Chiefs Continue Rebuilding Process
Compared to last April, the 2009 Chiefs draft was unremarkable. A year ago, the team landed five players who contributed immediately, and a handful of others will get opportunities this season.
But unlike 2008, Kansas City finally has a franchise quarterback. New general manager Scott Pioli sent a second-round pick to New England for Matt Cassel (and linebacker Mike Vrabel). Cassel, who went nine years between starts, led the Patriots to an 11-5 record last season and parlayed that into a handsome payday (eventually) and a starting gig.
While the offense was inconsistent, the defense was worse. According to Football Outsiders, the Chiefs ranked 28th against the run and the pass, and mustered just 10 sacks all season. (The offense ranked 25th.) For some perspective, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware had 20 sacks.
Leading up to last weekend's draft, speculation had the Chiefs taking Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, then word spread that they were trying to trade out of the pick altogether, before they finally decided on LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson.
Jackson has been described as a "Richard Seymour"-type player, but that might have more to do with Pioli's New England connections than with Jackson's on-field abilities. Whatever, he'll play end in defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's modified 3-4 scheme, and assuming Glenn Dorsey stays put, he'll move from tackle to end.
Jackson doesn't solve the team's pass-rushing woes, at least not directly (his job will be to occupy blockers and allow the linebackers to make plays), but he'll beef up a weak run defense.
The club used its third-round pick on defensive tackle Alex Magee, marking fifth d-linemen the Chiefs have selected in the first three rounds since '07.They added secondary depth with Ohio St. cornerback Donald Washington in the fourth round, and used three of the five remaining Day 2 picks on small-school, high-upside players. Oh, and they also got Mr. Irrelevant: kicker Ryan Succop.
1 (3) Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
3 (67) Alex Magee, DT, Purdue
4 (102) Donald Washington, CB, Ohio St.
5 (139) Colin Brown, OL, Missouri
6 (175) Quinten Lawrence, WR, McNeese St.
7 (212) Javarris Williams, RB, Tennessee St.
7 (237) Jake O'Connell, WR, Miami (Oh)
7 (256) Ryan Succop, K, South Carolina
Grade: B-. Jackson and Magee should contribute early, but the highlight of the Chiefs' offseason wasn't the draft, it was acquiring Matt Cassel.