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Old 01-31-2011, 04:16 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Teicher: Chiefs need receiver but may use top draft pick for defense

Chiefs need receiver but may use top draft pick for defense
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs were so desperate for a capable wide receiver before their recent playoff game that they signed an out-of-work, 32-year-old veteran in Kevin Curtis to be a regular that day against Baltimore.

Curtis caught only one pass and couldn’t prevent a lopsided loss to the Ravens in what might be his only game for the Chiefs. But the move revealed their thinking as to what is one of their biggest areas of need as they prepare for 2011.

The Chiefs have the 21st pick in the late April draft, but that choice may not provide them with the receiving help they need. The two receivers generally considered the best available in the draft, A.J. Green of Georgia and Julio Jones of Alabama, will likely be gone by the time the Chiefs make their pick.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a receiver there worth taking,” said analyst Shawn Zobel, who runs a draft website at DraftHeadquarters.com. “The biggest problem is that only two premier underclassmen decided to come out, and they’ll both be off the board before the Chiefs get around to making a pick.

“I think the Chiefs are more likely to go defense again because this year’s draft is so heavy with defensive players. That’s where they’ll get the most value out of that pick.”

The Chiefs haven’t ignored their offense in the last couple of years. They traded for quarterback Matt Cassel and signed offensive linemen Ryan Lilja and Casey Wiegmann and running back Thomas Jones.

Last year, they drafted receiver Dexter McCluster in the second round and tight end Tony Moeaki in the third, and both wound up playing considerably as rookies.

But their recent drafts have leaned heavily toward defense. Six of their last seven top picks have been defensive players, including linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, linemen Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson and safety Eric Berry.

So while the Chiefs are stocked with good, young defensive players, they could use a pass-rushing outside linebacker to pair with Hali, who led the AFC with 14 1/2 sacks. Mike Vrabel will be 36 in August, and his contract will soon expire, though the Chiefs have been grooming Andy Studebaker to eventually take his place.

Studebaker doesn’t have pass-rush skills like those of Missouri’s Aldon Smith, who played in high school at Raytown. A defensive end in college, Smith had 17 sacks in his two seasons with the Tigers. He had 11 1/2 as a freshman in 2009 but fell to 5 1/2 last season, when he missed three games because of injuries.

“People say, ‘Well, he didn’t have the year expected and all that.’” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “Here was a kid, redshirted in 2008 and had a great year in 2009, a phenomenal year. A phenomenal athlete. I think he’s certainly a guy that after workouts will be a much talked-about player. He could be a guy that goes somewhere in the top 10 to 15.”

So Smith could also be selected before the Chiefs get a chance. If so, they still should have a good selection of linebackers, including Georgia’s Justin Houston. Houston had 20 sacks and 38 other tackles for a loss in three college seasons.

“He’s a pure pass rusher but he’s definitely big enough to hold up against the run,” Zobel said. “He’s an underclassman, and he’ll need a year or two to really get in a strength and conditioning program and bulk up. But he’s definitely what the Chiefs are looking for in an outside linebacker.”

The Chiefs are not necessarily looking for a defensive end after drafting Dorsey and Jackson in recent years. But they would be faced with an interesting choice if California’s Cameron Jordan is available. Jordan would give the Chiefs another big body to throw into their playing rotation and eventually could develop into the pass rusher that Jackson hasn’t become.

“Obviously they don’t have a huge need on the defensive line, but because there’s so much depth this year, they might be looking there,” Zobel said. “You get the complete package with him. He plays the run as well as he plays the pass. He’s a very safe pick.”

At wide receiver, the Chiefs have a Pro Bowler in Dwayne Bowe, who led the NFL with 15 touchdown catches. But they got little else from the others at that position. McCluster, Chris Chambers, Terrance Copper and Verran Tucker provided 67 catches and three touchdowns, or less than Bowe did by himself.

Two of the draft’s other top wide receivers, Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin and Maryland’s Torrey Smith, are also underclassmen. Baldwin caught 53 passes last season, and Smith caught 67 with 12 touchdowns.

“You think he’s covered and he still catches the ball,” Kiper said of Baldwin. “He still puts up the numbers. People say, ‘Well, he doesn’t (get open a lot).’ But he tracks the deep ball extremely well.

