The Chiefs recently re-structured Tyson Jackson's contract, thus assuring his return to the team. A move that has many fans excited for the future of this defensive line, myself included. However, the RDE position is still a question mark as it does not look like Glenn Dorsey will be back and the roster lacks a player with starter experience. Joel Thorman, of our favorite sport's blog Arrowhead Pride, has identified RDE as the second biggest need to fill behind CB, opposite Flowers. I have been watching a lot of tape on this years defensive lineman available in the draft. A list of really good players including Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson, Datone Jones, and Sharrif Floyd. After viewing 3-4 games of each player I have come away most impressed with Star. I believe he "fits" best at the 5-tech position and would be a beast playing alongside TJax and Poe. Here's why:
Disclaimer: I made a post about a year ago arguing against drafting D-Lineman with high picks in the first round. I could not understand (under my current mindset) why teams took such huge risks on players that have little to no impact on game day. Having studied the position, and the game in general, in much greater detail I admit that I was wrong and stand corrected. Today, I can honestly say a great defensive line can be a thing of beauty, an art form, and is my favorite position to study. Now, back to the break down.
Star is the most complete defensive lineman available in this draft. He has everything I believe you look for in a 5-tech; he takes on double teams, collapses the pocket, possess a powerful bull rush, consistently holds at point of attack on run plays, explosive off the ball, great use of heavy hands, strong core, can't be blocked one on one, quick in tight spaces, shoots and beats lineman to gaps. Let's take a look at Star in action. Here are a few plays that showcase some of his excellent skills.
On this play vs. USC, Star beats two blockers to make a tackle for a loss. First, he sheds Khaled Holmes (Mike Mayock's 4th rated Center in this year's draft) whom he terrorized all game and then the fullback who tries hopelessly to stop him.
This play vs. Washington shows Star's technique and ability to collapse the pocket. Watch him use his hands and arms to deflect the blocker's attempt to stop him.
On this play we witness Star's explosiveness, powerful bull rush, and ability to defeat a one on one blocker for a sack.
In conclusion, I realize we would all like a trade down to re-coop the pick lost in the Alex Smith trade and Star has been reported to have a heart condition. However, IF he checks out medically, I would not be upset in the least if Star Lotulelei was the Chiefs first round selection come April, at any spot. A defensive line of Tyson Jackson, Dontari Poe, and Star Lotulelei could very well be a thing of beauty, a work of art!
Thanks for reading.