Kansas City Chiefs did to improve an already ve..."/> Kansas City Chiefs did to improve an already ve..."/>

Chiefs 2012 Draft Recap


The 2012 NFL Draft has now come and gone, so let’s go over what the Kansas City Chiefs did to improve an already very talented roster.

ROUND 1 PICK 11: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis 

Poe is the definition of a high risk, high reward player. The 6’4, 346lb beast from Memphis has incredibly high upside because of his rare athleticism for a player his size. He had a terrific combine in February with 44 bench reps at 225lbs and a 4.98 40 time, but his game tape at Memphis in Conference USA was average at best. He has some questions with his motor but there is no better coach to coach this kid up than Romeo Crennel. Because of Poe’s size & quickness, he requires double-teams which will free up Derrick Johnson and Co. even more. He must improve his technique however, specifically getting better leverage and getting off the ball quicker. As with the majority of players coming into the league, especially defensive linemen, there will be a learning curve and it will probably take a few years to reach his full potential. However Poe will play a lot this year and will split time with 2nd year player Jerrell Powe and Amon Gordon in the NT. Rotation. Poe has the potential to be a dominant nose tackle in the league and if he shows flashes of greatness this season, the Chiefs defense will be even scarier than it already is.

ROUND 2 PICK 44: Jeff Allen, OG/OT, Illinois

Besides QB and NT, the only other position the Chiefs needed to upgrade was left guard, and they did that by selecting 6’4 307lb OG/OT Jeff Allen from the University of Illinois. Allen played at both tackle positions all four years at Illinois, but he will move to left guard with the Chiefs. Allen is a very good pass protector with great feet and because of his experience at tackle, he brings a lot of versatility to the line. If Lilja remains the starter at LG for this season, Allen can step in at either guard or tackle if needed. I love this pick and so does NFL Network’s Mike Mayock who says Allen is a Day 1 starter and a natural pass protector. I love this pick and I hope Allen can beat out Lilja as the opening day starter at LG.

ROUND 3 PICK 74: Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma

Another offensive lineman? A 3rd round pick for a player that won’t start or see any significant time in 2012? That’s what I was thinking when I first saw that the Chiefs took Stephenson with their 74th pick. But Stephenson, a local product from Blue Springs, MO, has a lot of upside and the potential to be a very good left tackle in the NFL. He will need a year to learn and get stronger but Stephenson has the potential to be a big steal in the 3rd round. With current LT. Branden Albert in a contract year and the need for depth on the offensive line, I am okay with this pick and hopefully, like Poe, he can reach his high ceiling and become a starter down the road.

ROUND 4 PICK 107: Devon Wylie, WR/KR, Fresno St.

It is well known that the Chiefs have plenty of weapons offensively with Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki coming back, and the trio of Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston returning as quite possibly the best trio of WRs the Chiefs have ever had. KC however doesn’t have much behind those three guys should one of them get injured so a speedy, slot WR was a position the Chiefs could use. Devon Wylie is that guy. The 5’9 187lb burner from Fresno St. is being compared to the Patriots’ Wes Welker with more speed. Wylie is very explosive with great acceleration and quickness. He posted a 4.39 40 at the combine, the 2nd fastest time by a WR. He is a natural slot WR and played almost exclusively in the slot at Fresno. He has good hands and because of his quickness, he gets good separation underneath on shorter routes and is great after the catch with his elusiveness. Wylie also possesses good leaping ability and body control and one of his biggest assets is his ability to return punts, which he will most likely do with the Chiefs. The big knock on Wylie is his durability. He missed 10 games in 2010 with a foot injury and 4 games in both 2009 and 2008. If Wylie can stay healthy, he should provide another weapon and another dimension to the offense with his explosive speed.

ROUND 5 PICK 146: DeQuan Menzie, CB/S, Alabama

When All Pro safety Eric Berry was declared out for the season after tearing his ACL on the 1st possession of the season last year, the safety position for the Chiefs went from a strength to a weakness. Thankfully, fellow 2nd year safety Kendrick Lewis stepped up and improved throughout the season and played a great centerfield for the Chiefs in Berry’s absence. Even without Berry, the Chiefs played with 3 safeties on the field more than half the time last year. I imagine that will continue next season with the return of Berry and now with the selection of DeQuan Menzie from Alabama. Menzie played the “star” position in Nick Saban’s defense last year, which is the CB that plays exclusively against the slot WR, the same position Javier Arenas played at Bama. It is expected that Menzie will move to safety, but could play some as a nickel CB as well. He didn’t flash a great 40 time at the combine, but either did Kendrick Lewis who was also selected in the 5th round back in 2010. At 5’11, 202lbs, Menzie is a little undersized, but he possesses good short area quickness and footwork and is very instinctive with a knack for making big plays. Mike Mayock had Menzie in his Top 100 and called him one of his favorite football players in the draft and that he will compete for a starting job at either safety or corner. No matter what, Menzie looks to be a valuable addition to the Chiefs’ secondary. Instead of Lewis-McGraw-Piscatelli/Langford (Ugh), it is now Berry-Lewis-Menzie that will be on the field in 3 safety packages, which as mentioned, the Chiefs run A LOT. It is pretty impressive how good the Chiefs’ secondary was last year with McGraw and Piscatelli getting a lot of playing time. Imagine how good it will be with the return of Eric Berry and now the addition of Menzie.

