Kansas City Chiefs' Biggest Needs in Free Agency and NFL Draft

Max Staley
AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire

Cover Photo: Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs were only a couple of plays away from advancing to the Super Bowl in Patrick Mahomes' first year as a starter. While the future certainly looks bright, the offseason has not been kind to Kansas City.

The Chiefs lost their two best pass rushers, Justin Houston and Dee Ford, and their most explosive playmaker, Tyreek Hill, is caught up in an off-field incident.

If Kansas City wants to remain a true contender in the AFC, it will need to round out this roster with solid role players. With that said, let's take a look at the Chiefs' biggest remaining needs this offseason.

Frankly, this entire defense needs an overhaul, but the Chiefs' most pressing need is pass rusher. After trading Ford to the San Francisco 49ers, and letting Houston sign with Indianapolis, the Chiefs are letting a combined 22.0 sacks from last season walk out the door.

The Chiefs still have Chris Jones, who is a dominant interior force, but signing a veteran like Ndamukong Suh could be a good way to bolster this pass-rushing unit.

Alternatively, Kansas City could look for some defensive lineman in the NFL Draft. If he's available with the No. 29 selection, Kansas City could grab Clemson's Dexter Lawrence to pair with Jones on the interior, or they could snag another Clemson standout, Clelin Ferrell, who projects as more of a pure pass rusher.

If the Chiefs loss to the New England Patriots taught us anything, it's that they need to improve their run defense. The Patriots flat-out abused the Chiefs' linebackers, rushing for 177 yards and four touchdowns. The Chiefs could target Alabama's Mack Wilson in the second or third round, as he looks like an NFL-ready player who can contribute from day one.

Kansas City could also take a flier on a veteran linebacker in free agency like NaVorro Bowman, and hope he's able to stay healthy. Bowman would likely come cheaply, and he can still make an impact when he's on the field.

The Chiefs also need to address their secondary after losing cornerback Steven Nelson in free agency. The Chiefs signed safety Tyrann Mathieu to a 3-year, $42 million deal, but the Honey Badger needs help, particularly at cornerback.

At this point, the Chiefs best option is probably to draft a corner. Someone like Georgia's DeAndre Baker, or LSU's Greedy Williams could both be there toward the back end of the first round, and they both look like great fits for this defense.

As for the offense, the Chiefs primary concern should be to protect Mahomes, especially after losing center Mitch Morse in free agency. If Kansas City elects to address its offensive line in the first round, Garrett Bradbury looks like a great option. But the Chiefs could also wait until the second round and hope Erik McCoy slips to pick No. 61.

All in all, with Mahomes leading the way, the Chiefs should be really competitive for a long time. But if the Chiefs want to take the next step and knock off the Patriots, they'll need to address a lot of holes on their defense.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.