Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Draft: David DeCastro or Luke Kuechly?

Jeremy Sickel@https://twitter.com/JeremySickelContributor IIIApril 26, 2012

SAINT JOSEPH, MO - JULY 31:  General Manager Scott Pioli watches from the sidelines during Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp on July 31, 2011 in Saint Joseph, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With the 11th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select...

Well, that will all depend on who is available. But when you look at the Chiefs' immediate needs and compare it where they are as a football team among the landscape in the AFC West, the obvious choices are either Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro or Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.

After an injury-riddled 2011 season in which they still managed to finish with a 7-9 record (only missing a return trip to the playoffs by two blocked field goals), the Chiefs roster is pretty much intact following some subtle, but significant signings in free agency.

The Chiefs addressed the sensitive right tackle position by luring former Houston Texan Eric Winston. They also addressed depth issues brought upon by key injuries to Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki by signing running back Peyton Hillis and tight end Kevin Boss. In addition to those players, they virtually replaced cornerback Brandon Carr by signing Stanford Routt to prevent a nominal drop off at the position.

The Chiefs were able to take advantage of a soft schedule in 2010 en route to an AFC West Championship. And after finishing in the basement last season, 2012 will present itself in a similar way.

With numerous successful drafts in place since 2008, the Chiefs are now afforded the luxury of being able to be selective rather than needing to fill more holes than they have draft picks. So instead of being forced to stretch, which increases the chances of missing on certain players, the Chiefs can fill specific needs to fill out the depth chart.

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Sure, the Chiefs have multiple areas to address, but what team doesn't? Defensive line is always an area where every team looks toward the draft to fill its needs. And more precise to the Chiefs, they should look at interior offensive line, middle linebacker and the defensive backfield.

However, the direction that the Chiefs can go to make the most immediate impact would be offensive guard and inside linebacker. And in this draft, there are two names that stick out—DeCastro and Kuechly. It will all hinge on whether either or both of these players are available to the Chiefs with the 11th pick, but it would be a huge mistake if either is passed on by Scott Pioli and Co.

DeCastro might make the most sense for the Chiefs because it fills out their offensive line and could bring their running game back to relevance. He is rated as the top guard in the draft and has no major weaknesses.

Drafting DeCastro to play alongside Branden Albert and Winston would refresh memories of the Chiefs' offensive line in the early 2000s that featured Will Shields, Willie Roaf and Brian Waters.

Kuechly, who is considered the top linebacker in the draft, would not only elevate the play of the Chiefs' linebacking unit, but specifically Derrick Johnson.

Kuechly thrives on instinct and always ends plays around the ball. Complementing the middle with him would allow Johnson to do what he does best—make plays. Having two guys like that on the inside also opens up the edge for Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to pressure the quarterback.

If both DeCastro and Kuechly are there when the Chiefs hit the clock, they will have a tough decision to make. However, unlike in years past, drafting either will make a lot of people happy in and around the organization.

Contact Jeremy at jeremy@popflyboys.com, on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy and read more at popflyboys.com.