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April 24, 2005

Live-Blogging KC's 2005 NFL Draft, Redux « Kansas City Chiefs »

How can anyone not like KC's draft this year?

1st Round: Derrick Johnson, LB. He won All-Everything his senior year; considered a top-5 pick that fell because the teams ahead of KC were drafting for specific needs; some analysts consider him the best defensive player in the draft. With this pick combined with the signing of Kendrell Bell, KC's LB corps went from a weakness to a strength.

2nd Round: KC selected a guaranteed starting (and probable pro-bowl) CB by trading the 2nd-round pick for Miami's Patrick Surtain. Is there anyone they could have gotten with the mid-2nd-round pick that could be guaranteed to have that level of impact? No.

3rd Round: KC didn't pick until the end, because the normal pick was dealt to the Eagles for John Welbourn (who didn't work out that well at RT). But with the compensatory pick, the Chiefs took Dustin Colquitt, a top-notch punter. He has an excellent leg, excellent technique, and has all the skills you want: he can kick for hang-time, distance, direction... With the problems KC has had at punter over the last 5 years, this guy shores up the punter position for years. Oh, and his father was the punter in two Super Bowls for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You don't normally take a punter in the 3rd round, no, but the Raiders took Janikowski in the 1st round a few years back, and the Chargers took Kaeding in the 2nd round last year. As Carl Peterson put it: Colquitt was the only player left that was good enough to be projected as an near-automatic starter. Your punter can win or lose games for you (and KC's punters have lost games for us), so I gotta support this pick. In fact, I'm actually excited about it.

4th Round: This is where I start getting even more excited, because for some reason, KC actually seems to draft better in the later rounds. The Chiefs took WR Craphonso Thorpe. Aside from the unfortunate name, this guy could be awesome. His speed and production his junior year had people considering him for an eventual 1st-round pick, until he broke both bones in his leg at the end of his junior season. The injury was bad enough that his production slumped his senior year. Still, he had at least 5 catches against three of the top four CB in this year's draft. He says he's got all his speed back. To tell the truth, I'm surprised no other team took a chance on him...

5th Round: Boomer Grigsby, LB. Another All-Everything at LB, just at the 1-AA level. He's a little short, but apparently his motor is always running and he has a knack for being around the ball. Interestingly, he was a champion and All-American trampoline gymnast! So he should have good body control (whatever that means for a linebacker). I don't know if he will have an impact on the LB corps, but this pick really reminds me of Jared Allen last year: someone who dominated at the small-college level should be able to do well at the pro-level. At the very least, he should be a monster on special teams.

5th Round, 2nd pick: Aphonso Hodge, DB. Based on the description, I don't see how this guy didn't go earlier; he sounds a little like Deion Sanders, although perhaps he has hands of stone. Still, a nickel corner who shuts down a receiver is quite valuable. He's considered an underachiever based on his skills vs. production; could coaching and his own effort make a pro-bowl corner out of him in a few years?

..and KC still has 4 more picks to go. With the scouting dept's ability to find gems in the later rounds, we might still find a 3rd-string RB, a big TE, a Fullback, and a future LT starter project. That would meet every projected goal, with a chance to still sign a late-cut FA DT. There will be some different faces on the Chiefs this year, and KC will challenge for AFC Homefield Advantage and the Super Bowl. [/optimism]

Posted by Nathan at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)

I too was pleasantly surprised that the Chiefs picked Thorpe, and also surprised that no one had taken him sooner. He made a number of one-handed circus catches over his ACC opponents. He's tall and athletic with sticky hands - he'll be a good one. I loved the Johnson pick, and I'm getting some positive information about Colquitt, the Tennessee punter.

Posted by: j.d. at April 25, 2005 07:03 PM
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