I am not saying that Smith is going to be the starting all by himself but I am wondering if the Chiefs are thinking of going with a platoon of Smith and Ron Edwards.
This is the scouting report on Smith from ESPN.com
Comment: Smith flashes ability, but consistency remains a problem. He does have value, though, and can be effective in a rotation at both defensive end and nose tackle in Cleveland’s 3-4 scheme. But, he lacks the long athletic build to keep blockers off his body at end and isn’t quite stout enough to excel on the nose when asked to play a high amount of snaps.
Hmmm. Look, Edwards didn’t do a terrible job last year playing NT. He would have looked a lot better if he didn’t have the dynamic duo of Williams and Mays mucking up plays behind him and the entire defense would have looked better had it not been for the wonder that was Mike Brown.
Another thing working against Edwards was the Tank Tyler trade. As soon as the Chiefs got rid of Tank, Edwards had to shoulder a much, much larger load. By adding Smith and rotating the two players at the position, the Chiefs could max out both players potential.
I know we talk a lot about how important the NT is to the defense and rightly so. However, a good NT, while crucial, isn’t going to just change the entire defensive performance. A good example is Cleveland’s Shaun Rogers. When healthy, Rogers is arguably one of the best nose tackles in the league. In 2008, the Browns ranked 28th against the run. Rogers is good but he couldn’t turn Cleveland’s defense around all by himself.
Obviously it all stats up front. The NT needs to stop the offensive lineman from getting into the 2nd level and swallowing up the linebackers. I think if the Chiefs are sitting there and a quality NT is available, they will take him. However, I don’t think they will reach if they can’t get the guy they want in the 2nd round. In that case, a third round NT might not be any better than a Smith/Edwards platoon.
The draft is deeper for safeties and linebackers than it is for 3-4 nose tackles. The Chiefs have 3 picks in the first 2 rounds and I could easily see them using them on a linebacker, safety and wide receiver and trying to draft a project NT later. They might also still try to make a move for a guy via trade. They always have the option of spending future picks. Remember, the Falcons got Tony Gonzalez for a future 2nd round pick. Perhaps the Chiefs can make a similar move to acquire a NT.
What do you think, Addicts? Is a platoon of Edwards and Smith possible or even plausible? Are you absolutely positive the Chiefs are going to take a NT int he draft or might they have a trade in the works?