Prior to the draft, the Chiefs were No. 3 in ESPN’s power rankings, behind the Los Angeles Rams at No. 2 and the Buffalo Bills at No. 1.
After the draft, Kansas City fell one spot to No. 4. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved past the Chiefs into the No. 3 spot.
The Chiefs selected edge defender George Karlaftis in the first round, but the depth chart at defensive end remains thin after the Chiefs declined to draft another player at the position. So Clark, even after accepting a pay cut to avoid being released, looms as a key figure for the Chiefs. Unless Karlaftis has a big rookie season or the Chiefs get unexpected help elsewhere, the Chiefs need a big season from Clark to help revive their pass rush.
I think ESPN is spot on with their constructive criticism of Kansas City. The biggest question surrounding the Chiefs this season is their pass rush (even more so than replacing wide receiver Tyreek Hill).
Kansas City didn’t do a good job of getting after the quarterback last season — especially during the playoffs. Drafting George Karlaftis was a great move, but I’m not sure how much of an impact he’ll be able to make as a rookie.
The Chiefs could easily be at No. 1 in these rankings. And if Hill wouldn’t have been traded, they probably would be.
But any of the teams in the top five could have an argument to be No. 1. And all of those top five teams are legitimate threats to win the Super Bowl.
Ultimately, the power rankings mean nothing. It’s just how the Chiefs are viewed right now by the national media. And it’s understandable that they’re not quite as high on KC after the Chiefs lost a dynamic wide receiver and didn’t do a lot to upgrade their pass rush.
Featured image via Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports