2012 NFL Draft – Sixth Round

#

Team Player

Pos.

HT

WT

College Notes

1-171.

St. Louis Greg Zuerlein

K

6-0

187

Mo. Western ST3, K2

2-172.

Seattle * Jeremy Lane

CB

6-0

184

NW Louisiana DEF86, CB19

3-173.

Washington * Alfred Morris

RB

5-9

219

Florida Atlantic OFF84, RB13

4-174.

Tampa Bay Keith Tandy

CB

5-10

200

West Virgina DEF87, CB20

5-175.

Minnesota * Blair Walsh

K

5-9

187

Georgia ST4, K3

6-176.

Jacksonville Mike Harris

CB

5-10

188

Florida State DEF88, CB21

7-177.

Arizona * Justin Bethel

FS

6-0

200

Presbyterian DEF89, S10

8-178.

Buffalo Mark Asper

G

6-6

319

Oregon OFF85, G13

9-179.

New Orleans * Andrew Tiller

G

6-4

324

Syracuse OFF86, G14

10-180.

San Francisco * Trenton Robinson

FS

5-10

195

Michigan State DEF90, S11

11-181.

Seattle Winston Guy

SS

6-1

218

Kentucky DEF91, S12

12-182.

CHIEFS Cyrus Gray

RB

5-10

206

Texas A&M OFF87, RB14

13-183.

Miami * B.J. Cunningham

WR

6-1

211

Michigan State OFF88, WR25

14-184.

Chicago Isaiah Frey

CB

5-11

188

Nevada DEF92, CB22

15-185.

Arizona Ryan Lindley

QB

6-3

229

San Diego State OFF89, QB9

16-186.

Dallas James Hanna

TE

6-4

252

Oklahoma OFF90, TE9

17-187.

N.Y. Jets * Josh Bush

FS

5-11

208

Wake Forest DEF93, S13

18-188.

Denver * Danny Trevathan

LB

6-0

237

Kentucky DEF94, LB23

19-189.

Oakland Christo Bilukidi

DT

6-5

290

Georgia State DEF95, DT16

20-190.

Tennessee Markelle Martin

FS

6-1

207

Oklahoma State DEF96, S14

21-191.

Cincinnati Dan Herron

RB

5-10

213

Ohio State OFF91, RB15

22.

Detroit Forfeit          

23-192.

Detroit Charles Mitchell

SS

5-11

202

Mississippi State DEF97, S15

24-193.

Washington * Tom Compton

OT

6-5

314

South Dakota OFF92, T16

25-194.

Philadelphia * Marvin McNutt

WR

6-3

216

Iowa OFF93, WR26

26-195.

Houston Nick Mondek

OT

6-6

304

Purdue OFF94, T17

27-196.

Detroit * Jonte Green

CB

6-0

184

New Mexico State DEF98, CB23

28-197.

New England * Nate Ebner

FS

6-0

202

Ohio State DEF99, S16

29-198.

Baltimore Tommy Streeter #

WR

6-5

219

Miami OFF95, WR27

30-199.

San Francisco Jason Slowey

OT

6-3

303

Western Oregon OFF96, T18

31-200.

Philadelphia * Brandon Washington#

G

6-3

320

Miami OFF97, G15

32-201.

N.Y. Giants Matt McCants

OT

6-5

308

UAB OFF98, T19

33-202.

N.Y. Jets (c) Terrance Ganaway

RB

6-0

239

Baylor OFF99, RB16

34-203.

N.Y. Jets (c) Robert Griffin

G

6-6

335

Baylor OF100, G16

35-204.

Cleveland (c) Emmanuel Acho

LB

6-1

238

Texas DEF100, LB24

36-205.

Cleveland (c) Billy Winn

DT

6-4

294

Boise Statedsd DEF101, DT17

37-206.

Indianapolis (c) LaVon Brazill

WR

5-11

192

Ohio OFF101, WR28

38-207.

Carolina (c) Brad Nortman

P

6-2

213

Wisconsin ST5, P2

*-picks that were traded. (c)-compensatory picks. #-underclassmen selected.

2012 NFL Draft – Fifth Round

 

#

Team Player Pos.

HT

WT College Notes

1-136.

Indianapolis Josh Chapman NT

6-1

316 Alabama DEF66, DT14

2-137.

Denver * Malik Jackson DT

6-4

284 Tennessee DEF67, DT15

3-138.

Detroit * Tahir Whitehead OLB

6-1

233 Temple DEF68, LB15

4-139.

Minnesota * Robert Blanton CB

6-1

208 Notre Dame DEF69, CB13

5-140.

Tampa Bay Najee Goode ILB

6-0

244 West Virginia DEF70, LB16

6-141.

Washington Adam Gettis G

6-2

293 Iowa OFF70, G10

7-142

Jacksonville Brandon Marshall OLB

6-1

242 Nevada DEF71, LB17

8-143.

Carolina Josh Norman CB

6-0

197 Coastal Carolina DEF72,CB14

9-144.

Buffalo Zebrie Sanders OT

6-5

320 Florida State OFF71, T13

10-145.

Tennessee * Taylor Thompson TE

6-6

259 SMU OFF72, TE8

11-146.

CHIEFS DEQUAN MENZIE CB

5-10

195 Alabama DEF73, CB15

12-147.

Buffalo * Tank Carder ILB

6-2

236 TCU DEF74, LB18

13-148.

Detroit * Chris Greenwood CB

6-1

193 Albion DEF75, CB16

14-149.

San Diego * Johnnie Troutman G

6-4

325 Penn State OFF73, G11

15-150.

St. Louis * Rokevious Watkins OT

6-4

338 South Carolina OFF74, T13

16-151.

Arizona Senio Kelemete OT

6-3

307 Washington OFF75, T14

17-152.

Dallas Danny Coale WR

6-0

201 Virginia Tech OFF76, WR22

18-153.

Philadelphia Dennis Kelly OT

6-8

321 Purdue OFF77, T15

19-154.

Seattle * Korey Toomer ILB

6-2

234 Idaho DEF76, LB19

20-155.

Miami * Josh Kaddu LB

6-3

239 Oregon DEF77, LB20

21-156.

Cincinnati Shaun Prater CB

5-10

190 Iowa DEF78, CB17

22-157.

Atlanta Bradie Ewing FB

6-0

239 Wisconsin OFF78, RB10

23-158.

Oakland * Jack Crawford DE

6-5

274 Penn State DEF79, DE16

24-159.

Pittsburgh Chris Rainey RB

5-8

180 Florida OFF79, RB11

25-160.

Cleveland* Ryan Miller G

6-7

321 Colorado OFF80, G12

26-161.

Houston Randy Bullock K

5-9

205 Texas A&M ST2, K1

27-162.

New Orleans Corey White SS

5-11

206 Samford DEF80, S8

28-163.

Green Bay * Terrell Manning # OLB

6-2

237 N.C. State DEF81, LB21

29-164.

Atlanta * Jonathan Massaquoi DE

6-2

264 Troy DEF82, DE17

30-165.

San Francisco Darius Fleming OLB

6-2

245 Notre Dame DEF83, LB22

31-166.

Cincinnati * Marvin Jones WR

6-1

199 California OFF81, WR23

32-167.

Cincinnati * George Iloka FS

6-4

225 Boise State DEF84, S9

33-168.

Oakland (c) Juron Criner WR

6-3

224 Arizona OFF82, WR24

34-169.

Baltimore (c) Asa Jackson CB

5-10

191 Cal-Poly DEF85, CB18

35-170.

Indianapolis (c) Vick Ballard RB

5-10

219 Mississippi St. OFF83, RB12

fv

2012 NFL Draft – Fourth Round

#

Team Player

Pos.

HT

WT

College Notes

1-96.

St. Louis Chris Givens #

WR

5-11

198

Wake Forest OFF48, WR14

2-97.

Miami* Lamar Miller #

RB

5-11

212

Miami, FL OFF49, RB7

3-98.

Baltimore * Gino Gradkowski

G

6-3

300

Delaware OFF50, G8

4-99.

Houston * Ben Jones

C

6-2

303

Georgia OFF51, C1

5-100.

Cleveland Travis Benjamin

WR

5-10

172

Miami, FL OFF52, WR15

6-101.

Denver * Omar Bolden

CB

5-10

202

Arizona State DEF48, CB11

7-102.

Washington Kirk Cousins

QB

6-3

214

Michigan State OFF53, QB8

8-103.

Carolina * Frank Alexander

DE

6-4

270

Oklahoma DEF49, DE15

9-104.

Carolina Joe Adams

WR

5-11

179

Arkansas OFF54, WR16

10-105.

Buffalo Nigel Bradham

LB

6-2

241

Florida State DEF50, LB9

11-106.

Seattle Robert Turbin

RB

5-10

222

Utah State OFF55, RB8

12-107.

CHIEFS Devon Wylie

WR

5-9

187

Fresno State OFF56, WR17

13-108.

Denver * Philip Blake

C

6-2

311

Baylor OFF57, C2

14-109.

Pittsburgh * Alameda Ta’amu

DT

6-3

348

Washington DEF51, DT10

15-110.

San Diego Ladarius Green

TE

6-6

238

LA-Lafayette OFF58, TE4

16-111.

Chicago Evan Rodriquez

TE

6-1

242

Temple OFF59, TE5

17-112.

Arizona Bobby Massie #

OT

6-6

316

Mississippi OFF60, T-11

18-113.

Dallas Kyle Wilber

OLB

6-4

249

Wake Forest DEF52, LB10

19-114.

Seattle * Jaye Howard

DT

6-3

301

Florida DEF53, DT11

20-115.

Tennessee Coty Sensabaugh

CB

5-11

189

Clemson DEF54, CB12

21-116.

Cincinnati Orson Charles #

TE

6-2

251

Georgia OFF61, TE6

22-117.

San Francisco* Joe Looney

G

6-3

309

Wake Forest OFF62, G9

23-118.

Minnesota * Jarius Wright

WR

5-10

182

Arkansas OFF63, WR18

24-119.

Washington * Keenan Robinson

OLB

6-3

242

Texas DEF55, LB11

25-120.

Cleveland * James-Michael Johnson

ILB

6-1

241

Nevada DEF56, LB12

26-121.

Houston Keshawn Martin

WR

5-11

192

Michigan State OFF64, WR19

27-122.

New Orleans Nick Toon

WR

6-2

215

Wisconsin OFF65, WR20

28-123.

Philadelphia * Brandon Boykin

CB

5-9

182

Georgia DEF57, QB13

29-124.

Buffalo * Ron Brooks

CB

5-10

190

LSU DEF58, QB14

30-125.

Detroit * Ronnell Lewis #

OLB

6-1

253

Oklahoma DEF59, LB13

31-126.

Houston * Jared Crick

DT

6-4

279

Nebraska DEF60, DT12

32-127.

N.Y. Giants Adrien Robinson

TE

6-4

264

Cincinnati OFF66, TE7

33-128.

Minnesota (c) Rhett Ellison

FB

6-5

251

USC OFF67, RB9

34-129.

Oakland (c) Miles Burris

OLB

6-2

246

San Diego St. DEF61, LB14

35-130.

Baltimore (c) Christian Thompson

FS

6-0

211

South Carolina DEF62, S5

36-131.

N.Y. Giants (c) Brandon Mosley

OT

6-5

314

Auburn OFF68, T12

37-132.

Green Bay (c) Mike Daniels

DT

6-0

291

Iowa DEF63, DT13

38-133.

Green Bay (c) Jeron McMillian

SS

5-11

203

Maine DEF64, S6

39-134.

Minnesota (c) Greg Childs

WR

6-3

219

Arkansas OFF69, WR21

40-135.

Dallas (c) Matt Johnson

SS

6-1

212

E. Washington DEF65, S7

*-16 choices were traded. (c)-8 compensatory choices. #-5 underclassmen.

2012 NFL Draft – Positions, Colleges

There were 253 names called for the 2012 NFL Draft.

There were 125 on defense, 122 offensive players and six in the kicking game.

Ironically, it was the two positions that go head-to-head that matched up with the most draft choices – wide receiver and cornerback.

There were 33 guys that catch the ball and 32 players that try to keep them from grabbing the pass. Here are the picks broken down by position:

33    Wide receivers

33    Linebackers

32    Cornerbacks

24    Offensive tackles

22    Defensive ends

21    Running backs

20    Defensive tackles

18    Safeties

18    Guards

12    Tight ends

11    Quarterbacks

4    Kickers

3    Centers

2    Punters

————————————————

By Conferences:

  • 42    Southeastern
  • 41    Big Ten
  • 31    ACC
  • 28    Pac 12
  • 25    Big 12
  • 12    Big East

By college football levels:

  • FBS (Division 1-major college football) – 230.
  • FCS (Division 1AA football) – 16.
  • Division II – 5.
  • Division III – 1.
  • Canada – 1.

2012 NFL Draft – Underclassmen

There were 65 players that were granted early eligibility into the 2012 NFL Draft.

The first six players drafted were underclassmen, and 10 of the first 12 had playing time remaining in the college ranks.

Here’s how the underclassmen were selected:

Round

# Players

Players

1

19

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Clairborne, Luke Kuechly, Stephon Gilmore, Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, Dre Kirkpatrick, Chandler Jones, Riley Reiff,David DeCastro, Dont’a Hightower, Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry, David Wilson.

2

8

Jonathan Martin, Stephen Hill, Alshon Jeffery, Jerel Worth, Peter Konz, Brock Osweiler, LaMichael James, Rueben Randle.

3

7

Dwayne Allen, Josh Robinson, Ronnie Hillman, Olivier Vernon, Mohamed Sanu, Bernard Pierce, Jayron Hosley.

4

5

Chris Givens, Lamar Miller, Bobby Massie, Orson Charles, Ronnell Lewis.

5

1

Terrell Manning.

6

2

Tommy Streeter, Brandon Washington.

7

2

Bryce Brown, Edwin Baker.

That left 21 players looking to hook up with an NFL via undrafted free agency:

QB (2) – Darron Thomas, Oregon; Barrett Trotter, Auburn.

RB (5) – Alvester Alexander, Wyoming; Mike Ball, Nevada; Jamison Berryhill, Texas; Jewel Hampton, Southern Illinois; Darrell Scott, South Florida.

TE (1) – Tiree Eure, Minnesota.

WR (4) – Dorian Graham, Syracuse; Aldarius Johnson, Miami; Damaris Johnson, Tulsa; Eric Page, Toledo.

OL (1) – Ken Plue, Purdue.

DT (1) – Marcus Forston, Miami.

DE (2) – Max Holloway, Boston College; Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina.

LB (1) – Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State.

DB (4) – Cliff Harris, Oregon; Janzen Jackson, McNeese State; Johnny Thomas, Oklahoma State; Philip Thomas, Syracuse.

