View Full Version : GRETZ: Young and tough

Hammock Parties
04-29-2007, 06:37 PM

The Chiefs finished out the 2007 NFL Draft on Sunday with four more selections, rounding out their class with a running back, a kicker, an offensive lineman and a tight end.

Combined with the first-day additions of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and defensive tackles Turk McBride and Tank Tyler the Chiefs got younger.

Much younger. Herm Edwards has been talking young since he took over the job, but this newest group is really young. That’s the common denominator to the players in this class, no matter their position or side of the football.

For instance, Bowe and Tyler are 22. So is fifth-round running back Kolby Smith and sixth-round tackle Herb Taylor. McBride is just 21 years old. This goes in hand with some of last year’s picks, like Tamba Hali who was 22 when he was selected and Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Paige, who were both 21.

Generally, the guys coming out of college into the NFL have spent five years on campus, with one year wearing a red-shirt and they usually arrive at the age of 23 or 24.

Not so with the Chiefs 2007 class. Which exposes another common denominator with this group: nearly all of these players were on the field at their respective colleges as freshman. They were immediate contributors, some when they were as young as 18 years old; McBride played in eight games at that age with Tennessee. Sixth-round choice offensive tackle Herb Taylor red-shirted in his first year in college. Taylor then went on to start four consecutive years for Texas Christian University, opening 48 consecutive games. Seventh-round choice Michael Allan also took a red-shirt season as a freshman, but went on to play 36 games at Division III Whitworth College in Washington.

Sense a trend? All of these players were young and contributing in their first step from one level in high school to the next level up in college football. Might this help their ability to make this next jump, from college to the pros?

“You’ve discovered the key,” Edwards said with a smile after the draft ended. “You look at that type of information and it tells you that in making the transition the first time, the game wasn’t too big for them. They came right in and played.”

So this is not just happenstance?

“Oh no,” Edwards said.

Edwards has also worked hard on making the Chiefs a mentally tougher team. How does he judge that in evaluating potential draft picks? We come back to another common denominator between these two draft classes wearing Edwards signature: games played.

Last year’s group of seven draft choices had played on average 44 games of college football, with an average of 34 starts. This year’s group played an average of 45 games, although the average number of starts dropped to 28.

“It tells you a little something about how important football is to them,” said Edwards. “It answers the question: were they available? Were they available to practice? Were they available to play?”

Edwards knows that Bowe played 50 games at LSU in four years and that he didn’t step on the field completely healthy for every Saturday afternoon or evening.

“That tells me something about the young man,” said Edwards.

And something about the 2007 Chiefs draft class.

04-29-2007, 06:44 PM
Good little article. Interesting points about making the transition to college ball right away.

I am pretty happy with the draft. Hopefully we can go corner and OL in 08.

04-29-2007, 06:52 PM
I will be interested to see how Herm's philosophy pans out. I'm sure it will be better than Dick's.

04-29-2007, 06:57 PM
I bet we get at least 1 play off win with Herm. haha

04-29-2007, 06:57 PM
Sounds good to me. We will see, though.

04-29-2007, 07:06 PM
All 7 picks need to be OL in 2008.

Hammock Parties
04-29-2007, 07:08 PM
All 7 picks need to be OL in 2008.

Need corners.

04-29-2007, 07:13 PM
I will be interested to see how Herm's philosophy pans out. I'm sure it will be better than Dick's.

Hell all we got to make the playoffs one more time and Herms done more than Vermeil.