Recently, Bob Gretz put together his own personal ranking of the current Chiefs. Bob ranked every Chief from 81 to 1. He also included a trending arrow, designating if a player is rising or declining. Over the years, I have had my differences with Bob. However, when is he not kissing Carl Peterson’s ass, he is a pretty good judge of talent. An astute reader will know to take this rankings with a grain of salt, especially concerning rookies. Until the pads go on, the rookies haven’t seem much yet. Looking through the rankings, there are signs of optimism and concern. It’s an excellent read. I would recommend reading the series in it’s entirety. Here are my thoughts.
The nose tackle position has been an area of concern all off-season and Bobs’ rankings will not make anyone feel better. Undrafted rookie Garrett Brown looks like he has his work cut out for him, debuting in the #71-75 grouping. Dion Gales (#59) is in the mix for a roster spot. Shaun Smith (#50) looks like he is showing why the Chiefs passed on signing him last year. Derek Lokey (#45) appears to be the second best NT the Chiefs have. Ron Edwards tops this less than stellar class checking in at #35. That right Addicts, Bob is saying our best NT is only the 35th best player on the team. Now, if the NT position was the most critical position on the defense, we would be in a world of hurt. Oh wait…. it is.
Cameron Sheffield (#64) at OLB has disappointed so far. He appears to have been eclipsed by undrafted players Justin Cole (#57) and Cory Greenwood (#56). It looks like quite a battle to see who backs up Tamba Hali.
Pioli’s first Chiefs draft class looks even worse than it did last year. Mid/late round draft picks like Jake O’Connell (round 7, #69), Quinten Lawrence (round 6, #67), Colin Brown (round 5, #63) and Donald Washington (round 4, #60) appear to be on the outside looking in. Ryan Succop (round 7, #14) and Jovan Belcher (UDFA, #20) may save this class from being a major disappointment.
Bob Gretz seems to be really down on Tyson Jackson, giving the #3 overall draft pick last year a #26 ranking. Even worse than that, Bob’s trending arrow is pointing down. This is probably the review I disagree with the most. So, to be fair to Bob, I am going to quote his entire review.
Evaluation – It’s hard to imagine a defensive end can play in 16 games, start 14 of those and not have a sack or turnover to show on his stat sheet. Jackson averaged less than two tackles per game and was not involved in any big plays last year. It’s not like his presence made other players better, as the Chiefs struggled on defense, especially against the run when they finished No. 31 in the league. That Jackson made it through the season without going down speaks to his personality. There wasn’t anything lackadaisical in his approach or manner; he just didn’t get anything done. That’s not good and Jackson needs to bounce back in ’10 with a big year. Potential is there, but based on what the eyes saw last year; it’s hard to give him an arrow up at this time.
My response: I am not going to ding Bob too hard on the turnover comment. Tyson did have two interceptions, but my guess is that Bob was thinking about forced fumbles. Tyson did play much better in the second half of the season. He had 26 tackles in the second half of the season, compared to only ten in the first half. Of those ten tackles, seven of them occurred in the eighth game of the season. He only had three tackles in his first seven games. How that translates to a downward trending arrow is beyond me. Oddly, Bob has players like Andy Studebaker (#22), Maurice Leggett (#21) and Wallace Gilberry (#16) rated ahead of Tyson. Bob even put rookies Tony Moeaki (#24) and Javier Arenas (#23) in front of Tyson. Gilberry is another puzzle. I like him as a situational pass rusher from the DE position. To have him rated at the 16th best player on the Chiefs is very surprising. If would be more comfortable flipping Jackson and Gilberry in the rankings.
It’s hard not to be impressed with Jamaal Charles. He had a break out ½ season. Can we let him play a full season as a starter before he gets the #2 ranking? It’s great to see Branden Albert get the #3 ranking. I hope he cements himself as the franchise left tackle this season.