2012 NFL Draft Trades

After there was a flurry of trades involving the first 10 draft choices, the trading activity died down around the NFL for the rest of the 2012 NFL Draft.

By the time it ended, there were 27 trades completed during the draft. Those deals involved 28 of the 32 teams. The Chiefs were one of the four teams that did not take part in the swap meet, along with Arizona, New Orleans and the New York Giants. There were three teams that were part of four trades: Minnesota, New England and San Francisco. Green Bay traded up three times, while the 49ers and Vikings traded down three times.

Here are the picks traded at least once per round:

Round 

Picks Traded 

 

Round 

Picks Traded 

16 

 

15 

12 

 

14 

14 

 

15 

16 

 

253 picks

102 traded

That’s 40 percent of the picks that changed hands at some point in the process. It’s actually 46 percent since 32 of the draft choices are compensatory picks that cannot be traded.

Just in the 3-day draft, there were five 2013 choices that were traded, one each in the third, fourth and fifth, and two in the sixth.

Chiefs announce Undrafted Rookie Signees

That’s KU tight end Tim Biere (86) going for the ball against Georgia Tech. Biere signed with the Chiefs on Sunday.

———————————————————————–

We told you on Sunday about 10 players the Chiefs had agreed to terms on coming out of the NFL Draft. On Monday, they officially announced those 10 players along with five more.

The 15 break down seven on offense, seven on defense and a kicker:

OFFENSE: WR Josh Bellamy of Louisivlle, TE Tim Biere from Kansas, OL Justin Cheadle out of California, RB Nate Eachus from Colgate, FB Taylor Gentry of North Carolina State, C Cam Holland of North Carolina and WR Brandon Kinnie of Grandview and Nebraska.

DEFENSE: SS Jean Fanor of Bethune-Cookman, FS Chandler Fenner from Holy Cross, SS Tysyn Hartman of Kansas State, LB Dexter Heyman of Louisville, DE Ethan Johnson out of Notre Dame, SS Terrance Parks and FS Neiko Thorpe from Auburn.

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Matt Szymanski from SMU. …Read More!

Complete Coverage of the Chiefs & NFL Draft

The three-day passion play that in the NFL is known as the annual player draft left us with plenty of stories as the Chiefs drafted eight new players that they hope make a difference for their team in the coming years.

We were all over it throughout this year’s Draft and especially before as we tried to bring you as much information on possible draft choices as a one-man band can put together.

Here’s a compilation of our Sunday stories, entries on all eight draft choices and all of the seven-round picks in order, along with notes and other tidbits. Enjoy the package – for football fans it’s always a Christmas in April type of feel.

Here’s where you can find all the draft information:

In Sixth Round Chiefs Select Texas A&M RB


From the Truman Sports Complex

In the sixth round, the Chiefs reached down into the Longhorn State and grabbed RB Cyrus Gray of Texas A&M.

The 5-10 ¼, 206-pound Gray is a Texas native and brings a combination of speed and power to the Chiefs offense. He was timed at 4.47 in the 40-yard dash and did 21 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press.

In four seasons at College Station, Gray played in 49 games with 24 starts. He ran 632 times for 3,298 yards and 30 TDs. He caught 103 passes for 776 yards and 6 TDs. He had back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 rushing yards, gaining 1,133 in 2010 and 1,045 in 2011. He scored a dozen touchdowns in each season.

“He was a tremendously productive back,” GM Scott Pioli said of Gray. “He and (Ryan) Tannehill were the leaders on the football team down there. He played injured, played with a big problem all this year and he continued to be productive and a team leader.”

Gray said the leadership role is one he embraces

“I think what I do best is just being a leader on and off the field,” Gray said. “My skills and all that stuff speak for themselves. Hopefully I can show that when I get there.”

Over his career at Texas A&M and DeSoto High School, Gray played many different spots, working at quarterback, slot receiver, fullback and he was also one of the better Texas schoolboy kickoff returners.

“I think that was good for me,” Gray said of his jack of all trades work. “My coach always told me the more you can do, the better it is. Maybe I haven’t mastered one thing, but if you can be a jack of all trades and do more, then I guess guys will be willing to have you.”

Here’s a more complete profile that we ran several weeks ago.

Cyrus Danall Gray

Born – November 18, 1989 in DeSoto, Texas

Graduated in 2008 from DeSoto High School.

Year

G/S

Car

Y

Avg

TD

LG

Rec

Y

Avg

TD

LG

2008

12/8

75

363

4.8

1

60

10

60

6.0

0

21

2009

13/9

159

757

4.8

5

42

28

226

8.1

2

20

2010

13/7

200

1,133

5.6

12

84

34

251

7.4

1

28

2011

11/5

198

1,045

5.3

12

63

31

239

7.7

3

26

Total

49/29

632

3,298

5.2

30

84

103

776

7.5

6

28

 

Evaluating & Analyzing Chiefs Class of 2012

From the Truman Sports Complex

Here’s our evaluation of the good, bad and other items involving the Chiefs eight selections in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Thursday, April 26

  • Chiefs 1st pick Dontari Poe (Round 1, 11th overall).

The good: The big nose tackle is a remarkable athlete with size, speed and strength numbers that were among the best in the 2012 draft class. Plus, Poe’s a hard worker with a good attitude who is anxious to step in and play in the NFL.

The bad: He came out of a losing program and his production was minimal over three seasons. The level of competition he’s played against was not first-rate and he did not dominate when he was on the field.

Character/background: Poe grew up in tough circumstances in Memphis with a single Mother and older brother in prison for burglary and drug charges, but he came through his childhood and

Need pick?: Yes, a nose tackle was the biggest hole in the Chiefs roster, both in the short term and longer term.

The bottom line: Poe is a developmental project. Those type of players are not often drafted that high in the first round. Most teams saw him as a bottom of the first-round choice.

Friday, April 27

  • Chiefs 2nd pick Jeff Allen (Round 2, 44th overall).

The good: The Illinois blocker is a durable performer who opened 47 games at both left and right tackle. That’s an impressive history given the type of competition he was playing against in the Big Ten Conference.

The bad: He will be asked to move to guard, a position that he’s never played in high school or college. There will be a big learning curve for Allen.

Character/background: Team leader at Illinois with no apparent off-field problems during his time with the Illini.

Need pick?: Yes, depth was very necessary for the Chiefs in this draft, especially along the offense line.

The bottom line: Allen is a developmental project and unlikely to contribute much in the 2012 season, especially if he’s moved to guard.

  • Chiefs 3rd pick Donald Stephenson (Round 3, 74th overall).

The good: The Kansas City native spent the last two seasons handling left tackle at Oklahoma, no small achievement for a program that likes to throw as much as the Sooners.

The bad: With only two years of real playing experience, he remains a very raw prospect that will need close instruction and time to develop.

Character/background: Stephenson was suspended during his time with Oklahoma for breaking team rules. He was also arrested as a high school senior when he was part of joy-riding crime spree in Blue Springs.

Need pick?: Yes, long-term depth at tackle was a must for the Chiefs.

The bottom line: Stephenson is a developmental project and unlikely to contribute much in the 2012 season.

Saturday, April 28

  • Chiefs 4th pick Devon Wylie (Round 4, 107th overall).

The good: The Fresno State wide receiver has sub-4.4 speed and the knack of getting away from opponents and creating space, particularly as a punt returner.

The bad: At just 5-9, 186 pounds, Wylie battled injuries throughout his college career.

Character/background: No known problems.

Need pick?: Yes. The offense needed a speed receiver and the Chiefs needed another punt return threat.

The bottom line: When he’s healthy, Wylie has shown the ability to contribute and he could do that early in 2012 as a punt returner and slot receiver. He might be the first of these ’12 draft choices to get regular playing time.

  • Chiefs 5th pick DeQuan Menzie (Round 5, 146th overall).

The good: A two-year starter in the Alabama defense, Menzie played the difficult “star” position and handled the physical and mental aspects well enough to keep his job for the always hard to please Nick Saban.

The bad: He’s lacking in speed and may have trouble making the transition to the NFL and its faster receivers and deep threats in coverage.

Character/background: No none problems.

Need pick?: No, Menzie was more of a best available athlete pick. If he moves to safety, then he’ll fill a hole the Chiefs have in their roster.

The bottom line: There’s a roster spot waiting for Menzie if he shows he can handle the transition to pro football and can play a bit of safety.

  • Chiefs 6th pick Cyrus Gray (Round 6, 182nd overall)

The good: At running back Gray has a nice combination of power and speed and is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

The bad: Throughout his career he’s been the jack of all trades, but master of none.

Character/background: A team leader with the Aggies, he scores high on intangibles.

Need pick?: Yes. The offense needed a young back, with a style somewhere between Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. That’s what Gray provides.

The bottom line: With Charles and Hillis at the top of the depth chart, Gray will have to make his initial mark on special teams or possibly fullback, but he’s done that before at A&M.

  • The Chiefs 7th pick Jerome Long (Round 7, 218th overall)

The good: At San Diego State, he played both DE and DT for the Aztecs and his versatility paid off in 2011 when they went 8-5 and played in the New Orleans Bowl.

The bad: He has not played in a 3-4 defense since high school, and even then just a brief period of time.

Character/background: No known problems.

Need pick?: Yes. Offense needed a faster receiver and the Chiefs needed another punt return threat.

The bottom line: Limited production at San Diego State over his career, hard to see where he fits in the NFL.

  • The Chiefs 8th pick Junior Hemingway (Round 7, 238th overall)

The good: WR Junior Hemingway brings a great deal of athletic skill to the Chiefs receiving corps, especially with his ability to go vertical.

The bad: Playing games in five seasons with Michigan, Hemingway’s production was limited and he’s dealt with a lot of injuries.

Character/background: No known problems.

Need pick?: Not really. He’s a typical seventh-round choice – a good athlete without a sparkling career.

The bottom line: Special teams will punch his ticket on or off the roster.

The Draft Hay Is In the Barn – But Is It Worth Eating?

From the Truman Sports Complex

To a certain extent, the Chiefs eight-man class for the 2012 NFL Draft leaves me perplexed. GM Scott Pioli picks have as much of a chance to be successful as any of the other 31 draft class. He did not draft eight guys that are cripples or without resumes that show some achievement in the college ranks.

Yet, it’s a draft that is all about the future, not about the present and that’s what makes it all so hard to understand. How Pioli can sit in his chair in a fourth year in charge of the Chiefs and spend valuable draft currency looking past year No. 4 and focusing on year No. 5 and 6? He’s either had his contract extended by team chairman Clark Hunt, or he has the owner completely snowed.

I really hate to harp on one aspect, but there’s no way to evaluate the three-day 2012 NFL Draft without considering some important numbers:

  • Chiefs five-year record – 27-54, a .333 winning percentage.
  • Record under Pioli’s leadership – 21-28, a .429 winning percentage.
  • Number of head coaches in the last three years – 3, with the first two fired.

…Read More!

Just A Little Second Guessing . . .

My contention has been that the Chiefs drafted for down the road, and ignored the help needed to improve the team in 2012. My contention is that good personnel teams can do both.

For example, one of the best drafting teams in the NFL over the last 25 years has been the Pittsburgh Steelers. They seldom make a big mistake with their money picks, they always seem to have bodies ready and able to step in when they lose some of their older veterans to free agency, and they are not a group influenced by the public on who or what position they should focus on for their selections.

That’s one reason they’ve been in the Super Bowl three times over the last seven seasons, winning two of those championships.

My contention is this – if the Chiefs had used their first five draft choices in the manner that the Steelers did their choices, Kansas City would be better off in 2012 and beyond.

Here are the choices for both teams: …Read More!

Chiefs Adding Undrafted Rookies

Even before the NFL Draft is over each year, the race to sign undrafted rookies begins. It’s just another important part of the personnel process. Yes these are the players that will round out the bottom of the 90-man roster for training camp.

But there are so many stories about undrafted rookies not only making the club; they went on to long careers.

(That’s Colgate RB Nate Eachus to the left.)

The Chiefs have announced their signings yet and won’t until they have contracts actually signed by the player. But through agents, other media and Twitter (is that now other media?) there appears to be at least 11 players that committed to GM Scott Pioli and his signing staff: …Read More!

Chiefs Close Out 2012 NFL Draft With A Receiver

With their second selection in the seventh round and eighth pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Chiefs grabbed Michigan WR Junior Hemingway.

The 6-1, 222-pound Hemingway hails from Conway, South Carolina, but he’s spent the last five seasons in Ann Arbor playing for the Wolverines in 48 games with 31 starts. In that time he caught 88 passes for 1,638 yards and 11 TDs.

Hemingway was the 30th wide receivers selected in the 2012 NFL Draft and the third player this year from Michigan.

“Being able to be productive, graduate, and now have my shot in the pros, it kind of makes me feel like I can do anything,” Hemingway said.

How did a kid from South Carolina get to Michigan? “I started playing receiver the summer going into my junior year of high school and I went to Michigan for camp and played receiver,” said Hemingway. “They offered me a scholarship and stuck with me all the way through the recruiting process. So I decided to go to Michigan to play football.”

After minimal playing time in his freshman season (2007), Hemingway ended up receiving a medical redshirt after playing in four games in the 2008 season and then being forced to the sidelines by mononucleosis. He came back in 2009 and earned a starting job, which he pretty much held for the next three seasons.

This came through three different coaching staffs. He was recruited by Lloyd Carr and his staff that was replaced by Rich Rodriquez and his staff in 2008. Rodriquez was fired after the 2010 season and replaced by Brady Hoke.

“There were a lot of ups and downs,” Hemingway said. “But I played through it all and ended up pretty good.”

Last year was his best season with 34 catches for 699 yards and four touchdowns. That was good enough to lead the Wolverines in receiving. Against Notre Dame he caught 3 passes for a career-high 165 yards, including a 43-yard scoring play and a 77-yard completion. Hemingway was the MVP of the Sugar Bowl in January when he caught two TD passes in Michigan’s victory over Virginia Tech in New Orleans.

“I think a lot of his production was limited because of the offense he ran,” said Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. “He’s a guy who has really good physical tools, good hands.”

Kenneth Earl “Junior” Hemingway, Jr.

Born – December 27, 1988 in Conway, S.C.

Graduated from Conway High School in 2007

Graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 with degree in

Year

G/S

Rec.

Yds

Avg

TD

LG

2007

10/1

4

37

9.3

0

23

2008

4/1

2

41

20.5

1

33

2009

11/9

16

268

16.8

2

66

2010

10/8

32

593

18.5

4

70

2011

13/12

34

699

20.6

4

77

Total

48/31

88

1,638

18.6

11

77

5 rushes for 9 yards. 13 punt returns for 140 yards.

First 7th Round Choice Goes To Defense Line

With the first of two choices in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft the Chiefs selected DT Jerome Long from San Diego State University.

