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April 23, 2005

With the #15 Pick of the 2005 Draft... « Kansas City Chiefs »

The Kansas City Chiefs pick Derrick Johnson.

I'm tickled pink about this selection.

The Chiefs had addressed every position on defense even before the draft, finally making the trade for Patrick Surtain just yesterday. That already gave them a Pro-Bowler at CB, Safety, and LB, plus a 3-year starter to push for playing time at end (since Hicks has been only average for years and may be nearing the end of his career...).

Some of the draft boards had the Chiefs taking Shawne Merriman. That's a DE projected as a pass-rushing LB. That's a risk, especially since KC needs people to produce this year...converting someone from DL to LB takes time and effort, regardless of the talent of the player.
Some draft boards had them taking Thomas Davis, a safety big enough to play LB. I wasn't that excited about this possibility, either, since it involves another position switch to get what the Chiefs need (more on that need in a second). KC already has a Pro-Bowl safety in Knight, plus good competition between Woods and Wesley (plus a few other good, young safeties in Shaunard Harts and Willie Pile pushing for playing time in the future) for the 2nd spot; the last thing we need is another safety cluttering up things.
And I'm probably a little hesitant about position switches. Kansas City drafted a number of former college safeties projected to be cornerbacks, and the only successful conversion was Eric Warfield, and that took nearly 5 years. We need people we know can produce now.
...and, come to think of it, William Bartee has done a great job as a nickel back, playing almost as an extra safety making big hits on slot receivers coming across the middle. That makes safety even more crowded, perhaps.
Some draft boards projected the Chiefs taking Erasmus Jones. I wasn't totally happy with that option, but it makes some sense.

With the addition of Sammy Knight, S; Patrick Surtain, CB; Kendrell Bell, MLB; and Carlos Hall, DE, the Chiefs are in good shape everywhere but OLB and DT. So taking a DT makes a certain sort of sense. But we have a good deal of money tied up in Sims; it's too early to call him a bust. And Junior Siavii was showing flashes of potential before being injured by a cheap shot. Lionel Dalton looks like he has revitalized his career at DT, and John Browning is still decent. That's 1 good player, 1 decent player, 1 player who costs too much to bench without one last season to see what he can do, and 1 player who may progress greatly in his second season. That's a position too crowded to get full value by dropping another 1st round pick into the mix.

So that leaves LB as the place where we need the most help. Scott Fujita is a smart player with good speed...but he struggled under Cunningham's scheme. Shawn Barber never reached his projected potential with the Chiefs under Gunther's or Robinson's defenses. Maslowski will probably never be a full-time starter again, and lacked speed even at the peak of his career. Quentin Caver isn't starter-material. A 1st round pick could have a great positive impact on this bunch, and go from there to being a solid starter and possibly even pro-bowl player for several years.

Derrick Johnson was originally projected much higher. Two weeks ago I was wishing we'd have a shot at him and accepting that it was probably a vain hope...and now we have him!

This was exactly what we needed, I think. But we'll see when the season starts, I guess.

Posted by Nathan at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)
» evolution links with: chiefs acquire CB Surtain/nfl draft
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