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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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