By Ben Babcock
Offseason Grade: B
The Kansas City Chiefs have put their franchise on the shoulders of Patrick Mahomes. In one of the biggest trades this offseason, the Chiefs sent quarterback Alex Smith to the Redskins for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 3rd round pick. This is very interesting considering Mahomes only played one game in 2017. Andy Reid must’ve seen something in him because they sent out Smith before the playoffs even ended. They followed this up in the offseason by signing veteran QB Chad Henne to backup Mahomes and paid Sammy Watkins big money to upgrade their receiving core. I like the move of bringing in Watkins, he’s a big bodied receiver that can open up space for Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs have a very scary group of receivers now. Travis Kelce is the second best tight end in the league, Hill is one of the fastest if not the fastest wide receiver in the league, Kareem Hunt has proven to be a dangerous two way running back, and they add Sammy Watkins to that. Mahomes has plenty of toys, and if he can’t produce with all of that then the Chiefs will look very stupid.
The other trade they made was on the defensive side, getting rid of some locker room attitude. Trading cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams. Apparently, Peters was a negative locker room presence, but he’s also one of the better young cornerbacks in the league. They got a 2018 4th and a 2019 2nd round pick for him, which is actually great. Kendall Fuller more than replaces Peters though, after a great season in Washington, being ranked as one of the top slot corners in the league by Pro Football Focus. They also signed linebacker Anthony Hitchen to a 5-year deal. Hitchens is a versatile linebacker who’s played all but 4 games in his career. This is a great addition for the Chiefs, who really only have Justin Houston for another top linebacker.
Going into the draft the Chiefs needs are on the offensive line and the defense. The only problem is that they don’t have a 1st rounder this year due to the trade last year that moved them up to the spot where they picked Mahomes. Center, offensive guard, and an edge rusher are some of their bigger needs, followed by defensive backs. None of these are huge needs, they just need to be addressed a little. It depends on what the Chiefs goals are for this season. If you really want to develop Mahomes, then make it as easy as possible for him and upgrade the offensive line. But if you really have faith in Mahomes, add to the defense. I personally don’t think Mahomes has had enough experience, so upgrading the offensive line first would make the most sense. Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in the league so I’m not gonna question him. The Chiefs will still be a strong team in the AFC in 2018, but they do have one of the more competitive conferences so we could see them as a wildcard going into playoffs.