|DE Tyson Jackson||DL Alex Magee||CB Donald Washington|
|OT Colin Brown||WR/KR Quinten Lawrence||RB Javarris Williams|
|TE Jake O'Connell||K Ryan Succup|
I want to preface this post by saying I'm generally pretty optimistic about the NFL draft and the Kansas City Chiefs' selections. I think the NFL draft is at best a crap shoot and to immediately label any player a boom or bust is simply not being patient. Although I may have preferred different players than the Chiefs drafted, I can see why they drafted every single one. This team has a plan and we owe it the coaches, front office and the players themselves to at least let them take the field for a few games before we proclaim them buffoons. You can be skeptical or angry but remember that at the end of the day, we all want these guys to be successful in Kansas City.
Yes, like many, I was surprised when the Chiefs selected Tyson Jackson at #3, among their other picks. But I see where he fits in the team's plans and how his presence will inevitably help one of the worst defenses in franchise history. I'm very open to giving new coaches and execs the benefit of the doubt and I hope you are too.
Why the patience? Because Pioli has shown he's a top notch personnel guy who selects players with a big picture mentality in mind. We won't always understand why this team will do some of the things it will do but Pioli's track record commands respect until he does something to lose it.
One late trade and that was it
Before Scott Pioli came to the Kansas City chiefs, he had the distinction of being part of the tradingest draft-day team in the league in the last decade. Between 2000 and 2008, the Patriots made 28 draft-weekend trades. New England traded up 12 times, and they traded down 16 times during that period.
Surprising most of us, the Kansas City Chiefs and Scott Pioli made only one very late draft day trade this year, dealing next year's 7th round pick to the Miami Dolphins to grab TE Jake O'Connell in the 7th round.
Pioli made exactly one trade while Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots traded down multiple times, seemingly controlling their end of the draft at will. Pioli received no serious calls about trading out of the #3 pick and without a second round pick, the Chiefs found themselves out of the trade talk as first round prospects fell into the early second round.
Instead of trading out, the Chiefs found themselves reaching for the first player they wanted. Tyson Jackson was a late top ten pick by most accounts but that didn't matter to Scott Pioli and Todd Haley. Pioli feels like Jackson's versatility will allow the Chiefs much more flexibility in the defensive schemes they play. He's definitely a defensive foundation pick if I've ever seen one. A player you put "impact" players around.
Alex Magee actually went right around his projection when the Chiefs took him early in the third round. Same thing with CB Donald Washington, who was projected to go even in the third round and the Chiefs picked him up early in the fourth round.
Missouri OT Colin Brown was probably the Chiefs' biggest reach of the draft. Many draft boards had him as a 7th round, UDFA prospect. Clearly, Pioli and Haley saw something they liked in Brown so they took him in the fifth round.Perhaps Haley is contemplating a some version of the spread offense, which Brown played in at Missouri.
6th round pick WR/KR Quinten Lawrence is much like his 6th round predecessor last year Kevin Robinson. Lawrence looks to be faster than Robinson and like him will have to earn his keep on special teams to earn a roster spot. Just the type of guy you take in the 6th round.
RB Javarris Williams, the Chiefs' first 7th round pick, is a pick where Pioli and Haley saw a guy who was rated higher than where he was so they snagged him. This seems like a value pick to me more than a need. But with Larry Johnson's future in KC up in the air, the selection of Javarris Williams may mean one more running back will be added to the committee.
TE Jake O'Connell is a very curious pick. He was an undrafted free agent on most draft boards and doesn't fill a huge priority - so why use the draft pick on him? We'll have to wait until camp to find out but the Chiefs' brass likely sees him as a project as a receiving tight end. Considering the Chiefs just lost the greatest receiving tight end in the history of the NFL, I will give my approval to this pick.
K Ryan Succup is another interesting pick, especially considering he's now the fourth kicker on the Chiefs roster. Incumbent Connor Barth played well enough last season to be considered the favorite heading into training camp but we can be rest assured that the kickers will be in a full blown competition. Let the best man win.
Did we address our needs?
Like with most team's drafts, the answer is yes and no. I will say that through the combination of free agency and the draft that I believe the Chiefs at least have enough talent and addressed enough glaring needs to make it through this season but they're not set in a lot of positions for years down the road.
One point you can't argue is that the Chiefs' defense was the biggest problem with the team last season. Pioli and Haley attacked that need by going defense with the first three picks. And the first two picks were spent on defensive linemen. A smart but not necessarily sexy move, considering the Chiefs had one of the worst rushing defenses in franchise history last year.
I hear you on wanting a pass rusher. But who? You have to answer me that. Did you really want Brian Orakpo or Aaron Maybin with the #3 pick? Jackson's versatility makes him more valuable than this year's sub-par pass rushers. Taking one of those guys would be like rushing out to get the newest model of a car, even though there isn't anything particularly special about it. You just want the latest model, regardless of improvements.
One interesting thing is that we didn't draft a linebacker. For a team who was supposedly likely to take LB Aaron Curry at #3, Pioli and Haley seem to be content with the mix of veterans and rookies on the roster now.
How are we on the offensive iine now?
With the lone offensive lineman addition Colin Brown, this is how the Chiefs' depth chart currently breaks down on the offensive line (projected starter in bold):
LT Branden Albert, Herb Taylor
LG Brian Waters,,
C Rudy Niswanger
RG Mike Goff,,
RT Damion McIntosh, Barry Richardson, Colin Brown
Look at that. If Brown is able to move into the starting right tackle position, that's not a bad offensive line. It won't last us ten years but it's not bad heading into the '09 season.
I think offensive line was less of a need to the Chiefs than we thought it was in our analysis. There is still work to be done but that looks like it will wait until next season.
It's (almost) over
The undrafted free agents will continue to come in and we'll be posting them, probably in FanShots unless there is a whole slew of them. This has sort of a mini-draft feeling for a few hours after the real thing.
What. A. Weekend. I honestly blogged and watched the draft for probably close to 20 hours in just two days.
Here's to understanding wives and girlfriends!
Click over for more info on all of these guys.
Round 1, #3 LSU DE Tyson Jackson
- Selection post on AP
- Approval rating: 40%
- Video highlights
- NFL Draft Scout: #1 DE, 7th player overall
- Mocking the Draft Scouting Report
- Chris' Draft Grade: B+