My Chief Concerns: The Kansas City Chiefs And The Fall Of Jerrell Powe

First let me apologize for not posting in over a month.  In the last month I got married in Hawaii and flew off to Europe for a three week honeymoon.  I came back to a boatload of work. (It’s been a really hard month; your sympathy would be appreciated).   During that time, I refused any internet access, and as such, I am not up on our current beloved Chiefs’ news.  The good thing is there really hasn’t been any, (other than here at AA of course).  But I digress.

The word on the street is that the Owners and Players have 85% of an agreement in place and the lockout will be over soon enough.  As I have said on previous occasions, the lockout to me has been, well, kind of trivial.  They were always going to play football.  The decision is simple: gripe about how you do not make enough money and then in fact not make any money at all, or gripe about how you do not make any money, work out a better deal (even if it is not exactly what you want), and then make money.  It is common sense.  But I digress again.

Everyone knows that I have been clamoring for a true NT for the last couple of years.  In the 2010 draft, I wanted the Chiefs to select Cam Thomas, in fact during AA’s 2010 draft chat, Merlin, myself and everyone chatting that year wanted the Chiefs to draft a true NT, especially Cam Thomas.  That did not happen.  (Cam Thomas was then selected by our rivals the Chargers in the 6th round.  He played in 6 games, had 7 tackles and two sacks).  I thought the Chiefs must know what they are doing; they must have done their homework and not liked what they saw out of any of the true NT prospects in the 2010 Draft.  I knew the 2011 draft would be different. They had to get their true big bodied NT in order to shore up our run defense, and they had to make it priority  number one.  However, they did not.

More after the jump…

Going into the 2011 draft there were a few true NT prospects; very few.  Our newest Chief, Jerrell Powe was one of them and projected to be drafted as high as the 2nd round and as low as the 4th round.  Powe is a good NT prospect.  He is big at 6’2 and 335 pounds.  Powe started 22-of-37 games at Mississippi, recording 69 tackles (49 solo) with 7.0 sacks for minus 29 yards, 24.0 stops for losses totaling 80 yards and three quarterback pressures.  He caused two fumbles and deflected one pass, intercepting another that he returned three yards. 

Until the season starts, we will not know just how good he is, and how he fits into the Chiefs scheme, but one thing that worries me about him, is not Jerrell Powe himself, but the value or confidence the Chiefs placed on him.  You see scouts had him going any where from the 2nd and 4th rounds but the Chiefs apparently did not.

I loved the first round WR Jonathan Baldwin pick.  We needed a talented receiver and we got one.  When the second round came around and NT Powe was still on the board I thought the Chiefs would take him, especially with so few true NTs.  They did not.  They chose C Rodney Hudson.  I then thought, well we need a new center, so Rodney must be a stud for the Chiefs to take him over a true NT like Powe.  I was really not perplexed at the 2nd round pick.

When the 3rd round pick came up and Powe was still available, I thought they have to take him now.  They did not.  They chose LB Justin Houston.  I was now getting a little worried because Powe would probably be snatched up when our turn came to pick again.  (I also though that LB Houston was a good pick based on need, and he must have impressed the Chiefs to select him over a bigger need such as NT). 

When we picked again in the 3rd round I would have bet the farm that the Chiefs would take Powe because we had previously addressed needs in the other three picks and we desperately needed a true big bodied NT.  I was completely perplexed when they chose DE Allen Bailey.  That is not to say Bailey is not good.  We just have enough DEs and he is not necessarily even big enough for a 3-4 DE.  I then began to think that maybe Powe, like Cam Thomas the year before, was not good enough after the Chiefs scouting department did their homework.

As you know, we went on to select a CB, a QB, and unbelievably another DE in the 4th and 5th rounds with Powe still setting there.  I was perplexed, and quite frankly disappointed that we were going to go another year without a true space eater.  I thought, the Chiefs must be moving Shaun Smith or Tyson Jackson to NT.  I had given up on Powe at that point and was convinced that the Chiefs and all other 3-4 teams thought Powe was not an NFL talent.

And then it happened.  Using our second to last pick, in the 6th round, way lower than anyone had expected, the Chiefs selected Jerrell Powe.  It was bitter sweet, as it probably was for him too.  Why did he fall so low?   Why did all other 3-4 teams pass on him? Did the Chiefs take him by default, simply because they did not think he would even be on the board in the 6th round?  How much confidence do the Chiefs really have in Powe?  They selected 2 backup DEs, 1 backup CB, 1 back up QB, 1 possible backup OLB, and maybe a starting C all before him.  Are they going to give him a fair shake at the starting NT position?

At that point, and to this day, it does not matter to me anymore.  Although I question the Chiefs confidence in the big man, I am glad we have him, and will root for him to succeed like no other rookie.  I/We have been waiting for someone like him for a couple of years now.  I hope he shows the naysayers that he was indeed a 2nd round, if not 1st round, talent.  Although he may have fallen, he has fallen to a good spot.  Can you or Todd Haley name another true big bodied NT on the roster?  Good Luck Jerrell and welcome to our beloved team.

Tags: Allen Bailey Cam Thomas Jerrell Powe Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Rodney Hudson

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