Willie Gay Jr.
The Chiefs made a much needed addition to their linebacker group when they drafted Willie Gay Jr. in the second round. It’s not the first time that Andy Reid has selected a linebacker in the second round either. Over his first 21 drafts he selected 23 linebackers overall and 4 of them in the second round prior to selecting Gay there this year.
Here are some key averages to consider.
- Reid’s 2nd round picks: 12.2 games active, 5.1 games started
- Reid’s LB draft picks: 9.5 games active, 2.3 games started
- Reid’s 2nd round LB picks: 11.5 games active, 4.8 games started
The first takeaway here is that if you have Gay penciled in as a 16 game starter as a rookie, you may want to reconsider. Reid’s draft history certainly points towards that being a rare exception as opposed to the norm. Now, K.C.’s need at linebacker could force his starting numbers to be higher than in other years, but it is still worth noting.
In case you were wondering who the other 2nd round linebackers in Reid’s career have been and how they performed, here they are.
- Barry Gardner – 1999 – 16 games active, 5 starts, 51 tackles, 1 sack, 3 passes defended
- Quinton Caver – 2001 – 11 games active, 0 starts, 16 tackles
- Matt McCoy – 2005 – 4 games active, 0 starts, 3 tackles
- Mychal Kendricks – 2012 – 15 games active, 14 starts, 75 tackles, 1 sack, 8 passes defended
The Chiefs (and us fans) have to be hoping that Willie Gay Jr. produces on the field like Mychal Kendricks did his rookie season in Philadelphia for coach Reid. Kendricks is also a fast linebacker that is good in coverage, so there is hope that Gay could follow in his footsteps. However, after Gay had a few off the field issues in college, they need to hope he doesn’t find himself in trouble off the field in the NFL like Kendricks did when he was charged by federal prosecutors with insider trading a couple of years back.
Ultimately, the averages say that we should only expect about 5 games started from Gay this season, but the Chiefs have to be hoping he outperforms those numbers.
Next let’s see what history says to expect for K.C.’s third round pick.