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Kansas City Chiefs 2014 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Turning two wins into 11 seems like a pretty significant achievement for Kansas City but a lot of the goodwill from that turnaround, which was architected by veteran coach Andy Reid, vanished during an ugly playoff implosion against the Indianapolis Colts.
Reid and his hand-picked general manager John Dorsey enter their second season in the Show Me State facing a much more difficult task. Kansas City isn't going to sneak up on anybody in 2014 and the last-place schedule is a thing of the past.
Another postseason run is certainly possible but only if some obvious needs can be addressed in the draft, most notably at wide receiver and on the offensive line where last year's top overall pick, tackle Eric Fisher, was a bit of a disappointment.
Quarterback Alex Smith gets a lot of criticism for being a game manager and failing to push the ball down the field, but one of the major reasons he didn't last season was because the Chiefs lacked a consistent downfield threat outside the numbers to pop the top on opposing defenses.
Picking at No. 23 means Kansas City could have a number of options with players like LSU's Odell Beckham Jr., Southern Cal's Marqise Lee or Oregon State speedster Brandin Cooks.
Beckham is the type of dynamic athlete who should be able to stretch a defense in time and offers a little more size than Cooks, a flat-out burner. Lee is a more polished prospect coming in but doesn't offer the kind of big- play ceiling the Chiefs will be looking for.
"(Andy Reid) likes to have guys that can stretch the field on the outside on offense, and with the depth we have at receiver in this draft, I would be shocked if there's not somebody there he thinks he could plug in that could really take the top off of their defense," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "I think (adding a receiver) is going to benefit their running game tremendously, going to open things up in that offense."
Contingency plans could include UCLA offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Fil or a potential difference-maker at safety like Northern Illinois thumper Jimmie Ward
2013 Record: 11-5
Top Needs: WR, OL, DE, S
First Three Picks: No. 23, No. 87, No. 124
Number of Selections: 6 (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6)
CALLING THE SHOTS: Dorsey and Reid first worked together in Green Bay during the late 1990s and share the power here. The fact that they were able to immediately turn Kansas City around from the worst season in franchise history speaks to how competent each is.
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2013 - Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan); 2012 - Dontari Poe (NT, Memphis); 2011 - Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh); 2010 - Eric Berry (S, Tennessee); 2009 - Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU); 2008 - Glenn Dorsey (DT, LSU), Branden Albert (OT, Virginia); 2007 - Dwayne Bowe (WR, LSU); 2006 - Tamba Hali (DE, Penn State); 2005 - Derrick Johnson (LB, Texas); 2004 - none; 2003 - Larry Johnson (RB, Penn State).
05/02 12:33:28 ET