The 6-4, 285-pound Long played four seasons for the Aztecs with his best season coming in 2011, when he earned second-team All-Mountain West Conference defensive honors. The California native had 69 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and five sacks.

“He’s a long, linear type player who is probably going to come in and lineup initially at the defensive end position for us,” GM Scott Pioli said of Long. “He’s another guy that’s a team leader, high motor guy, tough guy and a really, really smart guy.”

Over his career in San Diego, Long played in 49 games with 163 total tackles, 17.5 TFL and 9 sacks.

“I played inside in college, but I could do whatever the team wants me to,” Long said. “I’ll do my best.”

He became a full-time starter in 2010 and racked up 30 tackles. Long came back in the 2011 season and finished with 73 total tackles and five sacks.

At Morro Bay High School in California, he played tight end and defensive end. He was also a wrestler.

JEROME LONG

Born – April 9, 1990 in Riverside, California

Graduated from Morro Bay High School in 2008

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

FF

RF

2008

11/7

37

2

1

0

0

2009

12/0

23

1.5

1.5

0

0

2010

13/10

30

6

1.5

0

1

2011

13/13

73

8

5

1

0

Total

49/30

163

17.5

9

1

1

In Sixth Round Chiefs Select Texas A&M RB


From the Truman Sports Complex

In the sixth round, the Chiefs reached down into the Longhorn State and grabbed RB Cyrus Gray of Texas A&M.

The 5-10 ¼, 206-pound Gray is a Texas native and brings a combination of speed and power to the Chiefs offense. He was timed at 4.47 in the 40-yard dash and did 21 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press.

In four seasons at College Station, Gray played in 49 games with 24 starts. He ran 632 times for 3,298 yards and 30 TDs. He caught 103 passes for 776 yards and 6 TDs. He had back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 rushing yards, gaining 1,133 in 2010 and 1,045 in 2011. He scored a dozen touchdowns in each season.

Over his career at Texas A&M and DeSoto High School, Gray played many different spots, working at quarterback, slot receiver, fullback and he was also one of the better Texas schoolboy kickoff returners.

Here’s a more complete profile that we ran several weeks ago.

In The Fifth Round Chiefs Grab Alabama DB

With the 146th choice in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Alabama DB DeQuan Menzie.

The 6-0, 198-pound native of Columbus, Georgia, began his college career in the junior college ranks at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi. He joined the Crimson Tide in 2010, playing in a dozen games with seven starts.

Then in the 2011 season he started at cornerback opposite Dre Kirkpatrick, starting 12 games, plus moving inside and covering the slot.

“When they were in their sub defense, he moved into their star position,” said GM Scott Pioli. “That’s the guy who covers the slot. This is a guy we were very excited to get. He was a player we were talking about.”

The star position is the spot where Javier Arenas caught the Chiefs eye during his final season in the Crimson Tide defense before he was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

“The person that Nick (Saban, Alabama head coach) puts at the star is usually really, really smart and really, really competitive and DeQuan is both of those things. One thing I think we’re all learning in this league and in our division is you can never have too many defensive backs that can cover and this guy can do that.”

Menzie said it’s called the star position because of how much effort goes into playing the spot. “It’s basically the hardest position,” said Menzie. “You’ve got to do a lot of reading the line, you’ve got to know formations, you’ve got to know where to fit and stuff like that. It’s really a hard position.”

Menzie appeared in 25 games over two seasons with the 2011 national champions. He had 41 total tackles, 1 interception, 1.5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery.

Some draft pundits considered him a second-round talent, but teams may have been afraid of his speed – not that he was too slow, but that they didn’t really have a good time on him in the 40-yard dash.

“He didn’t run for time,” Pioli explained. “He had a hamstring and then a groin. He had a groin issue and then groin hernia surgery at the end of the season and he wasn’t fully prepared to run in the last months.

“He’s a junior college transfer and when he first showed up at Alabama, he had an injury to his Achilles tendon. So I think his speed on paper is a little bit different.”

DeQuan McKenzie

Graduated in 2008 from Carver High School in Columbus, Georgia

Year 

G/S

Tkl

TFL 

Sks 

QBH 

Int 

PBU 

2010 

11/6

31

0 

1 

2 

0 

4 

2011 

12/12

37

3 

1.5 

1 

1 

11 

Total 

23/18

68

3 

2.5 

1 

1 

11 

In Fourth Round Chiefs Grab Wide Receiver

The Chiefs kicked off the third and final day of the 2012 NFL Draft by going small, rather than grabbing another big man like their first three choices.

In the fourth round they selected diminutive WR Devon Wylie out of Fresno State.

The California native is 5-9, 187 pounds. That’s seven inches shorter than third-round choice OT Donald Stephenson and 60 pounds lighter that first-round pick NT Dontari Poe. What he lacks in size and stature he made up for in his college career with explosion. He played in 44 games with the Bulldogs, catching 98 passes for 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns. Wylie also made a name for himself on punt returns, averaging 13.5 yards on 41 returns with a pair of touchdowns.

“We have him rated as being one of the guys we thought would be a top special teams player coming out of the draft,” said GM Scott Pioli.

But he was not a starter for the Bulldogs, opening only seven games, five of those last year. Wylie struggled with injuries throughout his college career that began in 2007. He dealt with a hamstring, sprained foot and then lost an entire season save one game to a lisfranc fracture in his foot (2010).

It wasn’t until the 2011 season that Wylie was able to stay on the field and away from major injuries.

“The good thing about it is none of it is lack of durability,” Wylie said of his injuries. “It’s just been unfortunate things. In this last season, I was able to prove that I can make it through the season explosively. Everything is on the right path, and everything is going well.”

Wylie caught 56 passes for 716 yards and one TD. He also finished fourth in major college football on punt returns in 2011 with a 15.4-yard average, including a 79-yard TD return against Boise State and a 67-yard return for a score against Nebraska.

“As a slot receiver, he has a chance to come in (and play),” said Pioli. “At the receiver position we thought about a couple different things in terms of need, not just a slot receiver, but a speed receiver. He hits two of those needs at that particular position.”

The guy he’s compared to most often is Patriots WR Wes Welker, and that’s just fine with Wylie.

“People consider me to be an undersized slot receiver and that’s fine, I take it as a compliment,” he said. “You know I take pride in being the Wes Welker-type.”

DEVON WYLIE

Graduated in 2007 from Granite Bay High School in California

Year

G/S

Rec

Y

Avg

TD

LG

Att

Y

Avg

TD

LG

2007

11/0

1

44

44.0

0

44

2

-1

-0.5

0

-

2008

9/0

22

369

12.2

2

47

4

51

12.8

0

25

2009

10/1

17

259

15.2

4

70

3

16

5.3

0

14

2010

1/1

3

39

19.5

1

28

1

4

4.0

0

4

2011

13/5

56

716

12.8

1

71

8

48

6.0

0

17

Total

44/7

98

1,327

13.5

8

71

18

118

6.6

0

25

 

Caption This!

This meeting went down Thursday night in New York. Quite probably for the first time ever, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell got to know the Chiefs first-round draft choice Dontari Poe in a very personal way.

What do you think they were saying to each other? Let us know.

NFL Draft Day No. 2 – More Big Bodies For Chiefs

Late Friday night, Scott Pioli was not willing to make a commitment that the Chiefs were done selecting wide bodies in the 2012 NFL Draft.

In three rounds that wrapped up with the third round, Pioli has taken three players that combined weight 959 pounds and average just a hair more than 6-4.

Dontari Poe . . . Jeff Allen . . . Donald Stephenson are all big boys. That certainly should allow the Chiefs to find some smaller, faster, quicker players in the final rounds on Sunday, right?

Wrong.

“Romeo and I were laughing because we’re two guys that love linemen,” Pioli said. “Clark (Hunt) made a joke as we were finishing up about “how many linemen are we drafting tomorrow. I won’t say we’re done with linemen yet.”

Here’s our day coverage:

Column: Where’s the Help For 2012?

The Chiefs are two days and three choices into the 2012 NFL Draft and here’s what we know of this year’s class of Dontari Poe, Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson:

  • They are big . . . on average 6-4½, 320 pounds.
  • They all play among the big uglies on the line of scrimmage.
  • They have GM Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel very excited.
  • Their selections have Chiefs fans befuddled.
  • There is a good probability that for the season opener, all three will be on the game-day inactive list.
  • Same for the week after that, and the week after that, and after that, and . . .
  • The chances that any of the three finishes the season as a starter at his position are slim, the only time that word will be associated with them.

Talking after the Draft’s third round ended on Friday evening, Pioli mentioned one of the goals the Chiefs had for this year’s draft.

“We talk about trying to get this team bigger, stronger, faster, tougher and we feel in the last two days we have certainly gotten bigger, stronger, faster, tougher,” Pioli said.

All that is well and good, but are they a better team after the first three picks of the draft?

It’s impossible to answer that question to the affirmative, even though Pioli tried.

“We’ve created quality depth and definitely created competition throughout the football team,” Pioli said.

Maybe so, but the additions of Poe, Allen and Stephenson are not about the little picture of 2012. It has far more to do about the big picture of down the road, in 2013, 2014 and beyond. That is something that a GM and head coach must realize and prepare for, especially teams that are consistently on top of the pro football standings. The Giants, Steelers, Packers, Patriots do this every year.

The last time I checked, the Chiefs did not make the playoffs last year. In Pioli’s three seasons in charge of the team, they’ve not won a game in the post-season. They are 21-28.

In other words, they need more talent and they need that talent to be on the field making big contributions in the regular-season opener against Atlanta on September 9.

“I think they’ll come in and compete immediately for positions,” Pioli said of his Friday draftees, blockers Allen and Stephenson. “We feel these guys, both of them have great versatility. The good news is that they’re going to be able to seriously compete and push players ahead of them for jobs right away. We expect for them to immediately come in and push people for playing time.”

Are we supposed to believe that Allen and Stephenson, a pair of college tackles, are going to come in and push starters Branden Albert and Eric Winston for playing time? Please. Even Pioli backed away from what he was trying to sell.

“I think we’ll be creating depth,” Pioli said. “We don’t expect them to come in and beat guys out right away. But they’ll be coming in and competing against other tackles.”

Again, how does that make the Chiefs better in 2012? On game day, there are usually seven offensive linemen on the active roster. If Albert or Winston goes down with an injury, are they really expecting Allen and Stephenson to be able to step in and make a difference? Right now, and the season remains four months away, the Chiefs have no experienced depth on their offensive line at any position.

“That’s correct, but you’ve got to start playing sometime, you know what I mean?” Pioli said.

Yes, I know what he means, and so does Matt Cassel and the doctors and trainers that will have to piece him together each week if this team is going to rely on rookies to provide depth.

Listen, there is a never ending fight that goes on within football organizations that pits the present against the future. Franchises that haven’t won a game in the playoffs since January 1994 – like the Chiefs – generally tend to be more concerned about the present, and establishing a new attitude within the team and thus building a new direction.

One gets the sense team chairman Clark Hunt and Pioli already believe that work has been done. They have changed the so-called culture of what they found four years ago. That may be true, but what they haven’t produced are successful results (21-28), and just maybe that’s been produced by the effects of a flowed approach to the NFL Draft.

2012 NFL Draft Second Round

#

Team Player

Pos.

HT

WT

College Notes

1-33.

St. Louis Brian Quick

WR

6-3

220

Appalachian St. OFF16, WR5

2-34.

Indianapolis Coby Fleener

TE

6-6

247

Stanford OFF17, TE1

3-35.

Baltimore * Courtney Upshaw

OLB

6-2

272

Alabama DEF18, LB3

4-36.

Denver * Derek Wolfe

DT

6-5

295

Cincinnati DEF19, DT4

5-37.

Cleveland Mitchell Schwartz

OT

6-5

318

California OFF18, OT3

6-38.

Jacksonville Andre Branch

DE

6-4

259

Clemson DEF20, DE8

7-39.

St. Louis * Janoris Jenkins

CB

5-10

193

No. Alabama DEF21, CB4

8-40.

Carolina Amini Silatolu

G

6-4

311

Midwestern St. OFF19, G3

9-41.

Buffalo Cordy Glenn

OT

6-5

345

Georgia OFF20, OT4

10-42.

Miami Jonathan Martin #

OT

6-5

312

Stanford OFF21, OT5

11-43.

N.Y. Jets* Stephen Hill #

WR

6-4

215

Georgia Tech OFF22, WR6

12-44.

CHIEFS Jeff Allen

OT

6-4

307

Illinois OFF23, OT6

13-45.

Chicago * Alshon Jeffery #

WR

6-4

230

South Carolina OFF24, WR7

14-46.

Philadelphia Mychal Kendricks

LB

5-11

239

California DEF22, LB4

15-47.

Seattle * Bobby Wagner

LB

6-0

233

Utah State DEF23, LB5

16-48.

New England * Tavon Wilson

S

6-0

205

Illinois DEF24, S3

17-49.

San Diego Kendall Reyes

DE

6-4

299

Connecticut DEF25, DE9

18-50.

St. Louis * Isaiah Pead

RB

5-10

197

Cincinnati OFF25, RB4

19-51.

Green Bay * Jerel Worthy #

DE

6-2

308

Michigan State DEF26, DE10

20-52.

Tennessee Zach Brown

LB

6-1

244

North Carolina DEF27, LB6

21-53.

Cincinnati Devon Still

DT

6-5

303

Penn State DEF28, DT5

22-54.

Detroit Ryan Broyles

WR

5-10

192

Oklahoma OFF26, WR8

23-55.

Atlanta Peter Konz #

G

6-5

314

Wisconsin OFF27, G4

24-56.

Pittsburgh Mike Adams

OT

6-7

323

Ohio State OFF28, OT7

25-57.

Denver Brock Osweiler #

QB

6-7

242

Arizona State OFF29, QB5

26-58.

Tampa Bay * Lavonte David

LB

6-1

233

Nebraska DEF29, LB7

27

New Orleans Forfeit          

28-59.

Philadelphia * Vinny Curry

DE

6-3

266

Marshall DEF30, DE11

29-60.

Baltimore Kelechi Osemele

OT

6-5

333

Iowa State OFF30, OT8

30-61.

San Francisco LaMichael James #

RB

5-8

194

Oregon OFF31, RB4

31-62.

Green Bay * Casey Hayward

CB

5-11

185

Vanderbilt DEF31, CB5

32-63

N.Y. Giants Rueben Randle #

WR

6-4

210

LSU OFF32, WR9

*-picks traded. #-8 underclassmen drafted. Time of round – 2 hours, 6 minutes.

2012 NFL Draft Third Round

#

Team Player

Pos.

HT

WT

College Notes

1-64.

Indianapolis Dwayne Allen #

TE

6-3

255

Clemson OFF33, TE2

2-65.

