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2011 NFL Free Agency: ESPN Has Chiefs Top Need As Nose Tackle

Every team has their holes. Scouts, Inc.'s Matt Williamson believes each team has at least three. In an easy-to-read column with nothing in the way of insight, Williamson has made his checklist available at ESPN to see what teams need heading into the frenzy of the NFL offseason. For the Chiefs, the positions are going to sound quite familiar.

Williamson has the Chiefs needing a nose tackle, help along the offensive line and outside linebacker as the three primary areas of weakness. The first two would find definite agreement among most fans, with another recent column pointing out that the Chiefs first move in free agency should be to sign Jermon Bushrod, the Saints left tackle. Certainly there are room for growth there whether it's Branden Albert and Barry Richardson receiving some depth behind them to push them for the starting spot or a replacement altogether. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the offensive line shakes out.

As for nose tackle, the Chiefs are rather thin along the interior defensive front compared to other teams. Incumbent starter Ron Edwards is a free agent and there's no official word that he will be reunited with the Chiefs. Sixth round choice Jerelle Powe is going to be a long-term project and will only be good for a few downs a game for a while. The Chiefs really have no dominant choices in the middle, and this is why Williamson identifies the defensive middle as the primary point of weakness for the Chiefs.

As for outside linebacker, the Chiefs already addressed this position with the selection of Justin Houston in the NFL Draft in April, but many scouts believe he's also a raw product which makes it possible the Chiefs would add a solid veteran alongside Houston with the loss of Mike Vrabel and the still developing Andy Studebaker in place.

I'm a bit perplexed why wide receiver wasn't listed as a need above OL, given the lack of a slot receiver and the need to develop Baldwin to even have a No. 2. There's also no real developmental talent on the team at the position and the Chiefs could even lose Dwayne as early as next season. In other words, it's a thin position where the Chiefs need several things to fall the right way. That's why bringing in a big name receiver and/or a Steve Breaston for the slot makes a lot of sense. Perhaps the Chiefs will address all these needs and more, but this gives at least a decent idea of where Scott Pioli might be addressing his interest.