Year in and year out, Kansas City's roster reveals an annual void at defensive end. Former No. 3 overall pick Tyson Jackson began showing signs of promise in his last six games of 2012.
Due to injuries, ex-head coach Romeo Crennel began utilizing Jackson in various pass-rushing subsets. And for the first time in Jackson's NFL career, he was applying consistent quarterback pressure (at least by Kansas City's standards). With a year left on Jackson's contract, he's a virtual lock to stay on the team.
Glenn Dorsey, however, will likely find a new home in 2013. He battled injuries throughout the second half of last season and, like Jackson, nosedived while trying to reach his pre-draft expectations.
With No. 72 out of the picture, the Chiefs will look to upgrade the position. Kansas City could address the need in the second round of the draft, especially if a talent like Sam Montgomery falls in its lap. (Good luck in selling the fanbase on another LSU defensive lineman, though.)
The smartest choice would be to tackle the issue via free agency. Paul Kruger emerged as a feared edge rusher during starter Terrell Suggs' injury-induced absence.
His statistics have drastically improved in each of his past three seasons as he has become acclimated to the professional game. The Ravens' up-and-comer accounted for nine sacks, one interception and one forced fumble last year.
In order for Kruger to be considered as a premiere defensive end, he will need to continue working on his awareness against the run and sharpen his timing at the snap. But while doing so, he still remains an edge-rushing nightmare and will demand less money than other headlining (potential) defensive ends.
Assuming that Andy Reid repeats his trend of implementing 4-3 defenses, Kruger would be asked to make the jump from outside linebacker to defensive end.