St. Louis Trumaine Johnson

CB

6-1

204

Montana DEF32, CB6

3-66.

Minnesota Josh Robinson #

CB

5-10

199

Central Florida DEF33, CB7

4-67.

Denver * Ronnie Hillman #

RB

5-9

200

San Diego St. OFF34, RB5

5-68.

Houston * DeVier Posey

WR

6-1

211

Ohio State OFF35, WR10

6-69.

Buffalo * T. J. Graham

WR

5-11

188

N.C. State OFF36, WR11

7-70.

Jacksonville Bryan Anger

P

6-3

208

California ST1, P1

8-71.

Washington * Josh LeRibeus

G

6-3

312

SMU OFF37, G5

9-72.

Miami Olivier Vernon #

DE

6-2

261

Miami DEF34, DE12

10-73.

San Diego * Brandon Taylor

S

5-11

209

LSU DEF35, S4

11-74.

CHIEFS Donald Stephenson

OT

6-6

312

Oklahoma OFF38, OT9

12-75.

Seattle Russell Wilson

QB

5-11

204

Wisconsin OFF39. QB6

13-76.

Houston * Brandon Brooks

G

6-5

343

Miami (Oh) OFF40, G6

14-77.

N.Y. Jets Demario Davis

LB

6-2

235

Arkansas State DEF36, LB8

15

Oakland Supplemental Draft          

16-78.

Miami * Michael Egnew

TE

6-5

252

Missouri OFF41, TE3

17-79.

Chicago Brandon Hardin

CB

6-3

217

Oregon State DEF37, CB8

18-80.

Arizona Jamell Fleming

CB

5-11

206

Oklahoma DEF38, CB9

19-81.

Dallas Tyrone Crawford

DE

6-4

275

Boise State DEF39, DE13

20-82

Tennessee Mike Martin

DT

6-1

306

Michigan DEF40, DT6

21-83.

Cincinnati Mohamed Sanu #

WR

6-2

211

Rutgers OFF42, WR12

22-84.

Baltimore * Bernard Pierce #

RB

6-0

218

Temple OFF43, RB6

23-85.

Detroit Dwight Bentley

CB

5-10

182

LA-Lafayette DEF41, CB10

24-86.

Pittsburgh Sean Spence

LB

5-11

231

Miami DEF42, LB8

25-87.

Cleveland * John Hughes

DT

6-2

309

Cincinnati DEF43, DT7

26-88.

Philadelphia * Nick Foles

QB

6-5

243

Arizona OFF44, QB7

27-89.

New Orleans Akiem Hicks

DT

6-5

318

Regina, Canada DEF44, DT8

28-90.

New England * Jake Bequette

DE

6-5

274

Arkansas DEF45, DE14

29-91.

Atlanta * Lalmar Holmes

OT

6-5

323

So. Mississippi OFF45, T10

30-92.

Indianapolis * T.Y. Hilton

WR

5-10

183

FLA International OFF46, WR13

31-93.

Cincinnati * Brandon Thompson

DT

6-2

314

Clemson DEF46, DT9

32-94.

N.Y. Giants Jayron Hosley #

CB

5-10

178

Virginia Tech DEF47, CB11

33-95.

Oakland (c) Tony Bergstrom

G

6-5

313

Utah OFF47, G7

*-picks traded. (c) Compensatory pick. #-7 underclassmen drafted. Time of round – 1 hour, 42 minutes.

Chiefs Third Round – Oklahoma OT Donald Stephenson


From the Truman Sports Complex

In the third round with the 74th selection of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected OT Donald Stephenson from Oklahoma.

Stephenson, 6-6 and 307 pounds, played at Kansas City’s Central High School and at Blue Springs High School where his senior season was hampered by a broken toe.

Joining the Chiefs was a dream come true for the big man.

“I’m speechless,” Stephenson said right after receiving the call from the Chiefs at his mother’s home in Blue Springs. “I love the Chiefs. I’ve always loved them. To have a chance to play in my hometown is huge.”

He was a two-year starter for the Sooners at left tackle. As a freshman he took a redshirt season in 2007 after undergoing shoulder surgery that kept him out of physical action for three months. The next year he played in seven games as a reserve blocker and then did not play at all in the 2009 schedule as he served a school suspension.

“He ran into a little issue while he was there, but in talking to the young man and talking to the people at the school, they feel like after that issue he handled himself well and grew from it,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “They gave him a vote of confidence, to that helped make our decision easier about choosing the young man.”

In the 2010 Oklahoma season he started 1-0 of 14 games at left tackle, playing a total of 868 snaps. Stephenson stayed in that left tackle spot last season, when he earned honorable mention status All-Big 12 Conference.

He began his high school career at Kansas City’s Central High School, but said that at the end of his time there he was more interested in winning games, which is why he and his mother moved to Blue Springs and gave him the opportunity to play for excellent and winning Blue Springs High School program.

“It all came down to winning football games,” said Stephenson. “We weren’t doing much of that at Central, so I knew about Blue Springs High and their history and I wanted to be part of something special. Me and my Mom sacrificed and moved out here (Blue Springs) and got an apartment. She made a lot of sacrifices for me in doing that and it was a tough year for us but it turned out to work out for the best for me.”

Second Round For Chiefs – Illinois OL Jeff Allen


From the Truman Sports Complex

Help for the offensive line came with the Chiefs second-round choice in the 2012 NFL Draft Friday night when they selected OL Jeff Allen from the University of Illinois.

The 6-4, 307-pound Allen earned first-team All-Big Ten Conference honors playing at left tackle with the Illini in the 2011 season. He played in 49 games and started 47 consecutive games dating back to his freshman season in 2008, all of those starts coming at tackle.

But the Chiefs spoke to Allen about playing guard when he joins them for his rookie season. That’s the position he was introduced at by former Chiefs guard Will Shields, who was in New York to handle the announcement for the second round of the draft

“I didn’t play guard one single game at Illinois,” Allen said. “I showed the ability to play guard when I was at the Senior Bowl. A lot of teams liked it. I think I’m comfortable enough to play it at a high level. The difference with guard is that you have to be less patient. I learned that at the Senior Bowl.”

Allen started nine games as a freshman that year at right tackle. In his sophomore season, he moved to left tackle and started all 12 games there. As a junior and senior, he opened all 12 games in both seasons at left tackle and was named the team’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman.

In his first two seasons, Allen had the chance to play with current Chiefs right guard Jon Asamoah. “When I came to Illinois, I started as a true freshman,” Allen said. “I played right next to him. I was at right tackle and he was at right guard. He’s one of those guys that carried me along and kind of showed me the ropes.

“He taught me the persistency you have to bring especially at that level. You have to be persistent and I’m pretty sure it’s the same in the NFL.”

Allen also said he’s heard plenty about Kansas City, the Chiefs and Arrowhead Stadium from Asamoah, and plenty about the community from his Illinois teammate and starting quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase. “I heard a lot about the Chiefs in the locker room.”

A native of Chicago, the 22-year old Allen attended King High School where he was a four-year, two-way starter for head coach Lonnie Williams, where he was ranked among the top 30 prospects in the state.

“He’s a captain, been playing for about four years,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “He flips left and right, so there are a lot of good things about him. We’re going to take a look at a couple different positions, both tackle and guard, to see where he might fit.

“He’s been a tackle all his life, so just to say he’s going to come in and be a guard, I don’t know if I would say that. We’re going to let him compete and see where he fits.”

Ready To Kickoff Day #2 Of NFL Drtaft

Another 64 names will be called Friday evening as the 2012 NFL Draft continues in New York.

It all starts at 6 o’clock CDT and can be watched on ESPN and the NFL Network.

It was a speed record time for the first round on Thursday evening, when 32 players were picked in three hours. In the second round teams will have seven minutes to decide on a pick, while it’s a five-minute maximum for the third round.

The Chiefs have selection No. 44 in the second round and No. 74 in the third round.

There remain many talented players available to the teams drafting in these next two rounds. …Read More!

Chiefs Go Poe In First Round

.

“When I actually heard my name called, I just went numb. Being drafted that high and by that team was a best-case scenario.”

Those were the words of Dontari Poe, a huge 6-3, 246-pound nose tackle out of Memphis after he got the call from the Chiefs and was selected as their first-round draft choice. It was the Chiefs moment in what was a wild first day of the three-day 2012 NFL Draft that saw a whirlwind of traded draft picks.

Here’s our coverage of the first-round:

Column: Pioli Tosses the Draft Day Dice

From the Truman Sports Complex

Nobody in the Kansas City media horde has campaigned longer and harder than me for the Chiefs to draft a nose tackle. No one willing to express an opinion took more shots at Scott Pioli and Todd Haley for not filling the gaping hole in the center of the 34 defensive universes.

So Thursday night, what do the Chiefs do? They finally go out and do what they should have done in the previous three years – they drafted NT Dontari Poe with the 11th choice in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

And I’m sorry, but the move does not have me convinced that a hole in the club’s roster is now filled. It’s a nice try, but it’s almost impossible to see how this draft choice is going to advance them into the tournament field and challenge for a championship.

The GM that is “risk adverse” as one ESPN commentator said on television Thursday night, decided to gamble on a player generally considered boom or bust. Rather than take a safe choice, Pioli reached for Poe, in much the same manner that he reached for Tyson Jackson three years ago.

It’s déjà vu all over again and it may be an indicator that Pioli is feeling very safe in his spot on top of the Hunt Family franchise. While others speculate on Pioli’s job security being lessened due to a 7-9 season and his troubles with Todd Haley that led to a coaching change, the man himself is making picks that may not pay off for years. It was only during the 2011 season that Jackson became a confident and regular contributor to the Chiefs defense. Although he remained only a part-time player working on early downs against the run, Jackson then came off the field when the sub-defense was sent in to play the pass.

Get ready Chiefs fans, because it may take even longer for Poe to advance to a point where he can contribute in the middle of the K.C. defense.

Pioli is counting on Romeo Crennel making sure that development happens much faster than it did with Jackson. And, he’s so sure that Poe has the physical, mental and emotional makeup to become a major contributor that he strongly states that the move is not any more of a risk or gamble than any other draft choice.

“I don’t think this is a risky pick,” Pioli said. “The player fits the mold of the type of player that we’re looking for physically for that position. He fits a need to a degree. He fits everything that we believe in make-up wise in terms of his passion for the game, his love for the game, his work ethic and the way he plays.

“So to me, when you find a guy like this, this is not a risky player in the sense that we know we’ve got a football player that’s going to come in here and be a professional and do a great job and we are going to be able to maximize his abilities.”

In many ways, Dontari Poe is a remarkable person. He’s overcome a tough childhood with a single mother working split shifts to pay for the groceries and an older brother in prison on burglary and cocaine charges. People who worked with him at the University of Memphis have nothing but wonderful things to say about the young man who won’t turn 22 until August. Pioli said he sailed through the team’s psychological testing; showing a personality for overcoming whatever problem is presented to him.

That provides hope. But Poe has a long road to travel. Check his three-year career at Memphis and it’s hard to see the type of production that got Pioli and his scouts excited. In three years at Memphis, those teams finished 5-31, playing against competition that does not compete on the same level of play as the SEC or Big 12. In six of those games he played against SEC teams, producing five tackles total. Over his career, he averaged 3 tackles per game and one sack every seven games. In his 35 career games, there were four times when he didn’t record a single solo tackle or assist. There were another eight games where there was one tackle. That’s more than 33 percent of his games he barely turned up on the stat sheet.

He couldn’t even claim first-team status on the All-Conference USA team in 2011. The DT honors went to Tulsa’s Tyrunn Walker and Cordarro Law of Southern Mississippi; neither is a candidate to be selected in this year’s draft.

I’m sorry, but by every criterion available, drafting Dontari Poe was a higher risk than other options and possibilities at No. 11, like DTs Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers, even DEs like Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram and Chandler Jones. There were a couple of guards in David DeCastro and Kevin Zeitler and OT Riley Reiff. All of those players had multiple seasons of play against quality competition.

Maybe Romeo Crennel and his defensive line coach Anthony Pleasant are miracle workers and will be able to coach up Poe so that he’s a major contributor in 2012. Maybe Scott Pioli’s vision down the road of Poe fitting in with the K.C. defense will actually come into view.

But chances are that hole in the middle of the Chiefs defense will not be productively filled any time soon.

Second/Third Round Friday Night

The 2012 NFL Draft continues on Friday evening with the second and third round selections.

The second round will begin at 6 p.m. Central with coverage again on ESPN and the NFL Network.

Teams will have seven minutes to make their selections in the second round, and then five minutes for the third round.

There are 32 selections set in each of the rounds. St. Louis has the first choice in the second round with Indianapolis owning the first pick in the third round.

The Chiefs have pick No. 44 in the second round, the 12th choice in the round. They also have pick No. 74 in the third round.

2012 NFL Draft First-Round

 

# Team Player

Pos.

HT

WT

College Notes
1. Indianapolis Andrew Luck

QB

6-4

234

Stanford  
2. Washington * Robert Griffin III

QB

6-2

223

Baylor From St. Louis in trade
3. Cleveland * Trent Richardson

RB

5-9

228

Alabama From Minnesota in trade
4. Minnesota * Matt Kalil

OT

6-6

306

USC From Cleveland in trade
5. Jacksonville * Justin Blackmon

WR

6-1

207

Okl. State From Tampa Bay in trade
6. Dallas * Morris Claiborne

CB

5-11

188

LSU From STL/Wash in trade.
7. Tampa Bay * Mark Barron

SS

6-1

213

Alabama From Jax in trade
8. Miami Ryan Tannehill

QB

6-4

221

Tex A&M  
9. Carolina Luke Kuechly

LB

6-3

242

Boston College  
10. Buffalo Stephon Gilmore

CB

6-0

190

South Carolina  
11. CHIEFS DONTARI POE

NT

6-3

346

Memphis  
12. Philadelphia * Fletcher Cox

DT

6-4

298

Mississippi St. From Seattle in trade
13. Arizona Michael Floyd

WR

6-3

220

Notre Dame  
14. St. Louis * Michael Brockers

DT

6-5

322

LSU From Dallas in trade
15. Seattle * Bruce Irvin

DE

6-3

245

West Virginia From PHL in trade
16. N.Y. Jets Quinton Coples

DE

6-6

284

North Carolina  
17. Cincinnati * Dre Kirkpatrick

CB

6-1

186

Alabama From Oakland in trade
18. San Diego Melvin Ingram

DE

6-1

264

South Carolina  
19. Chicago Shea McClellin

DE

6-3

260

Boise State  
20. Tennessee Kendall Wright

WR

5-10

196

Baylor  
21. New England * Chandler Jones

DE

6-5

247

Syracuse From Cincinnati in trade
22. Cleveland * Brandon Weeden

QB

6-4

221

Oklahoma St. From Atlanta in trade
23. Detroit Riley Reiff

OT

6-6

313

Iowa  
24. Pittsburgh David DeCastro

G

6-5

316

Stanford  
25. New England * Dont’a Hightower

ILB

6-2

265

Alabama From Denver in trade
26. Houston Whitney Mercilus

DE

6-3

261

Illinois  
27. Cincinnati * Kevin Zeitler

G

6-4

314

Wisconsin From NE/NO in trade
28. Green Bay Nick Perry

DE

6-3

271

USC  
29. Minnesota * Harrison Smith

FS

6-2

213

Notre Dame From Baltimore in trade
30. San Francisco A.J. Jenkins

WR

6-0

192

Illinois  
31. Tampa Bay * Doug Martin

RB

5-9

223

Boise State From NE/DEN in trade
32. N.Y. Giants David Wilson

RB

5-10

206

Virginia Tech  
  • Defensive end was the most popular position with 7 DEs drafted, while quarterback and wide receiver had 4 each; No tight end or center selected in Round No. 1.
  • First five picks were offense, then defense dominated the choices, going 17 for the last 27. Overall it was 17 on defense, 15 on offense.
  • There were 19 underclassmen selected in the first round.
  • Alabama had four players drafted in the first round. There were nine schools with two picks each in the first: Stanford, USC, Oklahoma State, LSU, Baylor, South Carolina, Boise State, Notre Dame and Illinois.
  • The Southeastern Conference led all college leagues with 9 first-round picks. The Big 12 had five choices, with Big Ten and Pac 12 with 4 each.
  • Interesting teams without a first-round choice – Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, Oregon, California, UCLA.

