Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: How The New Chiefs Fit In

I didn't know whether I wanted to do a write up on the Chiefs draft or not because reading people's draft grades can be a heartwrenchingly boring exercise. Especially when you consider how little we know about all of the newest Chiefs. It makes more sense to do assign grades 2-3 years down the road then the day after the NFL Draft (quick, which team received the most praise immediately following the 2011 Draft?).

However, I went back and read my grades from the Chiefs 2011 draft class, and found my initial opinions on the picks rather intriguing (not to mention my use of pictures!). So I'm running it back, more so for my future enjoyment then your present entertainment. And if that bothers you, take it up with Bad Ass Billy Gunn. Suck it, readers.

1st Round: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

I was the only person at my draft dorks party who immediately applauded this pick (sure, they've all come around now...). Even though Poe contradicts nearly every chapter of my NFL Draft philosophy manifesto, I feel like the Chiefs were in great shape to take their chance. The fact that it comes at their biggest position of need is just boom sauce. This dude is a bonafide freak of nature though. He doesn't look a pound over 300, either in a suit or in pads, but tips the scale at 346 pounds. It's unclear to me whether he projects as a straight nose tackle, who's main objective is to eat up blocks, or as more of a versatile presence along the line, ala Haloti Ngata. However, it should be noted that Romeo Crennel specifically told Poe in his draft day phone call that he would be a three down player in KC. The knock on Poe is his lack of production in college, which I optimistically/cleverly/self-deceivingly keep telling myself is because he played against mostly spread offenses while at Memphis. If you're still not convinced then ponder this - Romeo Crennel developed Vince Wilfork. He wanted Dontari Poe. Are you smarter than Romeo Crennel?

Tidbit: To give you an idea of what type of athlete we are looking at, Poe won high school state titles in the shot put as a junior and senior, and another in the discus as a senior.

Grade: B

2nd Round: Jeff Allen, G, Illinois

Meet Ryan Lilja's future replacement. Under Scott Pioli, the Chiefs have drafted Jon Asamoah (early in the 3rd), Rodney Hudson (in the 2nd), and now Jeff Allen. Asamoah sat as a rookie, then took over Brian Waters' vacated starting spot. Hudson sat as a rookie, and is poised to take over for Casey Wiegmann at center in 2012. Allen, who played tackle at Illinois but projects as an NFL guard, will fulfill backup duties in 2012, and then take over for Lilja, who's contract expires after this season, in 2013. I'm not going to pretend to know much about Allen's on-the-field abilities. Seems solid though.

Tidbit: Allen started 47 consecutive games at Illinois, so if nothing else he is durable.

Grade: A-

3rd Round: Donald Stephenson, T, Oklahoma

Now here's a pick that I don't understand. The Chiefs have their two tackles of the future in Branden Albert and Eric Winston. With the loss of Barry Richardson, the tackle position was in need of some depth. But Stephenson is considered a "developmental player" which is a fancy word for what I like to call "future bust." If the pick was made to shore up depth, then why not take a player who is ready to play now, but has a lower upside? This pick has many people pondering the future of Branden Albert with the Chiefs, who's contract is up following this season. I don't think Albert is going anywhere. Might be nothing more than an expensive insurance pick. I predict he never sees significant playing time with the Chiefs.

Tidbit: He attended Blue Springs High School.

Grade: F

4th Round: Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno St.

I loved what I saw from this dude in his post-pick highlights on ESPN (even though his punt return TD against Nebraska was featured). He seems like the prototypical slot WR who can find holes in the zone and immediately turn up field to gain easy yards. Or maybe Chiefs fans are just a bit too obsessed with finding their own Wes Welker. Wylie could also help in the return game, perhaps with Javier Arenas taking on a more vital role in the secondary this season. It ain't all milk and cookies with Wylie though, who couldn't stay healthy throughout college, missing roughly half of his games due to injury.

Tidbit: A quote: "There was just the general sense that Wylie did well at the combine." Said by, none other than, Devon Wylie.

Grade: C+

5th Round: De'Quan Menzie, S, Alabama

You hear De'Quan Menzie and you immediately think that this guy's got it all. An apostrophe, the first name prefix, a Q, and a Z! Menzie was a damn fine football player at 'Bama, but was kind of a man without a position heading into the NFL. He played CB in college, but ran his 40 time in the 4.7's. That might work out perfectly for the Chiefs, who actually have a position for this man without a position. Yes, the coveted Jon McGraw spot (which he was able to man with his 6.2 speed), a sort of LB/CB/S hybrid who is asked to help in the running game and cover opposing Tight Ends and slot WR's. De'Quan might earn himself some playing time as a rookie.

Tidbit: Menzie ranked 80th on Mike Mayock's Top 100 list of 2012 Draft prospects. The Chiefs snagged him with the 146th pick.

Grade: A-

6th Round: Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

I thought the Chiefs might pick up a RB with such uncertainty at the position. Charles coming off his injury. Peyton Hillis only signed for one year. Dexter McCluster doing Dexter McCluster things. Gray was solid for all four years of his career at A&M. Can catch the rock. Always good to ingest fresh legs into your backfield.

Tidbit: Gray rushed for 1,975 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior at Desoto High School in Texas. As a quarterback. Surprised he didn't go Top 10 alongside Tannehill.

Grade: A

7th Round: Jerome Long, DE, San Diego St.

Jerome Long....Jerome Long....nope, doesn't ring a bell. My sources tell me he's a mix between Jerome Bettis and Howie Long. I suspect he's the next Gabe Miller. Who? Exactly.

Tidbit: He wrestled in high the character Golddust.

Grade: C-

7th Round: Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan

I knew who this guy was which was neat. He probably didn't get much of a chance because Michigan didn't run anything resembling an actual offense last season. He was a big play guy for them, averaging 20.6 yards per catch. I could see this guy catching on.

Tidbit: Fuck Michigan.

Grade: B+

Overall GPA: 2.66 (C+)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable article. The more days that have went on since the draft the better I have felt about our picks.

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