The Kansas City Chiefs went 12-4 and won the AFC West a year ago. The defense allowed just 311 , No. 7 in the NFL. But the defense is far from elite and offensively the Chiefs' 389 points scored ranked No. 13 overall.
Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chiefs had needs on both sides of the ball but rather than choose a player that has a great chance to help them for the entirety of the 2017 season, they traded up to No. 10 overall to select Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes II.
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Mahomes may eventually become worth the pick, but for this season, that decision cost the Chiefs a shot at the Super Bowl, perhaps for the next TWO seasons.
Kansas City entered the draft with pick No. 27 in Round 1. They dealt that pick, and their 2018 first-round pick, to move up to No. 10 to select Mahomes. The help-immediately talent they could have selected instead includes cornerback Marshon Lattimore, safety Malike Hooker, pass-rushing linebacker Haasao Reddick, Alabama star DE Jonathan Allen, middle linebacker Jarrad Davis and edge defenders Tak McKinley and Taco Charlton.
Now, perhaps a few of those D-linemen didn't fit the Chiefs' scheme and weren't ever going to be the Chiefs' choice. What about Jabrill Peppers? Reuben Foster? Both of those two, and Charlton, could have been had without having to trade up from No. 27.
Mahomes clearly is the future at QB for the Chiefs. But what are the chances he takes the starting job from Alex Smith this season? Probably closer to zero percent than 10 percent, and Smith is guaranteed $10.8 million in '17.
So, why are the Chiefs doomed for the next TWO years?
1. Unless Mahomes is Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston or better (he's not), the team's QB productions isn't going to improve enough for the next two years to make up the difference in impact another player in the '17 draft very likely would have.
2. The Chiefs can't make up for it next year's draft without turning into the Patriots or Seahawks, since they don't have a first-round pick, thanks to the deal with Buffalo to move to No. 10.
But what about the Chiefs' other picks and moves?
So, second-round pick Tanoh Kpassagnon is going to play regularly from the get-go? Who's job is he taking? Third-rounder Kareem Hunt may be a factor, but how much more effective can the running game be?
The vast majority of the rest of KC's offseason was about retaining what they had in safety Eric Berry and the offensive line. They didn't add a playmaker at receiver. The pass rush isn't markedly better on paper — Chiefs were 28th in the NFL in sacks with 28 and No. 31 in sack percentage (4.5), ahead of only the Raiders.
Tamba Hali is 33 and his production has faded — 16 sacks combined the past three seasons –and Justin Houston has played just 16 games the past two years and is at least a bit of a question mark.
It's a white hot take, but the Chiefs killed their Super Bowl chances until at least the 2019 season by passing on so many better talents that could fill needs and make a big impact right away to add their future quarterback to the roster.
See you in South Florida in two and a half years, Chiefs fans?