2012 First-Round Trades

Half of the 32 first-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft belonged to more than one team before the final pick came off the board Thursday night. That included six of the first seven picks. Four picks were changed hands more than once. Here’s a first-round trade roundup:

No. 2 from St. Louis to Washington for No. 6, No. 39 in the second round and first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. This trade went down on March 9.

Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III at No. 2; the Rams traded No. 6 to Dallas.

No. 3 from Minnesota to Cleveland for No. 4 in the first round, No. 118 in the fourth round, No. 139 in the fifth round and No. 211 in the seventh round.

Browns selected RB Trent Richardson at No. 3; the Vikings selected OT Matt Kalil at No. 4.

No. 5 from Tampa Bay to Jacksonville for No. 7 and No. 101 in the fourth round.

Jaguars selected WR Justin Blackmon at No. 5; the Buccaneers selected S Mark Barron at No. 7.

No. 6 from St. Louis to Dallas for No. 14 and No. 45 in the second round.

Cowboys selected CB Morris Clairborne at No. 6; the Rams selected DL Michael Brockers at No. 14.

No. 12 from Seattle to Philadelphia for No. 15, No. 114 in the fourth round and No. 172 in the sixth round.

Eagles selected DE Fletcher Cox at No. 12; the Seahawks selected DE Bruce Irvin at No. 15.

No. 21 from Cincinnati to New England for No. 27 and No. 93 in third round.

Patriots selected DE Chandler Jones at No. 21; Bengals selected G Kevin Zeitler at No. 27.

No. 25 from Denver to New England for No. 31 and No. 126 in the fourth-round.

Patriots selected LB Dont’a Hightower at No. 25; Broncos traded No. 31 to Tampa Bay.

No. 29 from Baltimore to Minnesota for No. 35 in second round and No. 98 in fourth round.

Vikings selected S Harrison Smith at No. 29.

No. 31 and No. 126 in fourth round from Denver to Tampa Bay for No. 36 in second round and No. 101 in fourth round.

Buccaneers selected RB Doug Martin at No. 31.

Pioli Has No Doubts About Poe

When the announcement was made inside the Chiefs practice facility that the team’s first-round draft choice was NT Dontari Poe, the reaction was muted.

Some of the season ticket holders attending the free party were unhappy. There were others that seemed pleased, but the large majority of folks appeared a bit dazed, with a reaction that said Dontari who?

Or maybe it was Dontari why?

Given the report from GM Scott Pioli out of the Chiefs draft room, there was nothing but happiness there when the opportunity came to select Poe. Going into Thursday night’s first-round, Poe was a player that Pioli, Romeo Crennel and staff identified as one they would be interested in considering with that No. 11 choice in the first round.

As the picks went flying off the board in what turned out to be an unusual first round start, the Chiefs had a group of players they were considering. At the top of that group were two: Poe and LB Luke Kuechly. When Kuechly went at No. 9 to the Carolina Panthers, Pioli and Crennel knew what their choice would be.

“We didn’t feel like we were cornered into picking a certain position,” Pioli said. “We knew there were positions where we wanted to upgrade the competition and have some youth for the future as well. This one (Poe) fell to us and we were really happy about it.

“We think we got a guy that in time can be the best pure nose based on what we look for out of this draft. We are pretty excited about getting this player.” …Read More!

First Round For Chiefs – NT Dontari Poe

From the Truman Sports Complex

After several seasons where they failed to acknowledge the lack of a nose tackle for their 3-4 defense, the Chiefs used their first-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft to fill that major hole.

They selected NT Dontari Poe, a 6-3, 346-pound athletic specimen from the University of Memphis as the fourth first-rounder in the Scott Pioli Era in charge of Chiefs personnel.

Poe gained universal attention around the league after his performance in the NFL Scouting Combine in late February. In physical testing there, he was among the most athletic performers no matter position. At 346 pounds, he was timed in 4.98 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and he bench pressed 225 pounds 44 consecutive times. His vertical jump was 29½ inches, despite his weight and he ran the 20-yard shuttle in under five seconds. All are remarkable results for a man his size.

But head coach Romeo Crennel said it wasn’t Poe’s Combine performance that drew the Chiefs to him; it was the performances he put together in 35 games playing for Memphis.

“Our scouts’ reports talked about how good he was as a player and his ability,” Crennel said. “Those reports came before the Combine. What he did at the Combine perked us up even more.”

A native of Memphis, Poe had limited recruiting interest coming out of Wooddale High School. Recruiting services rated him a 2-star prospect. He took the 2008-09 school year to get his academics in order, and then landed on the Memphis campus where he was recruited by former Tigers head coach Tommy West.

Poe played in 35 games over the next three seasons, starting 30 of those along the defensive line. His production was limited, as he had 101 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. He also forced four fumbles for a Memphis team that went 5-31 in his three seasons.

Crennel said the fact Poe was moved all around the defensive line did not allow him to establish himself at a single position.

“He played the 9 (technique), 7, 5, 3, 2, 1 and he played over the center at nose tackle,” Coach Romeo Crennel said, referring to defensive end and defensive tackle spots in both the 34 and 43 defenses. “He did that every game, not just every once in awhile. We are going to put him at one position, nose tackle, where we’ll let him play and learn the spot.”

That was very good news for the 21-year old Poe, who was in New York at Radio City Music Hall for the Draft when he got the phone call from the Chiefs that he was their man.

“That sounds good to me,” Poe said. “It will be good to play just one spot, nose guard, and learn the ins and outs of the position. I’m eager to get it started. It wasn’t a problem playing (multiple positions), but it’s always better when you play one thing.”

While he played a few snaps in college as a two-gap nose tackle, there is no body of evidence from his college career to evaluate.

But GM Scott Pioli says Poe has shown enough attributes on the field at Memphis that the Chiefs feel he can transition to the position full-time.

“I’m not comparing players but Vince Wilfork never did a snap in the two –gap when he was down at the University of Miami,” Pioli said of the Patriots long-time nose tackle with three Super Bowl rings. “You see certain things in the players that you believe they have a chance to play the two-gap techniques.”

2012 NFL Draft Headed For Kickoff

Sometime after 7 o’clock Thursday night, after ESPN and the NFL Network get through their introductions at the top of the hour, the draft pick clock will kick off for the first choice.

Seconds later, the Indianapolis Colts will announce their selection of QB Andrew Luck.

That will trip the clock for the second choice, and seconds later the Washington Redskins will announce their selection of QB Robert Griffin III.

Then, the clock starts for pick No. 3 and the Minnesota Vikings are on the clock. What happens from this point is why football fans will tune in to watch the 2012 NFL Draft.

It’s Luck and Griffin and then various possibilities after that with the choices belonging to Minnesota, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Carolina and Buffalo.

After those 10 spots are filled, the Chiefs will get their chance to draft at No. 11. Or, trade down and out of the pick. …Read More!

2012 NFL Draft Profiles

Here’s the complete list of NFL draft profiles that have been running for the last month-plus. They are in alphabetical order and then by position.

…Read More!

Remembering Jack Palace & Draft Day Diet

It has been 42 years since the Chiefs appeared in the Super Bowl and 19 years since their last victory in the playoffs. The Chiefs are now entering the fourth year of the Pioli regime and the sixth year since the organization decided to clean house and start with their youth movement.

Kansas City isn’t Green Bay. There isn’t a waiting list of 78,000 for season tickets. Fair or not, even dedicated fans that have supported the franchise for years have lost or are losing their patience. The Chiefs haven’t been a Super Bowl contender since Dick Vermeil left, and by his own admission they weren’t going to get there if he stayed.

During that time the AFC West has evolved from the NFL doormat to one of the most competitive divisions. It boasts two of the top rated quarterbacks in the game in Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers and at least on paper Denver has improved dramatically from last year, when it won the division.

Every AFC West team was one key victory away from the divisional title last year. All of the front offices are staffed by experienced professionals who have the ability to move their teams in the right direction. The Chiefs, Denver and San Diego all have experienced NFL coaches who have won, although none of them consistently. San Diego has the most consistent system, as Norv Turner has been there for several years. All of the other head coaches are either in their first or second years. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – G David DeCastro

David DeCastro is a serious guy. Although his friends acknowledge that he has a wicked sense of humor, he seldom smiles. Satisfied is not a word that goes with his life on the football field.

As one of the best offensive lineman in this year’s class for the NFL Draft, he brings with him to the league an attitude that he just didn’t play well enough, no matter how well he may have played.

“He is so serious he sometimes thinks a high five after a touchdown is too frivolous because it might break concentration,” said Stanford QB Andrew Luck, who also happened to share a house with DeCastro. “The person he is hardest on is himself.”

Asked at the NFL Scouting Combine in February for his No. 1 memory of three seasons playing at Stanford and he answered quickly. “Brian Price of UCLA,” DeCastro said. “I set outside and he came back and countered inside. He sacked Andrew.”

That was the only sack DeCastro allowed during his college career, and came during his first season on the field. He’s had hundreds of successful blocks and plays since, but his memory is of failure.

“That’s just the way he is,” teammate OT Jonathan Martin said of DeCastro. “He’s seldom satisfied. That’s why he’s so driven.”

There’s a lot to the story of three D: Driven David DeCastro. Here are some of the details.

Draft Profile – G David DeCastro


DAVID DECASTRO/GUARD

Personal

David DeCastro

College – Stanford University.

Born – January 11, 1990 in Bellevue, Washington.

Family – Parents are Jennifer and Colin DeCastro, who are natives of South Africa. Mom has three college degrees including a Ph.D. in audiology from the University of Florida. Dad and his grandfather were both rugby stars back in South Africa. His parents did not allow him to play football until the ninth grade.

Physical

  • Height – 6-foot, 4 5/8 inches.
  • Weight – 316 pounds.
  • Arm – 32½ inches.
  • Hand – 10 inches.
  • Wing span – 79 1/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.43 seconds.
  • Bench press – 34 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 29½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 2 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.30 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.56 seconds.

Hometown

DeCastro grew up in Bellevue Washington, a city of nearly 123,000 on the eastern side of Lake Washington. Seattle is on the west side of the Lake. It’s a suburb of Seattle that was settled in 1869, but not officially incorporated until 1953. Prior to the Lake Washington Floating Bridge and it’s opening in 1940, Bellevue was largely a rural area. The first bridge and then atoner with the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge in 1963 turned Bellevue into a bedroom community for Seattle. Those who once called or still call Bellevue home include Ann and Nancy Wilson of the classic rock group Heart, baseball players John Olerud and Tim Lincecum and Layne Staley, the lead singer of Alice in Chains.

High School

DeCastro was part of the graduating class of 2008 at Bellevue High School where there are 1,338 students enrolled in grades nine through 12.

Football

The Wolverines under head coach Butch Goncharoff had one of the most successful high school football programs in the Northwest. DeCastro was part of the state 3A football championship in 2006, and that was the schools fifth title in six years.

2007 – Bellevue finished 11-2 on the season with DeCastro earning all-state honors, as well as all-King County honors.

2006 – The Wolverines went 14-0 and won the Class 3A state championship game. In four post-season games, Bellevue outscored their opponents 124-27.

2005 – Getting his first chance to play on varsity, DeCastro was part of a 9-2 Wolverines team.

Track

DeCastro was the 2008 Washington 3A champion in the shot put, with a winning throw of 59-feeet, 3 inches. He also won district (58-feet, 4 inches) and county (58 feet, 1 ½ inches) titles.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed DeCastro as a 3-star prospect and he was listed as the No. 11 center in the country. Scout.com rated him as the No. 3 center in the country and the No. 6 recruit in the state of Washington.

DeCastro got offers from Washington, Washington State and Oregon State, and was recruited by Southern Cal and Oregon. He committed to Stanford on May 16, 2007.

College

DeCastro accepted a scholarship to Stanford University, majoring in management, science and engineering. He will earn his bachelor’s degree in June.

He started all 39 games that Stanford played in the last three seasons, all those starts at right guard. He was a unanimous All-America selection in 2011, and twice was an all-conference pick for his play. In three seasons, he allowed one sack. That came in 2009 against Brian Price of UCLA

2011 – A consensus All-America at guard, as well as first-team pick for the All-Pac 12 Conference offense.,

2010 – DeCastro was named first-team All Pac-10 Conference, as he started all 13 games for the Cardinal.

2009 – Getting his first chance to play, DeCastro started all 13 games at right guard and was an honorable mention All-Pac 10 Conference selection.

2008 – A redshirt season where he did not play in any games.

Video

DeCastro vs. Notre Dame 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inNKcHBhtT4&feature=player_embedded

DeCastro highlights 2010 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8I56-rnbZ8&feature=related

(DeCastro is wearing #52 and plays all snaps at RG.)

Evaluation

Strengths – Physically big, intelligently huge, DeCastro also carries a very large nasty streak when he plays. What else could a coach ask for from an offensive lineman. From the ground up he’s solid to exceptional in every avenue. He has good balance and footwork. He is good on the run, and can pull and locate secondary players to block. DeCastro is very good at reacting in pass protection, keeping his feet moving and He finishes blocks, has that nasty temperament to push the action right up to the whistle. He’s played in a pro-style offense and has shown top-level personal and football character. His football intelligence is off the board, combined with a non-stop work ethic.

