The Kansas City Chiefs released Jamaal Charles a few weeks ago, and that’s when it became noticeable. The Chiefs have a need at running back. Spencer Ware was the number one back in 2016 and had a decent year. Ware’s season total was 921 yards rushing for an average yards-per-carry of 4.3 with three total touchdowns. Three total touchdowns are not something Kansas City is used to out of their top back. Charles even rushed for a touchdown in 2016 and he only rushed for forty yards. With Ware, Charles and Charcandrick West being the main three backs the Chiefs were 15th in the NFL in rushing.
Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Situation
What About Tyreek Hill?
Tyreek Hill even had 24 rushing attempts and scored three touchdowns. Hill is a big-time threat for Kansas City but they can’t rely on him much in the backfield. Hill is a better threat when he can get up to full speed in the open field. The former West Alabama star is 5’10” just like Ware and West. However, he is about 20 pounds lighter than West and needs to bulk up a little bit to take the abusive style hits running backs can take. Even Charles had roughly 200 pounds on him. Hill can be very effective on plays like jet sweeps but he showed most of his big play capabilities as a receiver and a specialist.
Maybe Bring in a Free Agent
The free agency market does have some running backs. However, it is also full of question marks. The best free agent at running back right now is Adrian Peterson. Peterson is 32 years old and might just need a change of scenery to get him going again. The future Hall of Famer might still have some tread left on his tires but he apparently has a steep asking price for a running back at that point of his career. The next best back in free agency could easily be Jamaal Charles. It would be nice if the Chiefs could bring back Charles for a cheap price. This seems unlikely though after Charles spent the last couple of seasons dealing with injury. The fact that Charles is also 30 years old doesn’t help his case either.
The next best few backs are all over 30 but might have things to prove. LeGarrette Blount scored 18 touchdowns in 2016. Of course, he also rushed for just 3.9 yards per carry. Tim Hightower had a couple of solid seasons on the New Orleans Saints. He was quite the feel-good story after being out of the NFL before he got the call from the Saints midway through the 2015 season. Another aging back is DeAngelo Williams who could be a solid backup but not a true starter.
There’s Always the Draft
Andy Reid and company might have to look at the NFL draft for a solid running back. There are a few in this class that could easily become starters next season. Players like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey all are considered potential first round picks. It’s not likely that Kansas City drafts one of these players though. They might easily be gone by the Chiefs first pick at 27 and have other needs as well to look at. They do have ten overall draft picks in 2017 so it is likely that they do waste at least one of these picks on running back. One thing is certain Kansas City will need a running back to step up to take some of the load off Alex Smith in the 2017 season. Smith is not the type of quarterback that can carry a team on his arm alone.