It has almost become a noteworthy event when a NFL mock draft doesn’t involve the Chiefs selecting a wide receiver with the 23rd overall pick. FanSided’s Josh Sanchez has gone against the grain of the NFL mock draft community and selected a defensive player for the Chiefs.
For all the physical talent Stephon Tuitt has, he hasn’t developed the finer skills of defensive line play. The drop in his production after weight gain further proves his reliance on natural ability, which can only go so far.
His track record as an impact defender on Saturdays will entice teams to take a chance on his size and athleticism. He projects best as a 5-technique in an odd front or in the role of a Red Bryant-type player in an even front.
Page has one of the more pessimistic views of Tuitt than any of the other reports out there on him, so keep this in mind.
What is clear about Tuitt is he has the physical tools to rush the passer from the edge on the defensive line. He could afford to lose some weight to help with endurance, which is now a necessity in the fast pace NFL. Losing said weight would likely make him more explosive and quicker than where he is now at 305 pounds.
Tuitt, assuming his foot is healthy, would make a ton of sense for the Chiefs as another edge pass rusher on the defensive line. As of now the Chiefs only have Vance Walker as a reliable pass rusher from the 5-technique. Allen Bailey has shown some ability but not enough to earn a starting job. In addition, Bailey will be a free agent after 2014.
We don’t know what the Chiefs will get out of Mike Catapano, the Chiefs seventh round pick from a year ago, and we know Mike DeVito‘s strength is playing the run and not rushing the passer. The Chiefs should do whatever they can do to add more of a pass rush to their defensive line.
Two ends who can rush the passer consistently would help the secondary in coverage situations as well as give more options to Bob Sutton on passing downs. Currently, the best formation the Chiefs have against the pass is a 2-3-6: Dontari Poe and Bailey are the defensive linemen; Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Derrick Johnson are the linebackers; Branden Flowers, Sean Smith, Marcus Cooper, Eric Berry, Husain Abdullah, and Sanders Commings are the defensive backs. The idea here would be to flood the secondary in hopes one of Houston or Hali get to the quarterback before an opposing receiver finds a hole in the coverage. Kansas City played a lot of this and a 1-3-7 against Philadelphia.
The problem is it where’s down the secondary – and the secondary’s depth – while putting a lot of pressure on Houston and Hali to get to the quarterback. It worked early in the season when the two were fresh and healthy but tailed off as the season went along. This is why adding pass rushing depth is so important for the Chiefs.
Adding a guy like Tuitt adds diversity to the Chiefs pass rush. Kansas City could now employ a true 3-4 front or go 3-3-5 and still add significant pressure on the quarterback. Think: How does an opponent slow down Houston and Hali off the edge while also containing Walker and Tuitt on the edge and Poe in the middle? Either offenses are going to be required to keep more players at the line to help pass protect (fewer receivers on passing routes) or there will be a lot of one-on-one opportunities for Hali and Houston (more quarterback pressures).
This move would make a ton of sense for the Chiefs in the first round. But is it the right player? What do you think, Addicts?