiving group lead by Jeremy Maclin. Maclin had over 1,000 yards receiving in 2015 but battled injury all 2016. Travis Kelce lead the Chiefs in receiving yards last season with over 1,100 yards.  Kelce is a Pro Bowl tight end though, so it doesn’t help the receivers outlook. Rookie sensation, Tyreek Hill, led the receivers followed by Maclin. Both had over 500 yards receiving.

Chris Conley also put up 500-plus yards in his second season with Kansas City. The former Georgia Bulldog is showing signs of progress with each season and hopefully has a better 2017 season. Albert Wilson finished out his third season with Kansas City with the lowest number of receiving yards he’s ever had in a Chiefs uniform. De’Anthony Thomas had a whopping 35 yards receiving last season. Thomas has never been the Chiefs biggest receiving threat since he’s used more on special teams. However, Hill’s emergence this season has all but sealed Thomas’ fate with Kansas City.

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