2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Jaleel Johnson

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Jaleel Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Jaleel Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs need to find a defensive tackle for the long-term. Jaleel Johnson of Iowa could be the right fit for the defense.

As it stands, the Kansas City Chiefs do not have an option at defensive tackle beyond this season. Dontari Poe is gone to Atlanta. In his place the Chiefs signed Bennie Logan, but only to a one-year deal. That means the team needs to invest in their future at the position. Jaleel Johnson of Iowa could be a solid investment.

Last year, the defensive tackle position was not everything the Chiefs could have hoped for. While Dontari Poe still had the ability to get into the backfield, he was not the run stuffer he once was. Poe has clearly felt the effects of heavy use and a bad back. He was no longer able to anchor the line and force double-teams like he once did.

The Chiefs need a big space eating defensive tackle in the heart of their 3-4 defense. Of course, having a guy that can jump into the opposing backfield is never a bad thing. However, it is the ability to eat up blockers that will help the KC run defense the most.

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Truth be told, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the Chiefs draft a pair of defensive tackles. One thing KC needs to do is make sure they don’t overuse their big man in the middle. Avoiding the wear and tear that Dontari Poe racked up. Having a stable, long-term answer at defensive tackle will set the defense up for a long time.

Jaleel Johnson – DT – Iowa

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The Iowa Hawkeyes have put some solid defensive players into the NFL, and Jaleel Johnson figures to be the next. The All-BIG defensive tackle led the Hawkeyes with 7.5 sacks this past season. That may not be a huge number, but there aren’t many guys his size that can do that.

Jaleel Johnson is a quick and explosive defensive lineman. Knifes into the opposing backfield while keeping his eyes on the ball carrier. Good use of his hands to disengage from blockers. Impressive motor and physical conditioning to be a force throughout the game. Uses his quickness to set up interior pass rush moves.

Doesn’t have the prototypical lower body for an anchoring 3-4 defensive tackle. Jaleel Johnson isn’t an overpowering force, and can get tied up on single blocks. Suspect against down blocks and chip shots, getting caught off balance. Doesn’t sink his hips to create leverage, allowing him to be driven off his mark.

As it stands, Jaleel Johnson is probably best suited in a similar role as Chris Jones for the Chiefs. However, Johnson does have the frame to add weight and become more of an anchor. With Bennie Logan taking the starting job for now, Johnson could be a solid investment for the future. Even if he doesn’t add the weight, he would be a solid pass rushing defensive tackle.

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The Kansas City Chiefs would be very smart to invest in a defensive tackle for the future. This year’s draft has some promising options. In fact, the Chiefs might be wise to grab a pair of tackles. The strength of this team is still its defense. It is important for Kansas City to keep that as a strength.