Deficient – Because of his average arm length, he sometimes has troubles getting the edge on hand-to-hand combat. He’s a self-made athlete, so he’s lacking a bit in some athletic skills and comes across as too tight and not flexible enough. If it sounds like nitpicking then welcome to the club – there’s not much negative to report on DeCastro.

Analysis – He’s often compared to Steve Hutchinson of the Seahawks, Vikings and Titans who was the No. 17 pick in 2001. There is no obvious problem with his game or potential. Draft him, put him in the lineup, re-sign him in five years and then 10 or 12 years down the road sign him to another career finishing contract.

What the scout said about David DeCastro

A scout for an AFC team said of David DeCastro – “It’s hard to poke a lot of holes in this guy’s game. He’s not perfect, but he’s got what everybody is looking for physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s hard to see how you could go wrong drafting him.”

Another scout for an AFC team said – “It’s his attitude that sets him above everyone else. He’s got the physical package and he’s smart, but he’s just got this outlook on football that wins you over. The game is important to him, he takes it seriously, he works harder than most to get better. He needs to improve on some of his fundamentals, but I would take 22 of him right now and go to the Super Bowl.”

What David DeCastro said

“There’s a lot to work on — just technique in general. Football is something where you’re always chasing perfection. There’s a lot I can get better at … using my hands, being more balanced … I mean, the list goes on.”

“It’s football at its finest. I think it’s the greatest feeling when you can hit a guy on your left shoulder and then with your right eye see the running back going through the hole. It’s pretty cool.”

 

What others said about David DeCastro

“He’s probably the smartest offensive lineman I’ve been around at the college level. He’s got incredible balance. He finds a way to get power generated to run through people. When he gets his hands on you it’s over. His hand strength and his ability to drive people off the ball, it’s something you don’t see a lot in modern college football. … Double-D will come off the football and drive his knees, his hands and his head into you and move you off the football.” Stanford offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren.

Does David DeCastro fit with the Chiefs?

Yes. A very big yes. Draft him and plug him in and he’ll be the best guard the Chiefs have had since Will Shields retired.

Chiefs Five Worst Trades With A Draft Choice

dC

No matter the evaluator or the person pulling the trigger on trades in pro football there are going to be great deals, and there are going to be stinkers. We provided the great deals in Chiefs history that involved a draft choice right here.

On the flip side, here are the five worst deals involving a draft choice that the Chiefs consummated over the last 53 years where the franchise has taken part in the AFL and NFL Drafts.

Ironically, defensive linemen dominate the list of the bad draft pick deals for the Chiefs over the years, topped by John Matuszak, Ryan Sims and George Seals.

Here are the five worst trades with picks, in ascending order: …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – DT Dontari Poe

Tom Miller was the head football coach at Wooddale High School in Memphis and he was headed out to practice one day, but getting a late start because of some paper work to take care of in the school office.

“Normally, I would have been on the field by the time the band passed, but that day I was late coming out of the locker room and the band happened to be marching past,” Miller said.

He immediately noticed the guy carrying the bass drum. How could he not – he was huge. Miller chased after the band so he could talk to the young man carrying the big drum, a freshman named Dontari Poe.

“I told Don, ‘I don’t know if you’re interested or not in playing, but I can teach you if you’re interested’,” Miller told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal newspaper. “He said, ‘Yeah, I’m interested.’ He bought right into it. Nobody had ever seriously approached him hard enough to get him to play. When I got Don on the field for drills, and saw how quick he moved, I knew he had something special.”

That special guy will be selected in Thursday’s 2012 NFL Draft, most likely in the first round. It’s a remarkable story of the guy with the big drum, becoming a remarkable athlete and he now sits and waits to write his story in pro football. Here are the details.

Draft Profile – DT Dontari Poe


DONTARI POE/DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Personal

Dontari Poe

College – University of Memphis.

Born – August 18, 1990, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Family – Parents are Sandra and Robert Poe Sr. His parents divorced after 17 years of marriage and he was raised by his mother and grandmother, who passed away three years ago. He’s the youngest of three brothers, behind Pierre and Robert Jr., who is serving a prison term for aggravated burglary and cocaine possession. He’s in a federal facility in the Memphis area.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 3½ inches.
  • Weight – 346 pounds.
  • Arm – 32 inches.
  • Hand – 9 5/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 73 5/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.98 seconds.
  • Bench press – 44 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 29 ½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 9 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.9 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.56 seconds.

Hometown

Poe grew up in Memphis, Tennessee.

High School

Poe was a member of the graduating class of 2009 at Wooddale High School in Memphis.

He participated in football and track at Wooddale, playing football for head coach Jesse Allen.

2007 – He received honorable mention status on the All-State team after his junior season when Poe had 63 tackles and eight sacks.

Track & Field

In the shot put, Poe earned the Tennessee Class 3A state title with a heave of 56-feet, 3 ¼ inches as a junior. He defended that title as a senior with a throw of 54-feet, 1 ¼ inches throw. That 2008 spring he also won the 3A state discus title with a personal best throw of 156-feet, 1 inch. In that senior season, he won city, district and regional track titles, as well as the two state championships.

Recruiting

Rivals.com rated Poe as a 2-star prospect, and the No. 19 Tennessee product. Scout.com rated him a 2-star prospect and No. 92 among defensive tackles in that recruiting class.

Schools that showed an interest in Poe were Memphis, Mississippi, southern Mississippi and Tennessee. He committed to his hometown Tigers on February 6, 2008.

College

Poe accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Memphis and he enrolled in the child and family studies curriculum.

In 35 games with 30 starts for Memphis, Poe had 101 tackles, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.

2011 – Honored as a second-team member of the Conference USA all-conference defense. He started all 12 games on the defensive line, with a tackle in each game, 33 in all. Against Marshall, he had a career high total of eight tackles. Poe was named one of the team’s MVP as well as the Defensive Player of the Year.

2010 – Poe received honorable mention status on the All-Conference USA defense, starting 12 games. He was fifth on the team with 41 total tackles. Against UTEP, he had a season high seven tackles.

2009 – In his freshman-redshirt season, Poe was named to the Conference USA all-freshman team. He played in 11 of 12 games, missing one game due to a death in his family. He started six times at nose tackle.

2008 – Redshirt season, did not play.

Statistics

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

QH

PBU

FF

Rec

2011

12/12

33

8

1

5

3

1

2-10

2010

12/12

41

6.5

2

3

1

0

1-11

2009

11/6

27

7

2

0

0

3

2-10

2008

Red

shirt

x

x

x

x

x

x

Total

35/30

101

21/5

5

8

4

4

5-31


Video

Poe vs. Tulane 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AZxD_uV5kyk

Poe vs. Arkansas State 2011 – http://www.cars-interest.com/video/video/-EUpHwf4LfI/Dontari-Poe-Vs-Arkansas-State.html

(Poe is wearing No. 74. The Arkansas State tape is not of good quality.)

Evaluation

Strengths – Incredible athlete for his size, with speed, quickness and strength – rare hat trick of physical gifts alone makes him worthy of consideration. He’s almost 350 pounds, but does not look like it and is not heavy sloppy. Poe can squat 700 pounds and if needed, he can anchor his spot on the defensive line and not be moved. However, he has the foot speed to make a move in the pass rush.

Deficient – He has short arms and small hands for a man of his size. Is not skilled in using his hands and that puts him in bad positions; although he’s a good knee bender, sometimes he plays too high and allows blockers to get the leverage advantage under him. Plays too nice and does not appear to have that killer instinct.

Analysis – Poe is a developmental project. He’s got a world of ability, but he’s not been schooled in how best to use all of those talents. He’s got a nice motor and for the most part gives good effort. He works hard on and off the field, giving hope for progress in the future. He’s still learning how to play the game and did not perform against the best of competition. In games Memphis played against SEC competition, he barely showed up on the post-game statistics sheet. It’s quite a package, but because he’s a developmental player, he shouldn’t be drafted in the top half of the first round.

What the scouts had to say about Dontari Poe

A scout for an AFC team said of Dontari Poe – “Workout champion that will always post big numbers in testing his body parts. But he doesn’t show up on the stat sheet after the game. Sometimes he would disappear and be handled by players of far less ability. Too inconsistent.”

A scout for a NFC team said – “I see him as an early second-round choice and I’d talk to my team about trading up there to make sure we got him. First-round picks should be able to step in and make big contributions for at least a quarter of the season. That’s four games. Not sure as a rookie this young man could get that done.”

What Dontari Poe had to say

“I get my toughness from my mom. Whenever there’s a time I think I want to quit, I think, ‘Man, she never quit on you. What would it look like if you quit on her right now?’ That’s why I say no matter how hard it gets, somehow, someway, you fight through it. That’s coming from her, because she always has gotten it done.”

What others said about Dontari Poe

“Don (Dontari’s nickname) worked his butt off for this, he sacrificed a lot of things. The whole time he has been working, he’s said, ‘I don’t want to see my mother struggle anymore.’ I really appreciate that.” His mother Sandra Poe.

“I’ve told NFL scouts that Dontari is so soft-spoken he’s hard to read. But inside, there is a tremendously motivated individual that at a younger age than most could set goals and work towards them. He’s a kid mature beyond his age, physically and mentally.” Former Memphis head coach Tommy West.

“Dontari has more upside than anybody I’ve ever coached. He’s not even close to how good he could be. He will make a lot more money when he signs his second pro contract in a few years.” Memphis defensive line coach Mike DuBose.

Does Dontari Poe fit with the Chiefs?

Other than the developmental factor, yes he does fit with the Chiefs. Poe has many of the necessary intangibles that GM Scott Pioli is looking for to fit in his “right 53.” Taking him at No. 11 is too high. Taking him at No. 44 would be just right, but chances are he’ll be gone when that second-round opportunity comes around.

New Draft Room Chemistry . . . Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs


“I need to do my job better. We need to have a better roster and I feel that we have a good, solid core of players and clearly it’s not good enough and I need to do my job better.”

Those words came from Chiefs GM Scott Pioli on the December day that he and team chairman Clark Hunt fired Todd Haley as head coach. It was an acknowledgement that Haley needed more help last year from the Pioli-led personnel department when injuries and a lack of quality depth made for a losing season.

As the Chiefs are now within 48 hours of kicking off the 2012 NFL Draft with Thursday night’s first round, they face a new dynamic in the draft room.

Gone is Haley, fired with three games to play last season and now in Pittsburgh as the offensive coordinator. Another key figure in the personnel equation for the Chiefs the last two years is gone as well, as director of college scouting Phil Emery left in January to become the general manager of the Chicago Bears.

The absence of Haley and Emery is no small factor in the chemistry of what went on during the NFL draft in 2010 and 2011. …Read More!

Top 100 Players – Draft Week

Here’s our third and last list of the top 100 players in the pool for the 2012 NFL Draft season. There are some changes in the list since March and certainly since February, largely because of various events and the reaction by NFL personnel types to the NFL Combine, private workouts, etc.

After hours of conversation with all levels of personnel executives here’s the top 100. Again, this is not a prediction on when they’ll be drafted, but rather when they should if every team was strictly taking the best player available at the time. The group of 100 breaks down to 53 on defense, 47 on offense. There are 34 underclassmen among the 100 names.

1-10

#

Pos 

Player 

College

Notes 
1.

QB 

Andrew

Luck*

Stanford

OFF1, QB1
2.

QB 

Robert

Griffin III*

Baylor

OFF2, QB2
3.

RB

Trent Richardson*

Alabama

OFF3, RB1
4.

OT 

Matt

Kalil*

Southern Cal

OFF4, OT1
5.

WR

Justin

Blackmon*

Oklahoma State

OFF5, WR1
6.

CB 

Morris

Claiborne*

LSU

DEF1, CB1
7.

DT 

Fletcher

Cox*

Mississippi State

DEF2, DT1
8.

G 

David

DeCastro*

Stanford

OFF6, G1
9.

WR 

Michael

Floyd 

Notre Dame

OFF7, WR2
10.

DE 

Melvin

Ingram 

South Carolina

DEF3, DE1

…Read More!

Chiefs Five Best Trades From A Draft Choice

The idea of trading draft choices was not the invention of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. No NFL franchise has gotten more attention for dealing spots in the annual selection meeting than the Patriots.

But teams have been dealing picks for 50 years or longer in the NFL, AFL, USFL, WFL and assorted other leagues.

This year will be the 53rd draft that the Texans/Chiefs franchise has taken part in since Lamar Hunt conceived of the American Football League and fielded eight teams in 1960. They’ve drafted a lot of players in that time. Some have been outstanding selections. Others were busts, some of mega-proportions.

They’ve also made plenty of trades involving draft choices. Some of those have been the worst moves in franchise history – we’ll cover those on Wednesday. But some of those deals have brought to the Chiefs not only outstanding players, but Hall of Famers.

The five best trades in Texans/Chiefs history that involved a draft choice included three cases where the Chiefs made deals that brought them a choice they used on a player. In the other two other cases they dealt picks for players. All of these deals worked.

Here are the five best trades with picks, in ascending order: …Read More!

Chiefs Still Have Needs . . . Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s a refrain that has been heard from the Chiefs several times since the first wave of free agency signings were wrapped up.

“We could go out there and play right now with what we have.”

That’s how GM Scott Pioli described his roster the other day. Head coach Romeo Crennel has used similar words. There have been various media outlets that have bought this line and talk about how well the Chiefs are set up for the season. All this chattering about the quality of the talent and it comes down before the NFL Draft and another layer or two of free agency.

Since when is having a roster to “go out there and play right now” the goal of the Kansas City Chiefs? Right now it’s April; the goal is about playing in December and playing with a talented enough team that can be competing for a spot in the playoffs and a championship.

And as the Chiefs roster sits today, there are way too many questions remaining to be answered for anybody to be talking about anything else but finding more players who can get on the field this year and contribute. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – DL Melvin Ingram

At 6-1, 265 pounds Melvin Ingram is what is known in football parlance as a tweener, an in-between physical size that isn’t quite big enough to fill the role along the defensive line, or too big and not quick enough to play linebacker.

But that’s never stopped Ingram from contributing, and finding many ways to do so. His athletic ability could move him from defensive end, to defensive tackle, to outside linebacker, to even inside linebacker. The only restrictions on him are in the fertile imagination of a defensive coordinator.

Ingram has been doing it all since his high school days back in North Carolina. In game for his Richmond County High School team against Scotland High School in October 2006, Ingram scored three times. The first was returning a blocked FG for a touchdown. Next, he returned an interception 45 yards for touchdown. Then, playing at running back for the first time in his high school career, he broke off a 45-yard run for touchdown No. 3. Richmond County High won 31-13 and Ingram scored in all three phases of the game and had more points himself than the opponent. He also punted and kicked off. This is the rest of his story.

