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Chiefs have defensive needs, but will they attack them in the draft?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have position groups on offense in which they have no room to add a draft pick. They have no such positions on defense, as they can use plenty of help.

The Chiefs were fifth last season in total offense and 28th in total defense. They've found several of their best offensive players in recent drafts but not as many top defenders. Two of their biggest offseason moves -- the trade of cornerback Marcus Peters and the free-agent signing of wide receiver Sammy Watkins -- further altered their already glaring imbalance between the two sides of the ball.

All of the signs point to this being a decidedly defensive draft for the Chiefs. The draft begins Thursday with the first round, but the Chiefs aren't scheduled to make a pick. They traded their top pick to the Buffalo Bills last year so they could move up to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.

Their first pick is scheduled to be in Friday night's second round, 54th overall.

The Chiefs haven't ignored their defense during the offseason to this point. They signed a linebacker, (Anthony Hitchens), a lineman (Xavier Williams) and a cornerback (David Amerson). They traded for cornerback Kendall Fuller.

They will also welcome back two starters who missed most of last season because of injuries, safety Eric Berry and linebacker Dee Ford. But they're aware that there is much more work to be done.

"I don't think you're ever happy with your team unless you win a Super Bowl," general manager Brett Veach said last week. "So we're going to look to improve the defense. We're going to look to make changes. When you get a guy like Eric Berry back, that [was] a big loss. Then you add a guy like Anthony Hitchens, we were able to add Xavier Williams, who I think will do a great job for us. ... I think we made some good moves, but we're certainly not finished."

The Chiefs have eight picks, including two each in the third and fourth rounds. Using one or more choices on offensive positions, most notably wide receiver, running back and quarterback, doesn't make sense. The Chiefs have a full depth chart at those spots.

There is no defensive spot where the Chiefs couldn't use help. But that doesn't mean all of their picks, or even their top pick, will be spent on defense.

"We've done a good job of adding players in there," coach Andy Reid said. "I don't think we're necessarily forced into anything. Dee Ford, he needs to play, and that gives you another player in there for depth. He's on track to do that. He's done a great job with his rehab, and we all know what he can do when he's healthy. You get Eric Berry back there. He's a pretty good player. Once you start looking at these guys that are coming back into the fold, I think it's pretty good."

The Chiefs are stronger on offense than defense because they've drafted better on that side. Mahomes, running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and four of their starting offensive linemen were Kansas City draft picks in the past five years, with only Mahomes and tackle Eric Fisher being first-round picks.

The only one of their top defensive players drafted in the past five years is lineman Chris Jones, though the Chiefs hope others can eventually join that group.

"We're going to continue to add to both sides," Veach said. "The one thing you have to protect yourself against is being too comfortable at any position. I've gone into minicamps thinking, 'Wow, we're really good at, say, tight end or running back,' and all of a sudden you lose three guys in a week or two.

"You don't ever want to just dismiss really good players. I certainly think you attack the draft with regard to best player available, [but] your eyes are always going to point to positions of need. There will be a little give and take."