Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Players Who Could Be Franchise Cornerstones by 2014
With over a month left until Kansas City Chiefs training camp officially kicks off, I've decided to step aside and look at potential franchise cornerstones for this organization in the coming years.
By definition, a franchise cornerstone is a player that a team can build around.
Right now, KC has several players that you could label as "cornerstones" in running back Jamaal Charles, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson and defensive backs Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry.
Without further ado, here are five other Chiefs who could become franchise cornerstones at their respective positions by 2014.
QB Ricky Stanzi
Many have already tabbed second-year QB Ricky Stanzi has the potential QBOTF for this franchise.
Current starter Matt Cassel recently turned 30, and he could be playing his way out of Kansas City if he struggles this season.
This, of course, knocks the door wide open for Stanzi to take over the job for good.
At 6'4", 230 pounds, the former Iowa Hawkeye certainly has NFL size for a quarterback, and he is also known for his accuracy.
Time will tell if Stanzi can become a franchise cornerstone for this team and effectively end the streak of sub-par play from the quarterback position for this organization.
WR Jonathan Baldwin
Behind Pro-Bowler Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin is easily the most talented wide receiver on this team right now.
He stands 6'5" tall, and has enough speed to get behind defenses, as he showed in his only touchdown of his rookie year last season.
If he can start making more plays like that, he will be a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs around the league.
This is what the Chiefs envisioned when they took Baldwin with their first-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, thinking that he had enough potential to become a franchise wide receiver for the Chiefs in the future.
Before he gets there, the Pennsylvania native will need to take a big step forward this season.
If OTA performances are any indication, he seems well on his way to accomplishing that feat.
C Rodney Hudson
It's not often that centers get the label of franchise cornerstone in today's NFL.
However, this could be the case with Chiefs' center Rodney Hudson in a couple years.
The former Florida State star played behind veteran Casey Weigmann last year, but he is now ready to step into the spotlight for Kansas City this season.
He also has everything that a team would want in a cornerstone player, as he has high football IQ, is very strong, has solid technique and is a winner.
Now it's time for Hudson to show the Chiefs that he can be that kind of player for them on the gridiron for this season and beyond.
DT Dontari Poe
Former Memphis Tiger Dontari Poe was selected by Kansas City in the first round of this year's draft in order to help shore up their nose tackle position.
At 6'4", 348 pounds and 4.98-second 40-meter dash speed, it would appear that he has all the right measurables for a starting NFL defensive tackle these days.
Already drawing comparisons to All-Pro DT Haloti Ngata, it appears that the sky is the limit—assuming he doesn't bust.
He also has a lot of talent that is waiting to be unlocked by this Chiefs' coaching staff in the coming years.
He could very well be a cornerstone of this defense, if he lives up to the hype.
OLB Justin Houston
The second of two defenders who I have listed as possible franchise cornerstones is outside linebacker Justin Houston.
Houston is ready to take the NFL by storm in his second season in the league after a solid rookie campaign, where he racked up 5.5 sacks for KC's defense.
However, what was more impressive for Houston last year was how well he played against the run toward the end of the season.
If he can continue to develop into a more all-around linebacker for this team, he has a good chance to be an elite-level OLB in the NFL.