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March 07, 2005

Ouch! --But Probably True « Kansas City Chiefs »
Lesson #4: Drafting and developing defensive talent is the best way to go and it’s the major reason the Chiefs are having problems on that side of the ball.

Of the 21 players who made a significant contribution to the Chiefs defense in 2004, 15 came through the draft. In the last five drafts, the Chiefs have not ignored defense, selecting 37 players overall, with 19 defensive players.

But the evaluation process and/or developmental process remain flawed. The Chiefs missed badly on second round picks like DL Eddie Freeman and LB Kawika Mitchell, and third round choices like DT Eric Downing and CB Julian Battle. Freeman and Downing are already gone after contributing very little on the field. The Chiefs are working the free agent market right now for players at linebacker and corner, making Mitchell and Battle’s futures very uncertain. Both Carl Peterson and Dick Vermeil have said that DT Ryan Sims has not played like the sixth pick in the draft and a player the team gave up three choices to select.

That’s five premium defensive draft choices (first day) that have not gotten it done. Imagine the difference in the Chiefs defense if those five players had lived up to their evaluations on draft day.

LBs Monty Beisel (fourth-round) and Scott Fujita (fifth) have been found wanting; as evidenced by the team’s search for linebackers. Vermeil has been quoted as saying the team needs help at safety as well, which doesn’t speak well to draft picks over the last five years like Greg Wesley (third), Shaunard Harts (seventh) and Willie Pile (seventh.)

The Chiefs found a fourth-round gem last year in DE Jared Allen. He must come back and show it was no fluke. DT Junior Siavii needs a strong off-season of work and improvement to justify the Chiefs selecting him in the second round last year.

No matter what moves the team makes in free agency, next month’s NFL Draft is a huge one for the future of the Chiefs. Ultimately, that’s how they will rebuild their defense.

Emphasis mine, the entire article here.

Posted by Nathan at 06:01 AM | Comments (1)

See also: Minnesota Vikings

Posted by: kyle at March 10, 2005 10:03 AM
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