29, 30. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (14-6)
LAST SEASON: The Chiefs were 3-4 at the end of October before ripping off eight straight wins to help claim a record sixth consecutive AFC West title. After beating Pittsburgh and winning a thriller against Buffalo in overtime to begin the playoffs, the Chiefs lost to Cincinnati in their fourth consecutive trip to the AFC title game. Patrick Mahomes had another spectacular season under center, Travis Kelce broke more records at tight end and Tyreek Hill — who has since been traded to Miami — set the club record for yards receiving in a season. The defense struggled early in the year and again in the playoffs, though, and the biggest problem was a near-total inability to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
FREE AGENCY/TRADES: Traded Hill to Miami for package of draft picks, giving Chiefs two apiece in each of first four rounds. Placed franchise tag on LT Orlando Brown Jr. Lost FSs Tyrann Mathieu and Armani Watts, WRs Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, C Austin Blythe, CBs Charvarius Ward and CB Mike Hughes, DT Jarran Reed. Released LB Anthony Hitchens. Signed WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, FSs Justin Reid and Deon Bush, LBs Elijah Lee and Jermaine Carter Jr., OL Geron Christian, RB Ronald Jones II, DL Taylor Stallworth.
THEY NEED: WR, CB, DE, LB, TE.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, LB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Arkansas WR Treylon Burks; Minnesota DE Boye Mafe; Michigan S Daxton Hill.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs have extra draft capital for the first time since GM Brett Veach took over five years ago. Given he is among the most aggressive front-office execs in the NFL, look for Kansas City to package picks to move up or down based on who is available. One example would be trading up to snag Alabama WR Jameson Williams in the top 15, even though he’s expected to miss about half the season after tearing his ACL in the national championship game. The Chiefs also could use CB help after losing Ward to the 49ers in free agency. As it stands, Kansas City has 12 selections thanks to the picks acquired from the Dolphins in the Hill trade and a couple of compensatory selections.
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