What the Kansas City Chiefs Must Accomplish at the 2013 Scouting Combine
After a disappointing 2-14 season from the Kansas City Chiefs, head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli were let go. In their place are general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid.
A new regime is on board and are already at work evaluating the roster.
Since the Chiefs were the worst team in the NFL in 2012, they have been granted with the No. 1 overall pick. Despite the bad season, it gives the new regime a good opportunity to control the draft.
However, going into the draft, the new regime has a lot it must figure out before making a final decision on what to do with that top pick.
In this slideshow, I will go over what the Chiefs must accomplish at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. As always, chime in with your thoughts.
Direction of the Draft
The Chiefs have three key players who will hit the free agent pool if they are not re-signed. Those players consist of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, offensive tackle Branden Albert and punter Dustin Colquitt.
Among the three, Albert's situation dictates the Chiefs' draft. If Albert leaves, the Chiefs could be forced to go with Luke Joeckel, who is the top rated player entering this draft class.
If Albert is re-signed, this allows the Chiefs to get away from the idea of taking Joeckel and address another big need in the upcoming draft. For a team that went 2-14, the Chiefs have a lot of needs and filling a much of those holes as possible through free agency will benefit them going into April's draft.
If There a Quarterback Worth Taking with the No. 1 Pick
Geno Smith is the front-runner of all quarterbacks in this draft class. But Smith might not be worth taking No. 1 overall. At the same time, it's been 25 years since a quarterback drafted by the Chiefs led the team to a win.
Todd Blackledge, who was taken in the first round of the 1983 NFL draft, was the last quarterback to be drafted by the Chiefs and lead them to a win.
Kansas City have brought in veteran quarterbacks, such as Joe Montana, Rich Gannon, Warren Moon, Trent Green and Matt Cassel.
After seeing how the Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks played with rookie quarterbacks, Chiefs fans would love to see a franchise quarterback help turn around their franchise. Is Smith that quarterback?
Many experts will say no. Dorsey should walk out of the Scouting Combine with a more clear understanding of what the quarterbacks are made out of.
Upgrading Depth at Running Back
Jamaal Charles worked with Thomas Jones for two seasons and Peyton Hillis in 2012. But Hillis does not appear to be making a comeback to Kansas City.
The Chiefs must bring in a running back to play alongside Charles. In a the NFL today, where most running backs struggle if they are on their own, teams try to have a two-back offense.
The Chiefs know what they will get from Charles, but they need a No. 2 running back to help the offense move forward and continue their dominance in the ground game.
If necessary, the Chiefs must take a look at some running backs in the second or third rounds and see if any of them can help Charles in 2013.
If Tavon Austin Can Do What Dexter McCluster Was Expected to Do
Tavon Austin was a dual-threat football player for West Virginia. Opposing teams could not stop nor match his dominance as a rusher, catcher and returner.
But there is one problem.
Austin shined in the Big 12, where defense isn't a strength.
The Chiefs are probably one of many teams interested in Austin. But in order to know for sure what kind of a player he is, the combine gives Dorsey a chance to learn about him a little bit more.
If Austin's dominance during his senior year transfers over to the NFL, the Chiefs might have found a more versatile person than Dexter McCluster.
The Option to Trade
When NFL commissioner steps up to the podium to announce the decision with the first pick, will the Chiefs select a player, or is a trade a possibility?
Depending on what happens with Albert, if Dorsey believes himself that the No. 1 overall pick is not worth using this year, he might trade down and hope a certain player falls to Kansas City's lap with the new pick.
But trading away a pick and hoping someone is passed up on by multiple teams is a risk. With a team that went 2-14, the Chiefs could benefit by using the top pick or gaining multiple picks to help turn around their team.
A Cornerback That Can Play Opposite of Brandon Flowers
Since the Chiefs lost Brandon Carr at cornerback, things haven't gone well.
Stanford Routt only played half a season with the Chiefs and was cut midway through the 2012 season. Jalil Brown and Javier Arenas have shown flashes, but nothing to show anyone that they can be a No. 2 cornerback.
Brandon Flowers has been Kansas City's cornerback since 2008 and had a nice duo with Carr in 2010 and 2011. But now, Flowers is the sole leader and the Chiefs need to change that.
Jordan Poyer, Jamar Taylor and Darius Slay might be available by the time the Chiefs are on the clock in the second round. If Dorsey feels cornerback is a big need, he will evaluate those cornerbacks and perhaps strongly consider them early in the second round.
If the Chiefs Need a Linebacker Early in the Draft
Manti Te'o is coming into the draft as one of the best players in the draft and atop all linebackers this year.
The Chiefs have a good group of linebackers in Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, all who played in the Pro Bowl last month. The Chiefs finished the season with Brandon Siler as the second inside linebacker next to Johnson.
If the Chiefs decide to go with Te'o, or another linebacker who they feel good about, it can only make the linebackers even better and help the defense a lot.
Although some media outlets have dropped Te'o in their rankings due to his recent off the field issues, it shouldn't interfere with how he will do in the NFL.