Draft Profile – DL Melvin Ingram


MELVIN INGRAM/DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Personal

Melvin Ingram

College – University of South Carolina.

Born – April 26, 1989, Hamlet, North Carolina

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 1½ inches.
  • Weight – 264 pounds.
  • Arm – 31½ inches.
  • Hand – 9 5/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 77½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.71 seconds.
  • Bench press – 28 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 34½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 1-inch.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.83 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.15 seconds.

Hometown

Ingram was raised in Hamlet, North Carolina, a town of approximately 6,100 people in Richmond County, just on the border with South Carolina in the central part of the state. It’s near Rockingham, which has become known for its NASCAR track. Railroading is a big part of Hamlet’s past and it’s the home of the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame. The most famous native of Hamlet was legendary jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. Also, former New York Times columnist Tom Wicker was born there. Hamlet has produced a number of NFL players including former Philadelphia WR Mike Quick, Cincinnati DB Louis Breeden, N.Y. Giants CB Perry Williams and Baltimore LB Dannell Ellerbe.

High School

He was a member of the graduating class of 2007 at Richmond High School, part of the Richmond County School District in Rockingham, North Carolina. There are approximately 1,300 students in grades 10 through 12.

Ingram played football, basketball and baseball for the Raiders, receiving all-state honors in football. As a senior in 2006, Ingram was named to the all-state team in North Carolina. He was also the conference defensive player of the year. In basketball, he was the team’s point guard and in his senior year he had three buzzer beaters to win games.

Football

Playing for Raiders head coach Ed Emory, Ingram was a jack of all trades, playing multiple positions including wide receiver, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle, punt returner, punter as well as serving as the kickoff man.

2006 – Ingram wrapped up his senior season with 87 tackles and 2.5 sacks. In the annual Shrine Game all-star affair, he returned a fumble for a touchdown. The Raiders were 12-1 on the season, winning the Mid-Southeastern Conference and earning the No. 3 seed in the state 4AA playoffs, where they lost in the second round to Providence High School, 27-0.

November 17, 2006 – Richmond County faced Charlotte Providence in a second round game in the 4AA state playoffs. The game was played on RCHS home field. Providence won 27-0, ending Richmond County’s season with a 12-1 record. Ingram and teammate Joey Cook were disciplined by the Raiders coaching staff for violating a team rule. They sat out the first quarter, much to the consternation of teammates who were disagreed with the coaches’ decision and were vocal about their displeasure.

Throughout the game, there was name calling, helmet throwing, finger pointing and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. It was a total meltdown by the Raiders. “It was a horrible night,” said head coach Ed Emory. It was an embarrassment from the first play to the last play. We had a great season end on a sour note. We don’t know how to handle adversity very well. We had no senior leadership. We thought we could coast out there … the way we acted was pitiful.”

2005 – He finished his junior year with 107 total tackles, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, along with eight catches for 125 yards and four TDs as a wide receiver. The Raiders were 13-1 on the season, winning the Mid-Southeastern Conference.

Recruiting

Rivals.com rated him a 4-star prospect, No. 10 player in the state and No. 21 at his middle linebacker position. Scout.com rated him a 3-star prospect and the No. 20 middle linebacker in the country.

He was recruited by South Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State and East Carolina. He committed to the Gamecocks on December 3, 2006.

College

Ingram signed on at the University of South Carolina in Columbia where he enrolled in the school of African-American Studies.

He spent five years in the program, taking a redshirt season as a sophomore because foot surgery ended his chances of playing that year. He played in 52 games with 109 total tackles, 3.05 tackles for loss, 21 sacks and 2 interceptions. He was named to the first-team All-SEC defense and was part of the American Football Coaches Association’s All-America team. He was the third consensus All-America in South Carolina history.

2011 – His final year for the Gamecocks, he was voted team captain by his teammates. Ingram played 13 games and contributed 48 total tackles, 15 TFL, 10 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 2 interceptions and he scored 3 TDs including a 68-yard run on a fake punt vs. Georgia. In that same game, Ingram returned a fumble five yards for score. He recovered a fumble in end zone against Vanderbilt for a touchdown. He was fourth on the team in scoring with his three touchdowns.

2010 – Played in all 14 games, with one start. Ingram had 28 total tackles, 11 TFL and led the team with 9 sacks. He suffered a broken hand early in Vanderbilt game but returned to play the rest of the game and did not miss any play time in subsequent games. He had 2 sacks and 5 tackles overall against Alabama. Added a sack in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl game and his sack against Troy caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by the Gamecocks.

2009 – Ingram played in all 13 games with one start. He had 18 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks. He was moved to DE for Florida game making his first career start there. He had five tackles against Vanderbilt.

2008
– He sat out season with broken foot and surgery from an off-field accident. He was one of five players involved in campus fracas with non-football players in September 2008. No one was charged in the affair, but Ingram suffered the foot injury.

September 11, 2008 – Ingram was one of five South Carolina football players involved in a lunchtime brawl at the on-campus Russell House. Two men who were not South Carolina student came into the dining hall and started a fight, with a number of tables and chairs overturned. The players were listed as victims in the campus police report and they all decided not to press charges against those that started the fight.

2007 – Played in all 12 games as LB, with 15 tackles and 1 sack. Against Kentucky he had five total tackles. He returned five kickoffs for 90 yards.

Statistics

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

QH

PBU

FF

RF

Int

Rec

2011

13/12

48

15

10

6

2

0

1

2

11-2*

2010

14/1

28

11

9

1

1

1

0

0

9-5*

2009

13/1

16

3.5

1

1

1

0

0

0

7-6*

2008

Red

Shirt

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

7-6*

2007

12/0

17

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

6-6

Total

52/14

109

30.5

21

8

4

1

1

2

40-25

2 runs for 87 yards, 1 TD; 5 kick returns for 90 yards; 1 fumble return for TD.*- (2011) Capital One Bowl; (2010) Chick-Fil-A Bowl; (2009) PapaJohns.com Bowl; (2008) Outback Bowl.

Video

Ingram vs. Vanderbilt 2011 –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_p1mg1fiaYU

Ingram vs. Auburn 2011 -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5dkwPHQJXk&feature=player_embedded

Ingram vs. Georgia 2011http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ojjrp2bGNw&feature=related

(Ingram is wearing #6 in these tapes.)

Evaluation

Strengths – Very athletic player with a high motor, when he’s standing and rushing the passer he looks like Tamba Hali. Loose hips, loose ankles, he’s a knee bender and can contort his body on the pass rush, one of the standard physical tools to any top pass rusher. Ingram plays the run well, using his leverage to get under blockers. He’s shown he can play anywhere on the defensive front, outside, inside, at linebacker, standing, or in a three-point stance. He has very good football awareness.

Deficient – He’s a real tweener because of his size; not big enough to go inside on a full-time basis, and not ideal to play outside with his speed. Inconsistent with his fundamentals, showing good hands at times, but then he gets lazy and doesn’t use them well. Has a powerful bull rush and a good swim move, but nothing beyond that as a pass rusher.

Analysis – Although he’s raw and sometimes appears under-motivated, Ingram is a playmaker, who always seems to be around the ball with surprising athletic ability for a man his size. His future lies in the imagination of a defensive coordinator, who can use his bag of abilities. Scouts have questioned his maturity, but he was a team captain with the Gamecocks for the 2011 season.

What the scouts say about Melvin Ingram

A scout for an NFC team said of Melvin Ingram – “Where do you play the guy? Inside, outside, front four, linebacker … I’m not sure he’s better at any of them than the other. A guy like Belichick would have a field day using this guy. He might have him playing corner.”

A scout for an AFC team said – “He’s a unique athlete, but he has to qualify as a one-year wonder. He didn’t put everything together until this year. Is he going to continue to trend upward, or was this the culmination of four years and he starts over again in the NFL?”

What Melvin Ingram said

“I just work at having a relentless mentality of getting around the ball; just trying to be around the ball every play no matter where it’s at. I feel like I’ve worked hard enough, and by me working hard, I feel like when the big plays present themselves I’m able to make them.”

What they said about Melvin Ingram

“He’s a playmaker and he can do anything they ask him to do. He’s the guy every game to make a play. The Mississippi State game, we were both tired, and told him, ‘We have to step up, we have to get it,’ and I looked up and he was in the quarterback’s face and D.J. (Swearinger) caught an interception. Everyone saw D.J.’s interception but didn’t realize that Melvin caused a bad throw.” High school and South Carolina teammate Travian Robertson.

“I think people forget he was a linebacker and a fullback coming out of high school. In the recruiting process we evaluated him and we knew he was going to be a down lineman. He grew up, made a change, and it’s the best thing for him. When Melvin finally realized that he was a defensive lineman and bought into what we were doing, he’s gotten better and better.” South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing.

Does Melvin Ingram fit with the Chiefs?

Yes and no. There has to be some question as to whether Ingram was a one-year wonder in having a big season in 2011. Then there’s the question of where he plays, and how he fits into Romeo Crennel’s defensive scheme. The fact he’s one of the better pass rushers in this draft class would make him valuable to the Chiefs and their always wanting pass rush.

Top 100 Prospects – LB Luke Kuechly

The personnel guy has sat through a lot of interviews with potential draft choices over the years. None left a bigger impression on him than Boston College LB Luke Kuechly.

“People joke around and say how they’d like their daughter to bring a guy like Luke Kuechly home as a boyfriend,” the grizzled scout said. “Well, I’d like to take him home and have him as my son. So intelligent, so well spoken, he’s able to convey his love of football in a way that’s just amazing. On top of that, he can play.”

Kuechly left Boston College with a 3.8 grade point average, but for him football is everything. Last year he said: “Football is a lifestyle more than anything. It’s how you eat, it’s how you sleep, it’s how you conduct yourself. It’s just everything you do you have to keep in mind, is this going to help or have a positive impact on how my practice is going to be, how my workout is going to be, how the game is going to be. If you can go out or get a night’s sleep a couple of days prior to a game, you’ve got to get the sleep because that’s going to impact you more in a positive way. It’s what you are, how you act, what you do – kind of everything.”

Here’s the Luke Kuechly story.

Draft Profile – LB Luke Kuechly


LUKE KUECHLY/LINEBACKER

Personal

Luke August Kuechly (KEEK-lee)

CollegeBoston College University.

Born – April 20, 1991, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

FamilyParents are Eileen B. and Thomas J. Kuechly. Mom is a homemaker involved in numerous charities. Dad is the president of J&N Electric, a warehouse distributor specializing in the starter and alternator rotating electric segment of the automotive, heavy duty, industrial, agricultural and marine aftermarket. Luke is the middle of three sons.

Physical

  • Height6-feet, 3¼ inches.
  • Weight242 pounds.
  • Arm31 inches.
  • Hand 9¾ inches.
  • Wing span75 1/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.6 seconds.
  • Bench press – 27 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 38 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 3 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.95 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.18 seconds.

Hometown

Kuechly grew up in Evendale, Ohio, a village in Hamilton County just off Interstate 75, north of Cincinnati. Population of the village is approximately 2,767 people according to the U.S. Census in 2010. Evendale is home to GE Aviation, a manufacturing plant providing avionics for aircraft engines. Evendale was a stop on the Underground Railroad used in the second half of the 1800s to allow slaves from the south to escape to free states and Canada.

High School

He was part of the graduating class of 2009 at St. Xavier High School, a private, all-male college prep high school located in Finneytown, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati. It was founded in 1831 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), making it one of the oldest high schools and oldest educational institutions in the country. There are over 1,500 students in grades nine through 12 on its 110-acre suburban campus.

Kuechly graduated with a 3.8 GPA and participated in football and lacrosse for the Bombers. Playing for football coach Steve Specht, the Bombers won an Ohio state title in 2007.

2008 – In his senior season, he moved to a rover/safety like position, giving him more freedom in the defense. St. X finished 4-6, while Kuechly had 130 tackles, a sack, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, an interception and a safety. He was a first-team selection to the All-Greater Catholic League defense.

2007 – The Bombers went 15-0 and won the state Division 1 title with a 27-0 shutout of Mentor. As a junior, Kuechly led the defense with 147 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles, 2 interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.

Recruiting

Rivals.com had him rated as a 3-star player, ranked No. 37 in Ohio and No. 44 in the country at linebacker. Scout.com listed him as a 3-star prospect and No. 23 among the linebackers.

He took on-campus visits to Duke, Stanford and Virginia, and received interest from Illinois, Louisville, Cincinnati and Michigan State. He committed to Boston College in January 2009 and maintained that commitment even when B.C. changed head coaches.

College

In three years at Boston College, Kuechly established himself on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. He was enrolled at the college’s Carroll School of Management where he’s an honors student

On the field, he’s totaled 532 tackles in his three-season career and has won every major award in college football for individual defensive play.

Off the field, Kuechly is an officer on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the second straight year and a participant in the HEAR (Help Educate through Athletic Responsibility) Program, which involves him visiting local schools and sharing his experiences as a student-athlete.

Summing up Luke Kuechly at Boston College as player, student and citizen, the school’s Dean Andrew Boynton said: “I have been a university professor for over fifteen years and a dean at Boston College for six and Luke is the most impressive student-athlete I have met. He has a very, very high standard for himself in all areas. What strikes me, and everyone, about Luke are his values, maturity, integrity and modesty.”

Kuechly won the 2011 Butkus Award as the country’s top linebacker, the 2011 Ronnie Lott Impact Trophy as the nation’s top defender who also has shown involvement in his community (Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt was the 2010 winner) and the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player. Over three seasons he was named the A.C.C. Player of the Week 10 times in 38 games.

2011 – He led the nation with 191 total tackles and finished the year with a streak of 33 straight games with 10 tackles or more. Kuechly had a career-high 23 tackles against Duke, 20 tackles against Florida State and 18 tackles against N.C. State and Northwestern. He became the fifth BC defender and 32nd player in the ACC to put up 400 tackles in his career.

2010 – A consensus All-America selection, he was only the 11th player in BC football history to achieve that distinction. He led nation in tackles with 183. Runner up for the Butkus Award to the nation’s best LB. Hit his 200th career tackle in just his 17th game, and hit 300 tackles in his 23rd game. He had 21 tackles against Duke and 20 tackles with a sack against N.C. State.

2009 – As a true freshman, Kuechly played in 13 games and started 12 games. He was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and was also named All-ACC first team. He had 158 total tackles (most tackles by BC defender since 1993.) He started at outside LB replacing Mark Herzlich who was lost for the season due to cancer. Kuechly ended up being the defensive MVP of the Emerald Bowl, where he had 16 tackles.

Statistics

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

QH

PBU

Int.

FF

Rec.

