Kansas City is a much different team than we were a year ago. A season ago, Kansas City was an offensive powerhouse. We could throw or run effectively, teams were kept off balance by the duel threats. The only thing we lacked was a defense that could really stop a high-powered offense.
Now here we are, as the 2011 season is coming to a close, with bragging rights as one of only two teams (the other of which is going on to the Super Bowl...) to defeat the 15-2 Green Bay Packers, and sole bragging rights as the only team to keep them under 20 points. With a little help from Romeo's new ball-control, possession-style offense, the defense was able to virtually shut the Packers down. No D-lineman could be blocked, linebackers were flying all over the field and drilling ball-carriers, and all the receivers were dropping balls do to the constant harassment by our secondary.
Though Kelly Gregg has been a great player, the guy has been in the league since 1999. At a physical position like NT, that's outstanding but he won't last much longer. Which is why we need to start looking for his imminent replacement.
Paul is a pretty big, young NT that has really blossomed this year into one of the best run-stuffers in the league. (though you'd never know it if you didn't watch Miami games). His massive 6'4, 360 pound frame makes him a nightmare for smaller interiors, and he manhandled Wieg and Lilja in our last meeting earlier this year, and was one of the sole purposes why we couldn't run the damn ball. His lack of moves and his unwillingness to use his hands has been criticized, but who really needs a swim move when you're that big and can just bulldoze over everyone? He fills up 5 freaking holes with his gut alone! His size, power and aggression is just what this defense needs to be considered elite.
Antonio is an interesting guy. From his hair to the car he drives, you can tell Garay wants to stand out. He's a decent sized NT, but nothing too big (6'4, 320). He's your typical jack-of-all-trades. He is fast-ish and has good jump off the snap, has very good arm strength to create separation, good leg drive that powers a devastating bull-rush, uses his hands well, good against the run and for being a nose tackle, is a very good pass-rusher.
Franklin is a guy who a lot of people wanted last free-agency who has had a mediocre season with the Saints. Though it has been a decent one, he did not stand out as a 4-3 DT, which means he would've been nearly invisible at NT in our system. I really can't see Pioli picking him up, being as he did pass on him earlier when he had the chance, but you never know.
Every time I see this guy, I think "God wanted him to play Nose Tackle". He's just built for the position. He's shorter at 6'2, which lets him get leverage on taller O-linemen, but has the girth (330 pounds) and power to refuse movement and collapse the pocket. Sione is a good, young player who could be a longtime starter in KC.
Shaun Rogers, DT, New Orleans Saints
For whatever reason in the Saints 2011 Free Agency, they grabbed Shaun Rogers, a former elite NT/DT from Cleveland who was trying to make an attempt to get back on his feet after 2 quiet years. Kansas City made a reach for him, but before anything could happen New Orleans snatched him up. I've liked him since his time with the Lions. He's 6'3, 350 pounds, bench presses the Earth and can dunk a basketball. And to be honest, I like him because unlike a lot of NT's, he knows how to put a lick on someone when he gets some space to work with. For whatever reason New Orleans barely even let him play, and I can only hope Kansas City takes him this time around.
I have never understood WTF Red is doing playing DE (In a 4-3 no less) when he's bigger than a shitload of DT's. I guess he's a decent pass-rusher, but 4-3 DE is really where the rush comes from in that formation and he's really just good at run coverage. So anyways, Red could work at NT in KC. He's big, strong, and very athletic for his size and is one of many under-appreciated players on an underrated Seattle team.