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2014 NFL Draft Needs: Kansas City Chiefs

Clay Link

Clay Link

Hailing from Arcanum, Ohio, Clay is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He began writing for RotoWire in the fall of 2011, and now contributes to breaking news and NFL Draft content, in addition to his duties as assistant baseball editor.

Areas of Need

1. Wide Receiver

Jamaal Charles not only rushed for 1,287 yards in 2013, he also led the team in every major receiving category, with 693 yards and seven touchdowns through the air. He had 13 more receptions than Dwayne Bowe, the team's second-leading receiver, and while Charles will remain the focal point of the offense next season, the team needs another playmaker to ease his burden. Donnie Avery has speed but isn't the legitimate, outside threat Kansas City needs to get over the hump, and Dexter McCluster is a free agent.

2. (3-4) Inside Linebacker

With Akeem Jordan coming off the books, the Chiefs figure to take the opportunity to upgrade at inside linebacker during the draft. Derrick Johnson is still playing at a high level, but the Chiefs need another good open-field tackler at linebacker, with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali handling blitzing duties frequently. As daunting as the Chiefs defense was at times last season, it actually ranked in the bottom third in the league against the run, with a 4.5 opponent YPC average.

3. Safety

Eric Berry is an All-Pro, but Kansas City's vulnerability on the back end became painfully obvious in the team's Wild Card collapse in Indianapolis. Kendrick Lewis is a free agent and a replacement-level talent, so it's hard to imagine he'll be back. Pairing another well-rounded athlete up with Berry, while protecting Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith along the corners, would shore up an already outstanding defensive unit and help eliminate those back-breaking big plays.

Potential Targets

1. Wide Receiver

First round
-Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State (6-5, 235)
-Odell Beckham, LSU (5-11, 193)

Second and third rounds
-Brandin Cooks, Oregon State (5-10, 190)
-Allen Robinson, Penn State (6-3, 210)
-Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (6-1, 190)
-Paul Richardson, Colorado (6-1, 170)
-Martavis Bryant, Clemson (6-4, 200)
-Mike Davis, Texas (6-0, 193)

Fourth round and later
-TJ Jones, Notre Dame (6-0, 195)
-Devin Street, Pittsburgh (6-3, 195)
-Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley (6-2, 210)
-Cody Latimer, Indiana (6-2, 215)
-Kevin Norwood, Alabama (6-2, 195)

2. (3-4) Inside Linebacker

First round
-C.J. Mosley, Alabama (6-2, 232)

Second and third rounds
-Chris Borland, Wisconsin (6-0, 245)
-Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut (6-3, 236)
-Shayne Skov, Stanford (6-2, 245)
-Christian Jones, Florida State (6-4, 234)

Fourth round and later
-Lamin Barrow, LSU (6-1, 229)
-DeDe Lattimore, South Florida (6-0, 237)
-Preston Brown, Louisville (6-1, 262)
-Jeremiah George, Iowa State (5-11, 231)

3. Safety

First round
-Calvin Pryor, Louisville (6-2, 210)

Second and third rounds
-Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (6-0, 205)
-Terrence Brooks, Florida State (5-11, 200)
-Dion Bailey, USC (6-0, 200)

Fourth round and later
-Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt (6-0, 205)
-Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5-11, 195)
-Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech (5-10, 190)
-Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State (6-2, 199)