“Torrey Smith’s going to be interesting. He’s going to become a hot guy. He’s got good size. He’s a strong kid for his size, and he’s got kick-return ability.”

But Zobel said neither player is worth the 21st pick.

“I don’t see those guys being what Kansas City needs,” he said. “They need somebody who’s more explosive, more of a downfield threat. They’re looking more for a guy like (Oklahoma’s) Ryan Broyles or (Notre Dame’s) Michael Floyd in next year’s draft.”

A number of receivers such as San Diego State’s Vincent Brown, Indiana’s Tandon Doss and Boise State’s Titus Young could be available to the Chiefs with their second-round pick.

“There are going to be a lot of guys for the Chiefs to consider in that second- or third-round area,” Kiper said. “A lot of receivers are going to be in the mix at that point.”

The Chiefs are aging in the middle of their offensive line with Wiegmann at center and Brian Waters and Lilja at guard. Tackles Branden Albert and Barry Richardson struggled at times.

While the Chiefs could draft an offensive lineman in the first round, general manager Scott Pioli seems to believe quality linemen can be found later in the draft.

The Chiefs will pick 21st in the first round of the late April draft. Here are some players who it would make sense for them to select with that choice:

•Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri: Smith might not last until the Chiefs pick, but if he does, he could be the pass rusher to pair with Tamba Hali.

•Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia: Like Smith, he’s an underclassman, but he could also fill that pass-rushing role.

•Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA: Not the pass rusher that Smith or Houston is, but he’s more versatile and could wind up playing inside or outside.

•Cameron Jordan, DT, California : The Chiefs recently drafted Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, but Jordan may be too good to pass up if he’s still available.

•Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida: The Chiefs are aging in the middle of their offensive line and have only Jon Asamoah as an eventual replacement.

The Chiefs’ draft

The exact order of the Chiefs’ picks beyond the first round hasn’t been finalized by the NFL. But tentatively, here are their first three selections:

•First round (21st overall)

•Second round, 23rd pick (55th overall)

•Third round, 22nd pick (86th overall)
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:46 AM   #2
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:59 AM   #3
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Bryanbusby: Teicher states the obvious, but may continue collecting a paycheck
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:05 AM   #4
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So we are going defense...or offense...maybe OLine...but I could SEEEE Dline too...
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:50 AM   #5
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Bryanbusby: Teicher states the obvious, but may continue collecting a paycheck
They are just useless.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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If we drafted Aldon Smith, I'd literally shit my ****ing pants.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:24 AM   #7
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If we drafted Aldon Smith, I'd literally shit my ****ing pants.
Would you like the pick? I know you would be surprised, but what would you think of it?
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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If we drafted Aldon Smith, I'd literally shit my ****ing pants.
So is ****ing your pants good or not good these days?

I'm not hip to the jive.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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This is astonishing news.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:41 AM   #11
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This is astonishing news.
It's why he's paid the big bucks...
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:47 AM   #12
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Teicher's just writing to the demographics of his readership.

After seeing this article, I've determined his readership consists of 37 Royals fans who hate the internet and get all their sports news from a newspaper. They came across this article by mistake and started reading anyway because they have no interest in the Chiefs at all. Oh, and they're also drunk octogenarians with dementia. And midgets. Definitely midgets.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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If we drafted Aldon Smith, I'd literally shit my ****ing pants.


This statement coming from Hamas means this would be a fantastic pick for the Chiefs.

I know the language of the great Hamas.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:09 AM   #14
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While he does state the obvious, I like all the analysis of those prospects in one compact article...
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SNR View Post
Teicher's just writing to the demographics of his readership.

After seeing this article, I've determined his readership consists of 37 Royals fans who hate the internet and get all their sports news from a newspaper. They came across this article by mistake and started reading anyway because they have no interest in the Chiefs at all. Oh, and they're also drunk octogenarians with dementia. And midgets. Definitely midgets.
Oddly enough this is how I stumble upon Royals threads...
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Denver rookie QB John Elway, on Jack Lambert, after Lambert and the Steelers knocked Elway out of his first game as a pro (1983).
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I wish I always ended up at gay bars.
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