Cameron Sheffield: The Forgotten Chief

Can Cameron Sheffield defy the odds to make an impact in 2011?

Cameron Sheffield was the last name called as a Kansas City Chiefs draft pick in 2010. He’ll also be the last of those draft picks we find out about.

The 2010 Kansas City Chiefs rookies were a big part of why the team was able to reverse their fortunes last season. The rookies were a story all season long, not just because of the talent they flashed on the field but because top to bottom, they were contributing in a way first year players just don’t tend to do in the NFL.

Sure, every rookie class tends to have a guy that shows up and is able to contribute immediately. Sometimes they have a couple. It is rare, however that a team has six players making serious contributions.

Yet the Chiefs did in 2010.

Eric Berry made the Pro Bowl.

Dexter McCluster, while injured much of the season, showed flashes that he can be a dangerous weapon and contributed to two key wins. Javier Arenas played significant snaps as a nickel corner and while the jury is still out on just how good he will be, his play as a rookie certainly showed he has a place on an NFL roster. I also don’t think we’ve heard the last of Arenas in the return game.

Tony Moeaki was the only other reliable receiver outside of Dwayne Bowe on the roster in 2010 and he is a TE. The third round pick flashed Pro Bowl ability all season.

Guard Jon Asamoah was both blessed and cursed to be buried on the depth chart by Ryan Lilja and Brian Waters. While he saw limited snaps, Asamoah stepped in and played well when he was needed in 2010 and had the luzary of learning from two Pro Bowl caliber guards. The Chiefs are high on him and he has a very real chance of stealing a starting spot this fall.

Lastly, fifth round pick Kendrick Lewis was perhaps the biggest surprise of the entire draft class. Expected to provide depth at free safety behind Jared Page and John McGraw, Lewis would not be denied playing time. Page was soon traded from KC and Lewis unseated McGraw and played pretty darn well as a compliment to Eric Berry.

As the 2010 season went on, it became more and more apparent that the 2010 class could be very special. Unfortunately, their grade card as a class is incomplete.

OLB Cameron Sheffield was chosen just six picks after Lewis. Coming out of Troy, Sheffield was considered to be a project at OLB. Unfortunately, the rookie suffered a serious neck injury in a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles and soon found himself on injured reserve.

Sheffield had a bit of a slow start in training camp. He was moving from DE to OLB and going up against much tougher competition than anything he faced playing at Troy. As the preseason wore on, however, Sheffield began to show some promise before being injured.

Sheffield is going to likely have an uphill climb if he hopes to contribute as much as the rest of his draftmates. The Chiefs drafted LB Justin Houston and seemed to stock up on potential pass rushers and defensive lineman in the 2011 draft, which is going to make it even harder for Sheffield to stand out. On top of all that, the NFL lockout is keeping Sheffield from engaging in OTA’s and mini-camps, which likely would have been very helpful for a guy coming off a year of no football.

What do you think Addicts? Will Sheffield prove to be every bit as talented as the rest of the 2010 drat class or will his poor fortune keep him off the Chiefs’ final roster this fall?

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