The Kansas City Chiefs have 10 picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 27 in the first round April 27 in Philadelphia.
How close are the Chiefs to being truly a Super Bowl contender? That's the question that dogs fans in Kansas City. The Chiefs are strong enough to run off numerous wins in the regular season, but then fall short in the playoffs.
Alex Smith remains the quarterback, and it will be intriguing to see if the general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid believe a too-shelf running back is needed. Jamaal Charles was released, and while Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West have been productive, is it enough to help them win multiple post-season games.
Most notable in the offseason was the re-signing of safety Eric Berry. An under-the-radar addition was defensive lineman Bennie Logan following the departure of Dontari Poe. This remains a talented roster that will get better in the draft.
Here is a look at the Chiefs' five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2016 season. Below that are key personnel moves made this year and the team's current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2017 picks.
FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2012 . .2013 . .2014 . .2015 . .2016
TOTAL PICKS . . . .8 . . . . . .8 . . . . .6 . . . . .9 . . . .9
STARTERS . . . . . .1 . . . . . .2 . . . . .4 . . . . .4 . . . .2
BACKUPS . . . . . .0 . . . . . .1 . . . . .1 . . . . .4 . . . .5
OTHER TEAMS . . .2 . . . . .2 . . . . .0 . . . . .1 . . . .2
OUT OF LEAGUE . .5 . . . . .3 . . . . .1 . . . . .0 . . .0
Top three draft needs
1. Running back: The franchise all-time leading rusher Jamaal Charles is gone after dealing with knee injuries and surgeries over the last two seasons. Spencer Ware came out of nowhere in the second half of the 2015 season, and became the offense's top rusher posting 1,324 yards on 286 carries in 25 games. Ware also contributes in the passing game, catching 39 passes for 452 yards. But his rugged running style diminishes the chances of him being productive over 16 games - he played 14 games in the 2016 season, but over the last 10 games, Ware's longest run was 17 yards. Charcandrick West (1,329 offensive yards in 30 games) and C.J. Spiller are the other options heading into the draft, raising the position to the top of the K.C. list of needs.
2. Cornerback: The Chiefs added four cornerbacks last year, but only one made a significant contribution: free agent Terrance Mitchell, who didn't show up on the active roster until the last week of November. Mitchell became a key contributor in the last quarter of the season and started against Pittsburgh in the playoffs. Among the three others added, rookie Eric Murray was moved to safety and Kenneth Acker and rookie D.J. White saw minimal snaps on defense. In his second NFL season, Steven Nelson did a solid job at slot cornerback, but third-year corner Phillip Gaines was up-and-down, coming off an ACL injury and surgery and appearing in 11 games. Going into his third season, Marcus Peters is one of the top young defensive backs in the league. But for the K.C. defense, it's a big drop in production after Peters.
3. Quarterback: Salary cap considerations led the Chiefs to pass on an option year in backup Nick Foles' contract, leaving the Kansas City offense dangerously thin and inexperienced at the position. For three seasons (2013-15) Chase Daniel was there to back up Alex Smith, and last year it was Foles. Going into the draft, they have Tyler Bray, who has been around the team for four years, but has yet to take a regular-season snap and remains an unknown commodity.
Round and overall pick number listed, along with player, position, school, height, weight and 40-yard dash time. (* - indicates compensatory pick)
1/27: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (6-3, 221, 4.66)
2/59: Quincy Wilson, CB/S, Florida (6-1, 211, 4.54)
3/91: Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida (6-3, 241, 4.62)
3/*104: Deatrich Wise, DL, Arkansas (6-5, 274, 4.92)
4/132: T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina (5-10, 196, 4.37)
5/170: Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State (6-2, 222, 4.56)
5/*180: Zach Banner, OG, USC (6-8, 353, 5.58)
6/*216: Calvin Munson, LB, San Diego State (6-1, 245, 4.71)
6/*218): Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, DT, USC (6-1, 331, 5.25)
7/245: Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan (6-1, 188, 4.59)
Now it's your turn. NFLDraftScout.com is ready to help with its list of the top 1,000 prospects in this draft.
--Frank Cooney and TSX NFL team insiders contributed to this analysis.