Winless Chiefs on Their Way to Another Top Five Pick in 2010
The 2009 Kansas City Chiefs have lost of 28 of their last 30 games, tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the most futile stretch in league history.
In addition to being well on their way to a third straight losing season, it is also becoming more and more likely that the Chiefs will have a top five draft choice for a third straight season.
Assuming Kansas City continues its losing ways, the question that will increasingly be on the minds of Chiefs' fans is, "Who will GM Scott Pioli target with the Chiefs' first-round pick in next April's draft?"
This team has so many holes to fill that an argument could be made that an upgrade could be made at almost any position. It will be quite interesting to see what Pioli does with the team's first and second-round picks.
So in a time when watching these Chiefs play on Sundays has become unbearable for many, let's take a look at a list of college players to watch on Saturdays that could help this team in 2010.
OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
There's no question that the Chiefs are in desperate need of offensive line help. Okung, a senior left tackle for the Cowboys, could step in immediately at right tackle for the Chiefs and challenge Branden Albert at the left tackle position.
Okung is quick, strong, and athletic at 6'6" and 305 lbs. and has been known to have a mean streak similar to former first-round pick Jake Long.
A starter since midway through his freshman year, Okung has played exceptionally well in big games and against top pass rushers like Brian Orakpo and Greg Middleton.
Okung will likely be the first or second tackle off the board in April's draft.
DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
The Chiefs have looked to improve their defensive line in the first round the past two seasons, using their picks to select Glenn Dorsey in 2008 and Tyson Jackson in 2009.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they still don't have a monster presence on their line who can consistently put pressure on the quarterback.
If Pioli can somehow figure out a way to shore up the team's offensive woes without using his first-round pick on an offensive lineman, he could take a big step in making his defense dominant again by drafting Suh.
Suh, who would likely move to end in a 3-4 scheme, established himself with a strong 2008 season and has drawn comparisons to someone Pioli is familiar with in Richard Seymour.
Thus far in 2009, Suh has continued his dominance over the competition.
For Suh's efforts in Nebraska's 27-12 win this week over the Missouri Tigers, he was awarded the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honor for his six tackles, forced fumble, pass deflection, and key fourth quarter interception that sparked Nebraska's improbable comeback.
SS Taylor Mays, USC
The Chiefs secondary has had issues at each of the safety positions the past several seasons, prompting Pioli to sign aging veteran Mike Brown to start at strong safety this season.
Brown, who struggles in coverage and isn't what he once was in run support, cannot be the starter in 2010 if this defense is going to improve.
Enter Mays, who has started all but one game as a Trojan. Blessed with rare size and speed (6'3", 230 lbs.; 4.2 in the 40-yard dash), Mays is most often compared to the late Sean Taylor.
By drafting Mays, Pioli would give defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast a ball-hawking safety to go with his two young corners Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.
OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Like Okung, if the Chiefs choose Oklahoma offensive tackle Trent Williams, he would likely line up and start at tackle for the Chiefs in 2010.
Unlike Okung, however, Williams will almost certainly be playing right tackle in the pros.
After three seasons at right tackle for the Sooners, Williams was moved to left tackle in this, his senior season. In his first game at the position against BYU, he failed to adjust to an inside linebacker blitz that resulted in quarterback Sam Bradford being knocked out of action for a month.
An excellent run blocker at 6'5" and 308 lbs., it's possible that the team that drafts him could move him inside to guard if he can't handle edge pass rushers at the next level.
No matter what position you see Williams playing in the NFL, he'd be an upgrade for this Chiefs unit.
Best of the Rest
SS Eric Berry, Tennessee
While he doesn't have the same size and speed that Mays does, Berry makes plays and isn't afraid to support the run. He entered this, his junior season, needing just 15 interception return yards to break the NCAA record held by Terrell Buckley.
ILB Brandon Spikes, Florida
He draws comparisons to his cousin, San Francisco linebacker Takeo Spikes. In the past two seasons, Spikes has racked up 224 tackles, including 24 for a loss. A consensus All-American, he is the leader of the Gators defense.
DT Terrence Cody, Alabama
Cody is massive at 6'5" and 365 lbs., exactly what the Chiefs need in the middle of their 3-4 defense. Because of his size and strength, Cody draws constant double teams and creates such a pile in the middle of the line that opposing backs can't run the ball inside.