The Chiefs selected Johnson in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has been attending Kansas City’s three-day mandatory minicamp, which ended today.
The Chiefs have Derrick Johnson and Akeem Jordan at the top of their depth chart at the inside linebacker positions in their 3-4 alignment. Derrick Johnson has been to the past two Pro Bowls, while Jordan was a part-time starter for new Kansas City coach Andy Reid when they were with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Reports out of the Chiefs’ offseason workouts have indicated Nico Johnson could challenge Jordan for the starting spot. Johnson has been working as a second-team inside linebacker in offseason practices.
Take the Kansas City Chiefs, for example. Wednesday’s organized team activity session was highlighted by a “barrage of big passing plays” from quarterback Alex Smith to his wide receivers, the Kansas City Star reported. That’s not something we’ve seen out from the Chiefs in recent days, but new coach Andy Reid is digging in.
“We’re just kind of continuing to press to see what we can do … finding out what we’re capable of,” Smith said. “You’ve got to find that out at some point. This is what the practice field is for.”
Smith led the NFL in completion percentage last season with the San Francisco 49ers, but he threw the ball deep only 19 times during his 10 appearances. He tossed just 43 deep balls during his 16 starts in 2011. Over two seasons, Smith connected on 42 percent of those throws, not exactly record-setting numbers.
In 2012, the Chiefs were saddled with some very disappointing quarterback play. After trading for Alex Smith and signing backup Chase Daniel, Kansas City is in much better shape.
Smith is an athletic quarterback who is very smart and has a live arm. He had a great 2011 with the San Francisco 49ers and picked up where he left off last season before a concussion — and Colin Kaepernick — got in the way. Don’t forget: Smith, who just turned 29 in May, is still relatively young.
Daniel, meanwhile, has never been a starter, but the 6-foot athletic quarterback has a strong arm. I’m sure he learned a lot in four seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He’s a backup, but a very good backup.
I think Smith will do very well in Reid’s offense; he’s the kind of guy who can lead Kansas City to the playoffs. More importantly, after a sizable hole at this position sunk the Chiefs a year ago, they have two capable signal-callers they can turn to without fear.