The Kansas City Chiefs have completed the second day of the 2011 NFL Draft and the early returns are coming in.
The reviews seem to be mostly positive so far but let’s take a quick look at who the Chiefs drafted on day 2.
Round 2, Pick 55:
Rodney Hudson, G/C out of Florida State.
The Chiefs used their second round selection on the un-sexy but much needed center position.
Hudson represents incredible value for KC. I’m not expert on his play but Big Matt and I spent last night reading scouting reports and watching some tape of Hudson. He is incredibly athletic and excels at pulling and trapping along the offensive line. The Chiefs run a zone blocking scheme that relies on athletic, fast offensive lineman to get out in front of the ball carrier and open up creases for the runner before the defense can react.
Hudson could likely start from day one and could be the Chiefs’ center for years to come. With Rudy Niswanger providing some solid depth the Chiefs are looking a little deeper along the offensive line. Keep in mind that Jon Asamoah and Brian Waters could probably also play a little center if the Chiefs needed them to.
Huge need filled for KC.
Round 3, Pick #70
Justin Houston, DE/OLB out of Georgia
The Chiefs used the pick the Cleveland Browns gave them on the first day of the draft to select Houston. The Browns moved from #27 overall to #26 to select NT Phil Taylor. The Chiefs moved back and selected Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin and also received Cleveland’s early 3rd round selection, #70 overall.
Essentially the Chiefs got what we are projecting to be their new starting center by moving back seven slots in the first round. Not too shabby, eh?
In my opinion, the selection of Houston will turn out to be Scott Pioli’s shrewdest pick in this draft. Houston will play OLB for the Chiefs and could turn out to be one of the steals of the entire draft. Most scouts had this kid rated as a late first round pick before the news broke that he failed a drug test at the combine. Houston got busted for having marijuana in his system. This was a red flag for a lot of teams and is part of the reason Houston slid to the 3rd round.
Let’s clear up a few things. Even players with character concerns get drafted. They might get drafted a little later that they might have, but someone always takes them.
Houston smoked a little bit of weed. He didn’t murder anyone like Leonard Little. He didn’t rape anyone like Ben Roethlisberer. He smoked some ganja.
I’m more concerned that Houston was foolish enough to have the drug in his system when he knew he had the combine coming up than that he actually used the drug. He has to be smarter and while his error in judgment makes me a little uncomfortable, I am willing to bet Scott Pioli thinks he is worth the risk.
The brilliance of this pick is that it is a low risk, high reward selection. Houston could turn out to be KC’s other starting OLB opposite Tamba Hali. If he does, Houston is a steal in the 3rd round. If he turns out to be a bust or starts acting up, he isn’t going to sink the Chiefs. They still have Andy Studebaker and an unknown in Cameron Sheffield. They aren’t going to be left in ruins of Houston busts…but if he booms the Chiefs defense will be much, much better.
Love the guts here by Pioli.
Round 3, Pick #86
Allen Bailey, DE out of Miami (FL)
This is definitely the least popular pick in Chiefs Nation as far as I can tell. The Chiefs already have Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry at DE. Fans are also hoping the Chiefs re-sign DE Shuan Smith.
So why take Bailey?
The Chiefs run a lot of different sub-packages on defense. They rotate in a lot of different players, particularly on the defensive line. The fact of the matter is that Gilberry is not an every down player and Tyson Jackson is still not a reliable starter. The Chiefs need more depth everywhere and I think they saw a lot of value in Bailey.
Reading about Bailey has taught me that he is one of the most athletic players in the draft. While I am not sure what KC’s exact plans for Bailey are, he is most certainly not a bad pick.
To wrap things up, Pioli looks to have had a pretty solid plan entering this draft. He seems to have wanted to address big needs early and depth issues late. The Chiefs are no longer a team that is going to be starting 4th and 5th round picks. If a team has to do that then they are not a deep team. The Chiefs found a gem in Kendrick Lewis last year but the days of the Chiefs starting late round picked rookies are over and that is a good thing. I expect day three of the draft to include players that will add depth and be solid role players.
Pioli is taking some risks in this draft but they are risks that could pay off big time int he coming years.