Chiefs Expect Gabe Miller To Play OLB

According to our Arrowhead Addict grade cards, the pick that Chiefs Nation liked the least so far was the selection of Oregon State DE Gabe Miller.

Currently Miller is being graded rather poorly. 36% of AA readers are grading the Miller pick a C, 25% are grading it a D and a whopping 19% gave the pick a flat out F.That means roughly 44% of AA readers give the pick a failing grade. Ouch.

During the AA live draft chat, there seemed to be a bit of confusion on why the heck the Chiefs were taking another DE. There also seemed to be little information out there about Miller.

While I think the Chiefs need depth just about everywhere, I feel like they are doing alright at DE. Well, it turns out the Chiefs drafted Miller not to play DE, but OLB.

Here is Scott Pioli on the pick:

“He started off as a TE and had a little bit of time as a tight end and then played defensive end for them. We see him, based on his size and speed, being a guy who is a developmental outside linebacker for us. and will also have the flexibility to…we;re not going to call him a two way star at this point but we, also in his workout worked him out at, on defense and at tight end. So he is a guy who has position flexibility as well. But we’re going to be playing him at OLB and trying to develop him.”

More after the jump.

During the months and weeks leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, one of the most talked about positions of need for the Kansas City Chiefs was OLB. While the Chiefs moved to address that area when they drafted Georgia LB Justin Houston with their first of two picks in the 3rd round, it appears that they really wanted to load up on talented linebackers.

And why not? Tamba Hali is their blue chip guy but after him are nothing but question marks. Mike Vrabel is old and may retire or be thrown in jail for steeling beers (kidding). Cameron Sheffield has never played a regular season snap. Houston was an excellent pick and is obviously the guy the Chiefs are most likely excited about but Miller gives the a developmental option to join Sheffield and provide depth. With the 3-4 so heavily relying on talented and athletic linebackers, the Chiefs can never have enough developing talent at the position.

It is also interesting that Pioli mentions that Miller can also play TE. We know that the Chiefs absolutely love versatile football players who can contribute in a number of ways and Miller seems to fit that mold. The Chiefs liked to put Mike Vrabel in at TE in certain goal line situations so don’t rule out Miller being that type of guy in the future for KC.

Listening to Pioli the night after the draft is always one of my favorite times because I feel it is the closest we will ever come to actually getting inside his head to see what he was thinking while in the draft room. As time progresses, the buzz words will start and Pioli’s answers to questions about the new players will be more calculated based on how they are performing rather than what he actually thinks about them. Now, however, the players have not stepped on the field for the Chiefs so I consider Pioli’s answers to be pretty legit and honest.

I mentioned this in the chat earlier but the fact that the Chiefs were drafting for depth and special teams in the middle to late rounds just proves how far they have come as a team. Good teams that are deep with talent don’t have to try to pluck day one starters out of the 5th and 6th rounds. Good teams draft to fill special teams needs and bolster their depth.

I know some of you might not have been thrilled with this pick but now that the Chiefs have Houston, Studebaker, Sheffield and Miller, they have a very deep group at OLB. In 2010, all they had was Mike Vrabel, Andy Studebaker and Tamba Hali. That was it. The filled the need for a pass rusher with Houston and bolstered their depth with Miller. This should be one of the more fun position groups to watch in training camp.

What say you, Addicts? Do any of you feel a bit better about the Miller pick now that you know he will be playing OLB?

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