Dec 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback James Franklin (1) is taken down by Auburn Tigers defensive end Dee Ford (30) during the fourth quarter of the 2013 SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Mock Draft: Kansas City Star's Fourth Mock Leans Pass Rusher

Terez A. Paylor and the Kansas City Star released their fourth mock draft over the weekend with the aim of thinking what the Chiefs may do if they decide to go pass rusher. Let’s get to it.

With the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Paylor projects the Chiefs could take Dee Ford, a outside linebacker from Auburn. The writeup:

Natural 3-4 pass-rusher who can help Houston and Hali.

Like Paylor’s previous mocks – mock 1, 2, and 3 – he is looking at different scenarios for what John Dorsey and Andy Reid may be thinking at different positions. Obviously this scenario focuses on waiting on wide receiver and offensive line help and grabbing another pass rusher.

The idea of adding another pass rusher in the first round makes a ton of sense. Tamba Hali‘s time in Kansas City winding down and the team needs a security blanket for if they cannot re-sign Justin Houston next offseason. Add in the team’s desperate need for more pass rushing depth (look what happened to the defense when Houston went down with an injury), and there is plenty of reason to think why taking a pass rusher would be in the team’s best interest.

Is Dee Ford the best choice? That’s another question. There are already some health concerns floating around Ford that were not made better by him being pulled from participating in drills at the combine. Would that be a risk the Chiefs are willing to take in the first round?

However, when healthy, Ford is one of the best pass rushers in this draft. His Pro Day at Auburn went really well, posting a 4.59 40, 29 reps of 225 pounds, 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump, and 7.07 3-cone time. Add in his 20.5 career sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss, and Ford raw skills plus on-field production make him a top-level prospect.

The injury thing, however, is very concerning. He’s never played a full season in college and was flagged at the NFL Combine for an issues from a 2011 surgery for a herniated disc. Ford’s injury history is enough doubt for me to not taking him in the first round and count on him as Hali’s future replacement.

What do you think, Addicts?

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Tags: Dee Ford Kansas City Chiefs Mock Draft

  • jimfromkcj

    one question that needs answering is if it comes down to money and you could only keep one, Who would you choose to let go, Berry or Houston. I know there is a love affair for Berry by many who never lookat his shortcomings in covering big athletic tight ends, so I would suspect that most would say keep Berry. But I submit that Houston is more valuable and pass rushers are really hard to find and safteys are more readily available. So there are other avenues to go to, without drafting for a position that is not a problem at this time and when we have so man other positions of need. If we don’t fix the off line, three things is likely to happen. First, we might luck out and 4 out of 5 off linemen might allhave a great year at the same time, second, we might have Fisher never quite recovering from his health issues and we have to put Stevenson on the left side leaving us vulnerable on the right. And third they just might not jell and Smith or Charles or both go down with injuries. There goes your season because you chose the wrong way to go.

    • Brian Dempsey

      Houston is clearly the more valuable commodity — hands down. And you are right about the Chiefs needing to keep stocking up on the O-Line.

      • Nick the Kick

        Houston is the best in the league as a 3-4 OLB there are no holes in his game. You can stock up on quality interior off-line guys and swing tackles in the mid to late rounds, but you have to get the edge guys early. Rishawn and Rokievious played well enough in San Diego to not write them off. Did Frank Zombo look like anything more than a special teams guy? I know the line/secondary/receivers could use upgrades and/or depth, but we have to get an edge guy and in this draft they will go early.

        • Brian Dempsey

          See my above post about Kony Ealy.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    It’s time to backfill at OLB, but I hope it doesn’t happen with the top pick.

  • Brian Dempsey

    I’d prefer Kony Ealy to Ford. Ealy is in that same mold as another guy that the Chiefs already employ and have had since they took him in the 1st round in 2006.

    • Nick the Kick

      Early looks goog to me too. My dream is that somehow Barr falls but I doubt it. Another guy I really like is Marcus Smith of Louisville and Attaocho of Georgia Tech especially if we could trade our 1 for a 2 and 3. Then we could get an edge guy, swing tackle and wr/te at the right value spots in the draft.

      • Brian Dempsey

        Ah yes, I forgot about Marcus Smith and thank you for reminding me. He too, is great fit for the Chiefs defensive front 7 and there is talk about him going in the late 1st round & if the Chiefs could trade back a few slots and still land him, then that would be a great scenario.

  • tm1946

    History of not playing due to injury – in a word – no., With the first round pick – heck, no

  • iowaskcchiefsfan

    As a backup you don’t spend a 1st Rnd. 4th Rnd.- James Gayle, OLB, 6’4″, 260 lbs., Has natural pass rush talent that needs development, has demonstrated some coverage skill. Think the Chiefs should move Zombo to LILB, Desmond Moses to LOLB, and Gayle as Tamba’s back-up.