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Monday, December 26, 2011
Early draft look: Chiefs

By Bill Williamson

Now that the Kansas City Chiefs have been eliminated from playoff contention, it’s time to look ahead. Let’s take an early look at the Chiefs’ draft needs:

Likely drafting range: 10-15

Top draft needs: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, safety.

Possible first-round picks: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin, Iowa tackle Riley Reiff, Boston college linebacker Luke Kuechly, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Intangibles: Standout receiver Dwayne Bowe and cornerback Brandon Carr are free agents. The Chiefs have been aggressive in re-signing players under general manager Scott Pioli. The fact that these players aren’t signed may be a signal there will be issues. If they do leave, draft needs could change. Still, I doubt either player’s departure would change the Chiefs’ first-round needs. Kansas City drafted Jonathan Baldwin in the first round this year and Carr is the second cornerback. But their departures would add to the Chiefs’ need list.