The Chiefs obviously have quite a bit of work to do before they're going to be landing in the top ten of any power rankings. However, that doesn't mean they're not making progress at a few positions.
Here are five positions the Chiefs have to be feeling pretty good about right now. They're ranked on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being the position the Chiefs should feel the best about and 5 being the position they should feel the, uh, fifth best about.
The Chiefs aren't quite stacked at cornerback, but they're on their way.
Brandon Flowers is on the cusp of becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback after just two seasons. He fits the Todd Haley mold by playing hurt most of the season (but got a break sitting out OTAs this year) on a bum shoulder. He's also working on a minuscule contract as a second round pick so he truly is a bargain.
Brandon Carr is a step behind Flowers but still a solid cornerback. Like Flowers, he's just a two-year vet.
With Flowers and Carr, the Chiefs need to only worry about backup help at cornerback.
2. Running back
Running backs are usually a dime-a-dozen since it's the offensive line that makes them great (See: Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson) but Jamaal Charles burst onto the scene in the second half of the 2009 season behind a below average (at best) offensive line. He has something you can't teach, which is speed. He may not last very long but for the next couple of seasons, he's the man.
He's currently in the backfield with Thomas Jones, who won't be a long-term player for the Chiefs. He'll take some of the carries away to preserve Charles for the long run and provide a solution in short-yardage situation and grind-it-out situations.
While this isn't as secure as, say the cornerback position, the Chiefs have to be feeling pretty good about the future of their guards.
On the left side, they've got the Pro Bowler, Brian Waters. Not much has to be said here. When Waters is in the game, he'll be arguably the best player on the line. He doesn't have a ton of time left in the league so it's important they have a replacement for him.
Enter Jon Asamoah. He was a 2010 draft pick by the Chiefs and, while we haven't seen much from him in OTAs, he figures to be part of the future. He's a third round pick so that's fairly high for a guard. The Chiefs must think highly of him.
On the right side, the Chiefs have Ryan Lilja, who was most recently cut by the Colts. A guy that's just been cut usually isn't part of the future but once you dig a little deeper, you realize he might just be. Lilja, once a Chief, was cut by the Colts because they were going bigger. The Chiefs, on the other hand, prefer smaller, more athletic lineman, which describes Lilja well.
4. Defensive end
A little strange to include a group that's received a lot of criticism? True, but these guys do have a good future ahead of them.
On one side, you've got Glenn Dorsey who will be entering his third year in the league with his third defensive coordinator and his second defense (4-3 and two variations of the 3-4). He made progress last year -- it's hard to tell that in a 3-4 defense -- and figures to make another leap this year. It'll help when he comes into training camp in good shape and doesn't have to miss nearly a week trying to pass a conditioning test.
On the other side is Tyson Jackson. He was the third overall pick in the 2009 draft and, while he wasn't a playmaker in year one by anyone's account, figures to make strides. His ranking here is based more on potential than anything. Scott Pioli does a good job of scouting defensive linemen early in the draft so you've gotta feel confident Jackson turns it around.
As a top reserve there is Alex Magee, a 2009 third round pick. Magee won't be a starter in 2010 but he will rotate in and out to spell Dorsey and Jackson. Like Jackson, his future is based on potential and not what he's actually done in the league.
5. Tight end
Once you realize that the Chiefs will never have another Tony Gonzalez again, this is a position that doesn't seem to be doing too bad.
First, the Chiefs love Leonard Pope. He didn't have a ton of catches last year -- and he won't this year -- but he's a solid blocker and, in the right situation, a decent red zone threat.
Second, the Chiefs have Tony Moeaki coming up and already appears to be playing well, despite missing a month of OTAs. He's more of a pass-catcher than Pope but can still block so I think the Chiefs are really excited about him.
Third, Brad Cottam is a guy that the Chiefs could be excited about. Before injuring his neck last season, he was in the midst of producing his best game as a pro (four catches, 60+ yards) and finally starting to become somewhat of a factor in the offense. Like these other guys, he'll never be Gonzalez but he does fulfill a role on the team.
2009 seventh-round pick Jake O'Connell doesn't really factor in here as he's not likely to make the final roster.