ROUND 6 PICK 182: Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

Another position the Chiefs needed to address for depth was running back. All-World RB. Jamaal Charles returns after tearing his ACL in the 2nd game of the season last year and the Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis in free agency. That is a scary 1-2 punch…but they’re both coming off injuries. Charles will be ready for the season, but the story with ACLs is that the player usually isn’t the same or close to the same until his 2nd season back, which would be 2013 in Charles’ case obviously. Charles should be one of the better backs in the NFL still and Hillis will want to prove himself for a big contract next year, but the Chiefs still needed another RB in the fold along with Dexter McCluster and Cyrus Gray is great value in the 6th round. He was one of the main RBs I wanted the Chiefs to target in the later rounds. Gray possesses good, not great speed and at 5’10, 205lbs, he is a little undersized for an inside runner, but is capable. He has good vision, quick feet and runs low to the ground. Gray is also solid in pass protection and is a very good receiver out of the backfield. I think the Chiefs got a steal in Gray in the 6th and he should get some carries this season.

ROUND 7 PICK 218: Jerome Long, DT/DE, San Diego St.

With the Chiefs’ 1st pick in the last round of the 2012 NFL Draft, KC took a flyer on Jerome Long from SDSU. At 6’4 290lbs, I’m assuming Long will be used as a 5 technique DE with the Chiefs. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Long end up on the practice squad this season.

ROUND 7 PICK 238: Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan

With the last pick of the 2012 Draft for the Chiefs, they take Junior Hemingway, a 6’0 200lb possession type WR. Hemingway has good size and posted the fastest short shuttle and 3 cone times at the combine. He can really go up and get the ball and has good strength and body control. He doesn’t possess great top end speed and he has trouble getting separation because of that, but his frame and body control gives him a chance to be a solid possession receiver in the NFL. Can he make the team as the 5th WR behind Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston and Wylie? If not, I think we’ll see him on the practice squad throughout the season.

The Kansas City Chiefs came into the 2012 NFL Draft with only a few glaring needs (QB, NT) and a modest need (LG). But this team also needed to add some depth to a number of positions (OL, S, RB, WR, ILB). For the most part, the Chiefs did just that.

Kansas City finally addressed the nose tackle position with Dontari Poe, who will play a lot this season along with Powe and Gordon. With the very next pick, they went after Ryan Lilja’s successor in Jeff Allen and then added some much needed depth at tackle in the 3rd round with Donald Stephenson, who has the potential to be a starting LT one day. In the 4th round, the Chiefs added some more speed to the offense and a 4th option at WR in slot receiver Devon Wylie. The position with the least amount of depth coming into the draft was probably safety. After Berry and Lewis there’s not much. DeQuan Menzie in the 5th round addressed that, and he should be an immediate contributor in sub packages. Another RB was needed to go with Charles, Hillis and McCluster and I love the value that the Chiefs got with Cyrus Gray in the 6th round. Hemingway and Long have a shot, but you can never expect 7th rounders to amount to much.

So how do you think the Chiefs did? If I had to give out a grade for the Chiefs draft, I would give it a B. If Poe turns out to be a dominant, stud NT and Stephenson develops into a starting LT or RT one day, than this will be an A+ draft. Those two picks are all about potential and upside, it’s up to the coaching staff to coach them up and reach that potential. I believe Allen, Wylie, Menzie and Gray will all be valuable contributors right away for this team and I think Poe will show flashes of greatness throughout the 2012 season.

The Chiefs might just have the best roster in the NFL outside of the most important position…Quarterback. KC did nothing to address the quarterback position in the draft so they will most likely go into the season with Cassel, Quinn and Stanzi as their QBs. Matt Cassel will get one more season as the starter and he has ZERO excuses with the talent around him. It sure would be nice if Ricky Stanzi could somehow beat out Cassel for the starting job, but I don’t see that happening.

Anyways, I believe it was a very solid draft for the Chiefs. It wasn’t very sexy, but KC added some much needed depth and filled the few starting positions of need minus QB. If Poe turns out to be one of the best NTs in the game, then it will turn out to be a very good draft as I see Menzie, Gray, Allen, Stephenson and Wylie all turning out to be really solid players for the Chiefs in the coming years.