Much of the Chiefs’ focus from now until this year’s NFL Draft will be on how they plan to use the No. 18 overall pick.
However, Chiefs coach Andy Reid speculated Monday that they could have several additional picks this year to fortify the roster — the seven each team gets annually plus four compensatory picks.
“I think (a) strength is (general manager) John Dorsey and his staff and that they have 11-plus picks to work with to bring in people,” Reid said.
Although the Chiefs would certainly figure to be in line for the maximum of four compensatory picks after losing seven key contributors to free agency last offseason, Dorsey, however, cautioned Monday that it’s never really known how many picks a team will get until the league announces it in late March.
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“You can kind of arbitrarily work a formula,” Dorsey said. “Who knows what the true formula is, but hopefully your analytics guy comes up with an equation that they think what the league is doing. And really, I won’t count on that number until we come back and the league officially gives us actually how many picks we do acquire in that regard.”
Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents.
Compensatory picks are positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost. This is determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors that was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula, however.
The Chiefs lost seven players in March who started at least six games for them in 2013 — tackle Branden Albert, guard Geoff Schwartz, defensive end Tyson Jackson, guard Jon Asamoah, receiver/returner Dexter McCluster, inside linebacker Akeem Jordan and safety Kendrick Lewis.
Of the seven, Albert, Asamoah and Lewis had the best seasons. Albert backed up his big payday — five years and $47 million — by accumulating an impressive Pro Football Focus grade of plus-17.5 in nine games for the Dolphins before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Asamoah, who lost his job with the Chiefs to Schwartz late in 2013, signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Falcons and started 16 games this year. His PFF grade of plus-2.4 is higher than all but one of the Chiefs’ linemen (Rodney Hudson), and significantly higher than the Chiefs’ starting guards, Mike McGlynn (negative-32.6), Zach Fulton (negative-14.1) and Jeff Linkenach (negative-5.1).
Lewis, who became a lightning rod for criticism in Kansas City due to his declining play the second half of 2013, started all 16 games and finished with 84 tackles, six pass deflections and two interceptions after reuniting with former coach Romeo Crennel in Houston. He finished with a PFF grade of plus-1.6.
McCluster started two games and rushed 40 times for 131 yards. He also had 26 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. He did not have a return touchdown after making the Pro Bowl as a returner with the Chiefs in 2013, but finished with a PFF grade of plus-1.1.
Jackson signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Falcons and started all 16 games, though he only finished with 22 tackles and zero sacks. He finished with a PFF grade of negative-4.4.
Schwartz signed a four-year, $16.8 million deal with the Giants but only played in two games (both starts) due to injuries.
Jordan, who started 10 games for the Chiefs in 2013 and was a solid interior run defender, never made an impact in Washington. He suffered a preseason MCL sprain and played in only two games, with one tackle, before he was placed on injured reserve in October and waived in November.