Chiefs linebackers: What is the plan?

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Ramki Wilson has the tools to play the WILB, but can he be a true heir to Derrick Johnson? Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Ramik Wilson

It is unlikely that Ramik Wilson will play much of a role on defense this season.  And this is coming from someone who mocked Wilson to the Chiefs in the draft.  The rookie out of Georgia’s primary duties this season will likely be on special teams.  That’s not a bad thing.  Most fourth-round picks are expected to fill backup roles and special teams duties in their rookie seasons.  It’s only fan expectations that take them out of that.

Wilson has the physical tools to play the role that Derrick Johnson currently fills.  Of course, that is no guarantee.  Lots of players have the physical tools and never amount to anything in the NFL.  Wilson will have to also lock down the mental side of the game, and develop the same instincts that DJ has over his career.  Fortunately, Wilson should have a great teacher.  But a lot remains to be seen.

DJ Alexander

In the same boat as Wilson is fifth-round pick, DJ Alexander.  Alexander, much like Wilson, has the tools for the position that Derrick Johnson currently covers.  Many scouts consider him to be a project player with a high ceiling.  However, there are some durability concerns.  He will also be seeing the field primarily on special teams.

The only issue I see with Alexander, assuming he develops, is that he is ideally suited for the same position as Ramik Wilson.  And while I wouldn’t mind seeing a strong competition between the two of them, it leaves open the question of the other inside linebacker spot.  Neither player is ideally suited for that job.  And of course, there is the consideration that both players are middle-round draft picks and there is no guarantee of success for either player, let alone both.  Hitting on your fourth- and fifth-round picks is a rarity in the NFL.

Next: The wild card...