I've been about as firmly in the Phil Taylor camp as anyone, but the info coming out about his feet is enough to change my mind.
It's definitely a serious enough condition to affect his draft status. Taylor was a reach at #21, but that could be overlooked because of need. Now he becomes a huge reach for us in the first round. With the lack of any other first round NT prospects, it looks like there are some of us who have some re-evaluating to do.
So Arrowhead Pride, what does the Phil Taylor medical report do for you?1. Akeem Ayers - OLB - UCLA: When I watch Ayers play, I see a younger and more physically talented Mike Vrabel. There are some big questions at the SOLB spot, and Ayers has the skill set, intelligence, and athleticism to answer them. The criticisms on him are that he plays "soft". I don't see that as much as I see a guy who reads the play and then attacks instead of committing with his first move. I would like to see some more pre-snap reading ability from him, but Mike Vrabel (who I think will have one more season in KC) should be able to pass on some quality knowledge there. I'd expect Ayers to compete with and quickly surpass Andy Studebaker for the starting role.
2. Jerrell Powe - NT - Ole Miss: Yes, Powe is absolutely a reach right here, but there is no way that he gets past Washington and San Fran in the 3rd. The Chiefs are almost forced to make this pick. When at his best (2009) he is a dominant player that shows everything you could want in a NT. However, a down 2010, terrible Combine, and only slightly better Pro Day have caused his stock to take a dramatic fall. Powe will have an uphill battle ahead of him to prove his worth, but he has shown the work ethic to do it. *Note* Phil Taylor may also be a consideration at this point. I believe he will be drafted by the Jets or Cowboys before we draft in the 2nd.
3. John Moffitt - G/C - Wisconsin: Moved to G in his senior year, Moffitt actually has more experience as a C. He is also on record as saying he would rather play C in the NFL. He stated that he enjoys the mental challenges of calling schemes and pointing out defenses. That's not a bad quality to have in your C. He has versatility, which we all know the Chiefs like. He comes from the Big Ten, so there is about a 90% guarantee that he loves to get physical. He's definitely the kind of guy that could benefit a lot from Casey Wiegmann's teaching. It's not too far-fetched to see him being ready to start by mid-season. He also provides the Chiefs with more options with Jon Asamoah.
4. Ricky Stanzi - QB - Iowa: No QB showed the same kind of improvement that Stanzi did from 2009 to 2010. The big criticism against him was that he threw a lot of interceptions...well that changed in 2010 as he had a TD-INT ratio very similar to our own Matt Cassel. He provides a very similar skill set to Cassel and also flashes Farve-esqu leadership ability having led the Hawkeyes to numerous come from behind victories. He could easily take Tyler Palko's job, and would be a contender for the #2 role. Probably best suited to hold the clipboard for a season or two as the emergency 3rd QB. Jim Zorn will love working with a guy like this.
5. Anthony Gray - NT - Southern Miss: Gray is a slight reach right here, but he is about as explosive as you could ask for from a NT. The questions about Powe (or Taylor) make a second NT a strong investment. Gray has the size and strength to be a physically dominating NT. He needs to work on his technique and discipline though. He tends to get caught with his mind set on only one objective. He's definitely rough around the edges, but has a very high ceiling.
5. Tori Gurley - WR - South Carolina: Very strong and very smart. Gurley is a possession receiver who knows how to find the sticks. He's not the fastest or most athletic guy out there, but he has used that to his advantage. Gurley does a lot of the things you expect out of a 3 year NFL veteran. He makes himself difficult to tackle, falls forward, goes across the middle, uses his body to block defenders, gets physical in the run game, and finds holes in the zone. Has lived in the shadows of previous South Carolina WRs which has limited his production. He's not going to burn many DBs, so don't expect him to be a big downfield threat.
6. Alexander Green - RB - Hawaii: Green is a physical runner with big play ability. He has the strength to break arm tackles and the speed to get past the second level. However, he is more of a runner than he is a RB. Has a lot of issues in the technical side of his game. He carries the ball away from his body which makes him a constant fumbler, he shows poor vision in picking his holes, and does not commit himself to pass blocking. Will more than likely be a situational back and Special Teams player until he shows he understands the position.
7. Mark Legree - FS - App State: A small school prospect who may end up being a quality NFL talent. He has excellent range and ball skills. Very much the center fielder type FS. Shows good toughness in trying to separate the ball from the receiver. He runs stiff though, which limits his ability to change directions and make adjustments. Has never faced top level talent (including high school), so it's difficult to measure how good he really is. Could be an immediate upgrade to the depth chart, or could be just another talented athlete who isn't really a football player.