Kansas City Chiefs: Players Wanted, Positions Available

Dena CrutcherCorrespondent IApril 9, 2009

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Rey Maualuga #58 of the USC Trojans yells during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the 95th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi on January 1, 2009 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

After a dismal season prior to the 2009 draft, the Kansas City Chiefs have the third overall draft pick. This year’s draft could prove very promising for the Chiefs.

After acquiring quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel from the New England Patriots in March for a little bit of nothing, the Chiefs' staff strengthened both the offense and defense.

Unfortunately, there are still several holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

Kansas City has struggled with the defense for nearly 10 years after the loss of Derrick Thomas.

Hopefully, Glenn Dorsey, acquired in the first round at pick number five of the 2008 draft, will be able to step into that position solidly with the looming possibility of a transition to a 3-4 defensive scheme under new head coach Todd Haley.

Currently, some of the needs for the Chiefs team include center, offensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback and safety. The team has been called “Swiss cheese” on the field, and at times during the last two seasons it has certainly felt that way.

With the the NFL Combine long gone and the Draft only days away, Chief fans begin to wonder what positions will be filled and who will have the honor of wearing the Red and Gold.

I’m certain that our new general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley have been steadily preparing for their first draft as members of the Chiefs organization.

The 2009 Draft marks the first draft for the Chiefs without former general manager Carl Peterson in 20 years. Fans expect high quality from Pioli and Haley after some of Peterson's blunders in past drafts; and with the addition of Cassel and Vrabel for next to nothing, they have already started delivering.

Some of the more notable names that have been tossed around include defensive ends Everette Brown from FSU and Brian Orakpo from Texas, offensive tackle Jason Smith from Baylor, and linebackers Aaron Curry from Wake Forest, James Laurinaitis from Ohio State, and Rey Maualuga from USC.

Will any of those pan out? We’ll have to wait until the draft kicks off later this month.

The question also arises: Will Kansas City trade down in the first round?

If they decide to remain with the third overall pick, I look for them to pass on Curry if he is still available.

Why not Curry you ask? Curry was heavily vetted by the Detroit Lions, who have the first pick of this year’s draft, during the combine and it would be surprising to see him not go to them.  

Even though he has excellent talent, if the Chiefs decide to switch to the 3-4 defense he would struggle thanks to his poor pass-rushing ability. His gifts would be better used in a 4-3 scheme.

If the Chiefs trade down, I see them grabbing Rey Maualuga.

Are you rolling your eyes or screaming at your computer screen yet?

Here’s the main reason why I say Maualuga in the first round. Rey is a solid pass rusher. The Chiefs are in dire need of a rock when it comes to the pass rush.

This past season we didn't just trip, we fell...extremely short on pass defense. That is one of the main problems I feel needs to be addressed in the upcoming draft. 

Kansas City fans need something to believe in again. Fan morale has hit a new low in the past couple of seasons and I look for the duo of Pioli and Haley to restore the fans' faith in their team.

Pioli is known for finding gems in later rounds in the draft, and I doubt this year will be any different. Look for him to pick up a plethora of gifted athletes.

A new era has begun in Kansas City, so bring on the draft and bring on spring training. Let’s see if this new staff can get this diamond of a franchise shining again.