The Kansas City Chiefs won the division last season and had the second best record in the AFC before losing in the divisional round. The made the playoffs in two of the previous three years and have an ascending roster.
The Chiefs have had four straight winning seasons without the luxury of a franchise quarterback. They hired Andy Reid following a two-win season in 2012 and have amassed a 43-21 record since.
Here are the three best moves and the worst one made by the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason.
#1. Drafting their heir apparent to Alex Smith
As mentioned above Smith, is not a quarterback that elevates a roster from mediocre to good or good to great. But, he is still a big part of the team’s success.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick came to the Chiefs during the same offseason as Reid. The two have helped the Chiefs become one of the better teams in the AFC.
The NFL is a quarterback driven league and the teams that have one succeed while the ones that don’t keep trying to find one.
Smith is now 33-years-old and is signed for two more years. With those two things in mind, the Chiefs traded up in the first round to get his heir apparent.
Patrick Mahomes is a talent quarterback, but he is the opposite of Smith. Both athletic, but Smith excels getting the ball out quickly and accurately while Mahomes is a gunslinger with a strong arm.
If Mahomes can get the mental aspect of the game to match his physical talent, the Chiefs have a long-time franchise quarterback.
#2. Signing Bennie Logan
Logan is not a flashy player with just 5.5 sacks and 163 tackles in four seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles. However, he is very good at controlling the line of scrimmage and stopping the run. His true value does not show up in the statistics. His addition may be enough to give the Chiefs one of the better defenses in the league.
#3. Thinning out the running backs a little bit
Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis all were on the Chiefs roster last season. Davis was let go during the year and Charles was released in the offseason. Only one running back can get the ball at a time. The Chiefs had to narrow the list down this offseason.
They got down to Ware and West, but added another during the draft. It is a little different having two veterans and a rookie as opposed to three veterans. Third round draft pick Kareem Hunt will likely be the primary ball carrier of the future, but in the meantime Ware and West can carry the load.
The worst: Weakening an already weak wide receiver group by releasing Jeremy Maclin
Maclin was one of the team’s top wide receiver last season. Tyreek Hill supplanted him as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, but no one else matched Maclin’s production.
The Chiefs will go into the 2017 season with Hill, Chris Conley, De’Anthony Thomas and Albert Wilson as the top receivers. Conley is the only one 5-feet-10-inches tall. He and the 5-feet-10-inch Hill should be the top outside receivers. Thomas and Wilson, both 5-feet-9-inches tall, are better slot receivers. Fourth round draft pick Jehu Chesson has the size and big play ability to replace Maclin, but he needs some developmental time.
The Chiefs are going to struggle to push the ball down the field this season. Getting yards in large chunks could be the team’s undoing.