We all know they take a while to develop, those defensive linemen. Schemes this and schemes that. New coordinators, new positions, new alignments. They all come into play, not to mention that some guys are, indeed, busts. A guy can be great at the college level and not be worth much of anything at the next. A guy can be an All-American and just be serviceable in the pros. That's just the way things work.
But it's a viable question here, because as Joel posted earlier, ESPN took a shot at adding some pressure to Tyson Jackson's upcoming season by labeling him a potential bust. Whether or not I agree or disagree with that isn't the issue here, but consider all of the buzz:
1. The questioning of Tyson Jackson - A first round pick is always going to be scrutizined, especially by that team's local media. But a top three pick? Might as well be prepared for the onslaught. That's just the way these things work, so T-Jax can't expect anything less. Even Vernon Gholston takes a couple years ago and a few spots lower is living under a huge shadow. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's in the biggest market in the country.
More after the jump:2. The questioning of Glenn Dorsey - Again, another first round pick and a top-five to boot. But Glenn Dorsey was that season's Ndamukong Suh, not that they are the same player, but they were labeled the best interior defensive lineman available in the draft. And when he "fell" to the Chiefs, there was much rejoicing in Kansas City. Now? There's a constant fight over how valuable he is, whether he should be traded, whether the Chiefs will ever maximize his potential, etc.
3. The hole in the middle - I think everyone would agree that they thought more outside help would have arrived this offseason in the middle than what has landed in KC. Shaun Smith is really the only new body in town and so the Chiefs will roll with largely what they had before -- albeit with a new coordinator in Romeo Crennel. And it's that fact right there which keeps most hope afloat.
So all of this together equals a lot of questions. How well will each of these guys play? Will anyone else step up? How good will they be under Crennel? Can we expect the typical development curve to strike and bring some dynamic play?
We've debated this to some degree here and there in the past, but we'd love to hear just what you're expecting from the Chiefs defensive line this season. Leave a comment and let's see if there's any consensus.