Hey there everyone this is ChiefsFanJon and i know there's still a ton of football left in the 2011 season but its never to early to start educating yourself on both: the needs of next years chiefs and the available players courtesy of the 2012 draft. And with that introduction I will be breaking down the key positions that I believe the Chiefs could use improvement.
This Fanpost will focus on a position that has been mocked to the Chiefs for 3 years running and the Chiefs have not addressed it in the draft: Offensive Tackle. Brandon Albert mans the LT position and is one of the best run blocking LT's in the league but he is often exposed in pass blocking and still needs to improve in that department. Barry Richardson has been abused in pass blocking and really average in run blocking all season and we have a solid high potential backup in Jared Gaither. I again perceive this to be a need of 4 out of 5 and would like to see a player drafted early for competition.
And with that lets take a look at the top 5 prospects in this years draft. The 2012 draft has 2 elite prospects at LT and a very good looking fellow first rounder, we then fall to two tackles in the second around and a plethora of talent in the 3rd round and later that all have potential.
1. Matt Kalil, OT, USC 6' 7" 295 lbs
Kalil has been a starter at LT for 2 seasons and had enough talent and potential to keep Tyron Smith at RT last season. Kalil has very good athleticism and quickness and excels in the passing game while being susceptible to a good bull rush. He could add strength to his frame but has all pro potential.
Potential Ceiling: Jake Long, Kalil really excels in the pass protection game and that is the key for OT's in the NFL at LT. I really love this prospect and as a junior he could easily be a top 3 pick, gone long before the Chiefs pick.
2. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford 6' 6" 304 lbs
Martin is a mauler and he really loves to get after defensive lineman. He can take on the best bull rushers and handle them like they are nothing but he does struggle at times with speed rushers. He is a bit raw when it comes to technique and will compensate by being stronger than the opponent, which won't work in the NFL. Will need to master his technique but has all pro potential.
Potential Ceiling: Joe Thomas, Martin is a power blocker and he loves to run block and really push the pack. He is the better run blocker than Kalil and could use a little improvement in pass protection. Martin should be a top 10 pick in this draft and has the talent that he could go before Kalil if he does well enough at the combine.
3. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa 6' 6" 300 lbs
Reiff is a former TE that has transitioned to OT over the last two seasons at Iowa so with that he is a little inexperienced and still learning the position. He has great size for the position and shows very good quickness and hand use while fighting blockers. Has a great work ethic, very intelligent, and he typically is better at pass blocking than run blocking.
Potential Ceiling: Jordan Gross, I believe that Reiff breaks the pattern with Iowa OT's and will actually stick at LT. He is much more athletic than Bulaga or Gallery and hopefully he doesn't have the short arm curse that has caused them both to slide inside to guard. Reiff should be selected in the middle of the first round and is a good candidate for the Chiefs as a LT challenger to Albert or a starter at RT.
4. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St 6' 8" 320 lbs
Adams is a very talented OT prospect and has the potential to be a top 15 pick in this draft but off the field issues and him being raw in his technique have cause him to be an early 2nd round prospect. Adams has prototypical size, quick feet, and is very good in pass protection. He will need to develop into a LT but could easily start from day one at RT and challenge a LT in a year or two.
Potential Ceiling: Marcus McNeil, Adams is a very raw player and will need to mature and learn the proper technique in a ZBS as well as adjust to the NFL in terms of strength and speed, but when he does look out. Adams' feet are very good and he has the talent to be a great player at the next level provided he is willing to put in the work.
5. Nate Potter, OT, Boise St 6' 6" 300 lbs
Potter plays at a smaller school and because of it he has faced less competition in his time, but in his time at Boise he has been a stud. Potter is not an elite athlete but has very good technique and has enough athleticism to recover when he gets beat. He can anchor against bull rushers and has shown he can handle speed rushers and give Kellen Moore time to make plays.
Potential Ceiling: Ryan Clady, the connection here being they both came from Boise St but honestly neither are elite in terms of speed or agility but they are big and strong and able to anchor that left side with good technique (and by holding Tamba). Clady at times gets victimized in the NFL but he stepped in as a rookie and contributed and is a good LT in the league.
Other Notable OT's in this draft:
Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma St,
Matt Reynolds, OT, BYU