Mel Kiper has another 2012 NFL mock draft out and in this version the Kansas City Chiefs stay on defense and pick Boston College LB Luke Kuechly. Kiper had the Chiefs selecting Penn State DT Devon Still in his last mock draft.
Here's a snippet of what Kiper said about Kuechly:
In Romeo Crennel's system, you have to find linebackers with great instincts who can be physical in the run game, make stops through the hole and get into the backfield. Kuechly is simply a machine, a prototype for what you want in an interior linebacker. He has exceptional instincts, and masks any questions of his speed by diagnosing the play faster than anybody out there.
Another prominent draft guru, Mike Mayock of NFL Network, looooves Kuechly calling him the best inside linebacker in the draft.
Ah, gotta love draft season. A few weeks ago I was very against the idea of drafting someone like Alabama RB Trent Richardson but I've started to talk myself into a little more with each passing day. And last week I wasn't in favor of drafting an inside linebacker, considering the other needs. But, the more I read about Kuechly, the more impressed I am.
But is inside linebacker really that big of a need for the Chiefs? I agree it can be upgraded -- Jovan Belcher would make very good depth -- but at first glance this isn't on my top list of needs. It'll be interesting to see what the theme of the Chiefs draft is this year. In 2009, it was defensive line, in 2010 it was team speed and last year seemed to be about athletic freaks.
I wonder if this is the year of stopping the run.