NFL Draft Profiles: Pass Rushers (Part 1)

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse


Oct 27, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe (92) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like ages from now but the NFL Draft is nearly here. To help get you prepared for one of the most – if not the most – important event of the NFL off season calendar, we’ve been breaking down some of the different draft prospects the Chiefs could be interested in. Today we look at some interior defensive linemen.

Rushing the passer is the most important part of what the Chiefs do on defense. Because of the way the Chiefs handle their coverage schemes, if the Chiefs do not get to the quarterback then stopping opposing offenses becomes almost impossible. This became evident in the second half of last season when Justin Houston went down with a bad elbow and Tamba Hali was slowed by a plethora injuries.

Signs of the Chiefs’ pass rush slowing appeared even before the injuries to Houston and Hali. Teams were forcing Houston and Hali wide and doubling Dontari Poe, daring Tyson Jackson, Allen Bailey, and Kansas City’s other reserve defensive linemen to win one-on-one battles. This did not end well, especially in the case of Jackson.

Improving the Chiefs defense may mean heavily investing into the defensive line, specifically guys who can win one-on-one matchups against guards when the Chiefs roll out their 2-3-6 formation. Kansas City already made one move to add Vance Walker, but is that enough? What do the Chiefs do if Poe gets hurt? And how much can we count on Mike Catapano to be a productive pass rusher from the inside?

Let’s take a look at some interior linemen who could fit the Chiefs’ needs.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Prospects Kansas City Chiefs

  • berttheclock

    Pat Kirwan of NFL Insider has an interesting view of this draft and it includes pass rushers. No, it is not a mock and he doesn’t break down the players. What he writes is more of a supply and demand view of the upcoming draft. He writes there are 10 NFL teams, not including the Chiefs, which are looking for defensive help in the first three rounds. He notes there are approximately 13 DE and OLB players of note in those rounds, a short supply of DTs and ILBs, plenty of corners, but, few safeties. The lack of quality safeties caught my eye because teams are going to have to draft near the top or seek trades.

    • mnelson52

      That is the very reason I would like to take the best pass rusher available at 23. Last year the Chiefs proved they could score against good teams, but also proved they couldn’t stop good teams with our defense. I think that was mostly due to a lack of pass rush against good teams. In the first half of the season the D-line collapsed the pocket which lead to a lot of sacks for Hali and Houston. The second half they faced good offensive lines and the QB could step up in the pocket to avoid Hali and Houston. I don’t think our team is built to win shootouts against good offenses, but our offense is good and can win games with a defense that can slow the other team down. I think to compete at a high level this year, improving the D-line is a must. I’m not blind to our other needs, but I don’t see any D-linemen on our team at the present that can make that improvement immediately. Catapono (probably not spelled right) is a possibility though if he improves this year. I think DeVito is good against the run, but I would like to see someone that can defend the run and the pass. A good rotational player would help but people like Manning and Rivers don’t usually give you time to rotate.

  • Tra Tha Chief

    EVERY LINEMAN THIS YEAR HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF TAKING PLAYS OFF….. JUST STOP THE NONSENSE…. NO ONE DOMINANTS EVERY PLAY…. TEAM CHIEFS FOR TEAM HAGEMAN!!!! LOOK AT HIS COMBINE STATS COMPARED TO THE OTHER LINEMAN HE BLOWS THEM AWAY……… COME ON PEOPLE DOES THIS NOT SOUND LIKE A FAMILIAR CENTER PEICE ON THE CHIEFS ALREADY???? DONTARI POE…. WAS ACCUSED FO TAKING PLAYS OFF, WAS ACCUSED OF PLAYING IN A LESSER CONFERENCE, WAS ACCUSED OF NOT USING THE BEST FORM WHEN RUSHING THE PASSER, WAS ACCUSED OF NOT HAVING THE BEST STATS….. ALL OF THESE WERE THE SAME THING PEOPLE SPOKE ABOUT DONTARI POE…. GROW UP WRITERS AND LOOK PAST YOUR EGO, AND THE BLAZING COLORS OF A SPEEDY WIDE OUT…. MAKE THE RIGHT/ STRONG MOVE, NOT THE MOVE EVERYONE WANTS, THE MOVE THAT NEED TO BE DONE…. AND AS ALWAYS GOOOOOOO CHIEFSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

    • Brian Dempsey

      Couldn’t agree more. Contrary to what people think, a 3-4 DE that can attack the QB is right there at the top of the list of needs for the Chiefs. This Defense was as soft as a freshly baked oatmeal cookie over the 2nd half of the season when they played against good Offenses. The pass-rush fell off and overall the Defense looked way too docile to suit me.

  • berttheclock

    Looking at the criticism of Hageman taking plays off does raise valid flags. The question does come down to when adding a new defensive lineman, are the Chiefs looking for a 3 down player or a rotational one who can blend with the ones already on board. Several of the linemen mentioned in the mock drafts appear to, either, have stamina issues or other limitations which would make them rotational. Aaron Donald appears to be one of the few who could play every defensive play. Yes, I remember the arguments against Poe very well (I was in the DeCastro camp) and some of those came from posters with valid credentials of playing and/or coaching behind them. I read the many comments about the lower caliber of conference play for him. But, Romeo Crennell was right and even better, Sutton turned him into a 3 down player who ended up with more snaps than other defensive players. So, perhaps, the coaches of the Chiefs can turn such as Hageman or others into valuable players.

  • Calchiefsfan

    You know the glaring need for the Chiefs this year is not WR, (though I would love to upgrade that position), but actually it is the DL and OL. FS is right there as well but between Commings and Abdullah I’m hoping that will be resolved.The question becomes value at the 23rd pick. Can we fill those needs if we trade down? Probably. Looks like we’re back to BPA or trading down.

  • Lyle Graversen

    Team Hageman in the house!