The Kansas City Chiefs are entering the 2016 NFL Draft with a long list of needs that they should try to address. It has been an interesting offseason for the AFC West to say the least, and the Chiefs have a chance to make a run at the division title.
Andy Reid has seen the Denver Broncos take a big step forward while also seeing the Oakland Raiders make leaps of improvement and the San Diego Chargers stand pat for the most part.
Looking ahead to the 2016 NFL season, the division is wide open. If the Chiefs play their cards right in the draft, they could very well end up being the top team among those four. There is no question that they have a lot of talent on their roster currently, but adding some young pieces that fit into their system will be critical for their success.
At this point in time, the Chiefs hold the No. 28 overall pick in the draft. It is a pick that holds the potential to be a very good player and there are a lot of options for them in that part of the draft as well. Kansas City has always been a very solid team in the draft, but they have to take that to the next level this year and come through with a nearly perfect draft.
That being said, which five prospects could be potential 2016 NFL Draft first-round targets for the Chiefs?
Xavien Howard, Cornerback, Baylor Bears
After seeing Sean Smith leave in free agency this past offseason, the Chiefs have to find some help at the cornerback position. Xavien Howard may not be all that hyped up coming out of Baylor, but he would be a very nice selection for the Chiefs. Last season with the Bears, Howard finished the season with 42 tackles, five interceptions, and 10 defensed passes, which shows why the Chiefs could have an interest in him.
Eli Apple, Cornerback, Ohio State Buckeyes
Keeping with the cornerback position, Eli Apple could be another intriguing prospect for the Chiefs late in the first round. He is a playmaker and would work his way into a role immediately for Kansas City. Apple is going to be a very solid all-around player at the NFL level and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Chiefs give him a chance.
Darron Lee, Outside Linebacker, Ohio State Buckeyes
One need outside of the defensive secondary that the Chiefs have is the outside linebacker position. Darron Lee was a great piece for the Ohio State Buckeyes last season, racking up 66 tackles, 4.5 sacks, an interception, a defensive touchdown, and two forced fumbles. Lee likely won’t be around at No. 28, but the Chiefs could trade up and grab him if they decide the position is a great need.
Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis Tigers
Would taking a quarterback in this year’s draft be a crazy thing for the Chiefs with Alex Smith on the roster? Not at all. No team can make a mistake with bringing in a talented young quarterback to sit back and learn behind a veteran. Lynch would be given a couple of years to develop and could take over for Smith immediately at that point in time.
Josh Doctson, Wide Receiver, TCU Horned Frogs
Perhaps the most intriguing prospect that the Chiefs could target in the draft this offseason is TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson. He caught 79 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns last year with the Horned Frogs. Those numbers show a very small bit of his full potential and the Chiefs could pair him as their No. 2 wide receiver alongside Jeremy Maclin.
Overall, the Chiefs have quite a few options in the draft this offseason. They are going to be one of the more intriguing teams to keep an eye on in the draft and they could end up being a very active team in trade talks. Kansas City has a chance to break out and be a serious playoff contender next season, but it all starts with finding an impact player in the draft.
Who do you think the Kansas City Chiefs should take with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft?
[AP Photo/Ron Jenkins]