NFL Draft Profiles: Pass Rushers (Part 1)

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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.