The mantra that continues to echo from the halls of One Arrowhead Drive from Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey is: "we will build this team through the draft."
Though there are still some "big name" free agents still on the market—read: Alex Mack, Knowshon Moreno and Chris Clemons—for the most part the NFL's version of March Madness has come to an end. All 32 teams now have a much clearer picture of what their 2014 roster will look like and may begin truly concentrating on looking ahead to the draft.
The Chiefs are no different in that regard. Though the team wasn't as active in free agency this year as they were last year—much to the chagrin of many Chiefs fans—they treated the signing of unrestricted free agents as ways to fill some much-needed holes, not as a means to build their entire roster. However, heading into the draft, there are still some significant holes to fill on the team.
Dorsey must have a solid draft this year. With the exodus out of Kansas City by five key Chiefs players—left tackle Branden Albert, guards Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz, wide receiver/punt returner Dexter McCluster and defensive end Tyson Jackson—several draft picks must make an immediate impact on opening day of the 2014 season.
This will be much easier said than done. Dorsey only has six draft picks to work with as the Chiefs were not awarded any compensatory picks this year, and he is missing a crucial second-round pick which he traded away to the San Francisco 49ers last year for quarterback Alex Smith. While he will get to make the 23rd overall pick, barring any trading, he won't get another selection until the end of the third round.
All that said, no player will be required to not only contribute, but be a "difference-maker" like the Chiefs' first-round selection. The Chiefs have four main positions of need moving into the draft: pass-rusher, free safety, wide receiver and interior offensive line. In that vein, I took a look at five potential players who could make an immediate impact on the Chiefs roster.