2011

12/12

191

12

0

2

3

3

0

4-8

2010

13/13

183

10.5

1.5

0

3

3

2

7-6*

2009

13/12

158

13

1

0

4

1

0

8-5*

Total

38/37

532

35.5

2.5

2

10

7

2

19-19

7 interceptions for 130 return yards and 2 TDs. *- (2010) Fight Hunger Bowl; (2009) Emerald Bowl.

Video

Boston College defense vs. Clemson 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jyoY1ildmg&feature=player_embedded

Kuechly/B.C. defense 2010 season – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbpNkBiLDeU&feature=related

Kuechly interview, highlights 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVz7ewRftjo&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – Appears to play the game like he was born to play football. Great instincts, great anticipation, off the charts football intelligence and he’s aware almost 100 percent of the time of the situation, who is on the field and what the rest of his defensive players are doing. Not just a heady player, but he’s got more than enough athletic ability to make plays happen. While he may not be fast, he’s quick and has very good lateral movement.

Deficient – Short arms, make it tougher for him to get away from blockers that get their hands on him. Tries to play downhill, but he doesn’t have the power to deliver consistently with a pop when he rolls into the gap. Physically, there is not much head room for him at this point; he may be as good as he’ll ever be right now.

Evaluation – He can play outside, inside or middle linebacker, with the mike spot probably the best suited for his abilities and brains. There shouldn’t be any problem with this young man having a long, long career in the NFL. Barring injury he’s likely to be a 150-tackle defender for the next 10 years. No character concerns and he has all the intangibles, including leadership.

What the scouts say about Luke Kuechly

A scout for an AFC team said of Luke Kuechly – “I sat in on two different interviews with this kid and I would take him just for his intelligence and attitude. Football is his life and he has the intellectual ability to sell that when he speaks. Combined with his athletic skills, he’s an exceptional talent. My team won’t get a chance at him, but I’d trade up to make it happen. He’s worth it.”

A scout for a NFC team said – “If you are going to run him through a computer and you put him down for his 40 times, he comes out probably a third or fourth round pick. I can’t get hung up on that, because when you watch the tape, he plays faster than he runs and he’s got everything else. When he did 38 inches in the vertical jump at Indy, everybody was shocked. Nobody expected that from him. That showed some powerful legs with hops and that’s first round material.”

Another scout for an AFC team said – “Draft him, plug him in at middle linebacker and in a decade you’ll have to start thinking about replacing him. Only negative are his short arms, but he’s found ways to deal with that. Just a heady player who will be so far ahead of the rest of the rookies that whatever team drafts him they’ll have to give him special attention so he doesn’t get bored.”

What Luke Kuechly said

“I think one of the things about football that is overlooked is just your knowledge of the game. The more you know, the better you can be. I think football is an evolving game and it’s been evolving over the past couple of years, and I think the quicker you can adapt to the new way the game is played, I think the better off you can be.”

“I think that’s something you have to bring to football: intensity every day because if you lacking that, then someone is going to pass you up.”

“I try not to think too much and just go out there and have fun. You go out there and watch tape and you get prepared for the game real well, but once you get out there you have to have fun.”

“I think I have definitely surprised myself. Coming in I didn’t know what to expect in college football. But I’ve had a lot of help getting there. But it’s not something I did alone. We’ve had a great group of guys on the defense and a coaching staff that allowed me to play and have fun.”

What others had to say about Luke Kuechly

“He’s a class act. He’s the guy that you want to hire for a baby sitter for your kids. You can trust him with anything. He’s just a great guy; great person, good character and I think that translates into how he plays.” Boston College teammate Nick Clancy.

“The way he prepares he’s into it every time. Very rarely have I seen him every hove an off day or an off hour. He’s looking to get better. He wants to be the best. He’s a great example for a program because he’s an excellent study, does everything right. He’s the poster child for any university, any program. He hits on all the dots.” Boston College defensive coordinator Bill McGovern.

“He’s a gentleman off the field, but on the field he’s just what you want out of a football player. He’s got a competitive streak in him. He’s got a little edge to him. He’s a little irritable.” More McGovern.

Does Luke Kuechly fit with the Chiefs?

A simple yes he fits. As a player, he’s what you will find in the K.C. preparation books for what they are looking for in a player from his mentality, to his work ethic, to his intelligence. Not sure where he would fit with the Chiefs, and they are not short on linebackers. But if he’s available at No. 11, I can’t imagine the Arrowhead boys passing on him.

Playing the Odds . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs

WWPD.

In today’s world of texting and abbreviation, the No. 1 question in the Chiefs Nation this week is – W(hat) W(ill) P(ioli) D(o)?

Thursday night’s first-round of the 2012 NFL Draft currently has the Chiefs sitting at No. 11 and all those sporting red and gold underwear are trying to divine just what the GM is going to do with that choice.

Hey, got me! In three first rounds to date in leading the Chiefs personnel efforts, there was only one selection where it seemed obvious where Pioli was going. That was in 2010, with SS Eric Berry the choice in the No. 5 slot. But nobody in the league thought DE Tyson Jackson was the choice at No. 3 in 2009, and after trading down, WR Jonathan Baldwin at No. 26 wasn’t predicted by anyone.

The best part of the entire draft experience is playing the guessing games. Before we talk about who the first-round choice may be, we need to make our guess on what direction Pioli goes with the 11th choice. Essentially, he has four avenues where he can drive this year’s first rounder. Here are those choices and one man’s opinion on the percentages for each option: …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – OT Zebrie Sanders

Football has always been an important part of life for Zebrie Sanders.

But it wasn’t just football. As a youngster and high schooler back home in Clayton, Ohio, Sanders was a 4-star football recruit. He also played the viola in his high school’s chamber orchestra, earned a black belt in karate and he earned his status as an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America.

Sanders played the viola in the orchestra, otherwise known as a violin on steroids. “That’s a good childhood memory,” Sanders said. “My Mom made me to it, but it was cool. I reached second chair. I was pretty good.”

It made for a lot of juggling of his schedule. “I’d practice, then go home real quick and change into a tuxedo and go play a concert,” Sanders said.

He picked up karate at an early age. “I like the Power Rangers; I wanted to fight like them,” Sanders said. “When I was in the first grade, I went to a studio and started taking lessons. That’s a big deal. You don’t see many big 6-6 guys with a black belt.” He was going to church when he was 10 years old and saw some boys in church taking part in meetings for the Boy Scouts. “I picked it up there, for eight years I’ve been camping,” said Sanders, who eventually reached the Eagle Scout level.

Here’s the rest of his story.

Draft Profile – OT Zebrie Sanders


ZEBRIE SANDERS/OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Personal

Zebrie Sanders (Zee-Bree)

College – Florida State University.

Born – December 4, 1989 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Family – Parents area Ulanda Sanders and Zebrie Vincent.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 5 5/8 inches.
  • Weight – 320 pounds.
  • Arm – 35 inches.
  • Hand – 10 7/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 83 5/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.37 seconds.
  • Bench press – 28 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 27 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 4 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 8.16 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 5 seconds.

Hometown

Sanders grew up in Clayton, Ohio, a city in Montgomery County Ohio with a population in 2010 of 13,209. It’s part of the Dayton Metro Area, in the southwest corner of the state. Clayton is one of the important parts of Ayn Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead” and is used as an example of Middle America.

High School

He was part of the graduating class of 2008 at Northmont High School in Clayton, with over 1,700 students in grades nine through 12. The Thunderbolts compete in Greater Western Ohio Conference and on the Ohio Division 1 level.

Sanders was active in all aspects of high school, earning a superior ranking as a violist in the chamber orchestra. He also earned Eagle Scout ranking from the Boy Scouts of America.

He was a three-year starter at left tackle and earned some All-America mentions in his senior season as well as being named the Anthony Munoz Foundation Offensive Lineman of the Year. That annual honor goes to the top lineman in the Ohio-Indiana-Kentucky area, including academic success and community involvement. Besides his standout football career, he is a member of the National Honor Society.

2007 – He started all 11 games at left tackle for the Thunderbolts who went 7-4 on the season.

2006 – Sanders opened all 11 games at left tackle as CHS finished with an 8-3 record.

2005 – In his sophomore season he started all 11 games at left tackle, as the Thunderbolts went 8-3.

2004 – He saw limited action in his freshman year, as Clayton High won its conference with a 9-1 record.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed Sanders as a 4-star prospect and the No. 8 player available in Ohio in that class. He was ranked No. 15 at offensive tackle. Scout.com listed him as a 4-star talent and the No. 27 offensive tackle in the country.

The most interest in Sanders was shown by Georgia, Florida, LSU, Clemson and UCLA, along with Florida State. He committed to the Seminoles on January 20, 2008.

College

Sanders decided to accept the offer from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in retail merchandising and product development in December 2011.

He ended up with 50 career starts, including 36 consecutive games. Those 50 starts are the second most in school history. Sanders was twice named to the All-ACC Academic football team. During his career, the Seminoles were 4-0 in bowl games.

2011 – After missing spring practice because of abdominal surgery, Sanders came back in the fall and earned first-team All-ACC honors in his last college season as he started all 14 games. That gave him 50 career starts and 36 consecutive. He started the season as the opening right tackle for five games, but moved to left tackle for the final nine games because of a season-ending injury. Played in 819 snaps and was the team leader with 28 knockdown blocks, pushing his career total to 139, the most in Florida State history. He allowed two sacks at left tackle. He started against Notre Dame in Champs Sports Bowl.

2010 – Sanders missed spring practice after undergoing surgery on his hip. Still he started all 14 of the Seminoles games, including one at left tackle with the other 13 on the right side. Coaches gave him 37 knockdown blocks on the season. He was honored with the program’s academic achievement award after the season for having one of the top GPAs in his class. He opened against South Carolina in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

2009 – Started at RT in 12 of 13 games on the season, finished with a 73 percent grade from FSU coaches. He had 43 knockdown blocks. Early season struggles had him on the bench for South Florida game, but he returned to the opening lineup the next week. Sanders started in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia.

2008 – As a true freshman, he started the season opener at left tackle, came off the bench for the next two games, before moving to right tackle where he started the final 10 games of the season. Was credited with 31 knockdown blocks, allowed one sack and was penalized one time. He started in the Champs Sports Bowl against Wisconsin.

Video

FSU vs. Miami 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a8fjq7T28Ic

FSU vs. Maryland 2010 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZLz1rNRGGQ&feature=related

vs. No. Carolina/O-Line doesn’t move – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgpPGfj1_sM&feature=related

(Sanders wears #77; in clip where o-line doesn’t move, he’s at RT.)

Evaluation

Strengths – His extra long arms and big hands make him a prototype tackle in the NFL, plus he’s quick enough on his feet that he can slide to his outside and not lose his man if he hasn’t gotten his hands on them. He has enough athletic ability to get outside and run, whether he’s pulling or just headed down field to seal off a linebacker or safety. Sanders has played a lot of snaps and done it on both sides of the offense, giving him great versatility. Intangibles are huge as he’s smart, of high character, available to play and puts the team first.

Deficient – Too much of the time when he’s blocking, he’s a catcher, rather that delivering a blow. Not much of a knee bender, so he loses power when trying to anchor on either side. Because he plays so high he does not always create a surge even in the running game. Good natural strength, but he needs to get stronger. Although he has a good kick slide in pass protection, he does not have quick feet, as evidenced by his poor times in short-yardage drills like the 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone drill.

Analysis – Despite all the experience he brings to the NFL, he’s very much a developmental project and that must come physically. He needs to become stronger, he needs to add weight, and he has a build that could support more. Sanders is not a powerful player and he lacks in overall fundamentals. His physical package is impressive at first sight, but watching the tape leaves scouts wanting more, much more.

What the scouts said about Zebrie Sanders

A scout for a NFC team said of Zebrie Sanders – “He really got exposed at the Senior Bowl with his inability to solidly block power rushers in pass pro one-one-ones. There is talent there, and with that body somebody is going to draft him high.”

A scout for an AFC team said – “What’s impressive is that he goes at mid-season from right tackle to left tackle and looks at home playing that spot. He has physical tools better suited for left tackle because he can bend and move. But he’s going to get schooled in the NFL by a lot of pass rushers.”

What Zebrie Sanders said

“I’m just happy enough to make one team happy with me … right or left (tackle), I feel more natural at left but wherever they want me to play is fine.”

Does Zebrie Sanders fit with the Chiefs?

Anybody with his natural skills would have to be considered, but he’s a raw product and it’s unlikely the Chiefs would consider him early in the 2012 Draft. He’d be a great guy to have on the bench for a year or two behind Eric Winston and to a lesser extent Branden Albert. By the time Winston’s career was closing out, he would be ready to go. But that works only if they can get Sanders in the fourth or fifth round.

Top 100 Prospects – QB Brock Osweiler

Another QB in the 2012 NFL Draft class played minor league baseball for five years, before giving it up in hopes of starting a football career.

But Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden isn’t the only superb athlete that brings credentials from another sport into the draft class. Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler could just as easily been preparing for the NBA Draft right now, after a college basketball career at Gonzaga. In fact, the Gonzaga head coach Mark Few offered him a scholarship when he was just a high school freshman.

At that time Osweiler was one of the top schoolboy players in the country, despite living and playing out of Kalispell, Montana. He was on the AAU circuit, thanks to a six-inch growth spurt over a three-year period. As a sixth grader, he could dunk a basketball, and as a high school freshman, he could do a 360-degree dunk.

But football became his sport and after a record-setting high school career, he signed on with the Aztecs and now enters the Draft. Here’s his story.

Draft Profile – QB Brock Osweiler


BROCK OSWEILER/QUARTERBACK

Personal

Brock Alan Osweiler

College – Arizona State University.

Born – November 22, 1990, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Family – Parents are Kathy and John Osweiler. Dad is a real estate agent for Montana Brokers Inc. and he is the president of Northwest Montana Association of Realtors. Brother Tanner played football at Montana Tech.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 7 inches.
  • Weight –242 pounds.
  • Arm – 34 inches.
  • Hand – 10 inches.
  • Wing span – 79½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

Osweiler did not participate in physical testing at the Combine as he was still recovering from a mid-foot sprain that he suffered in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State. He was weighed and measure. At his Pro Day workout, all he did was run the 40-yard dash, positing times of 4.97 and 4.98 seconds. He did not do any of the other tests.

Hometown

He grew up in Kalispell, Montana, the county seat of Flathead County, a town of approximately 19,000 people in the northwest corner of the state. Kalispell is the major entry point to Glacier National Park, which is about 30 miles away. It’s only 15 miles or so from the Whitefish Mountain Resort and the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area. It is seven miles away from Flathead Lake, one of the largest natural freshwater lakes in the United States. The name Kalispell comes from the Salish language that was spoken by many natives of the Pacific Northwest. It means flat land above the lake. Former residents and natives of Kalispell include actress Michelle Williams, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and L. Ron Hubbard, author and founder of Scientology.

High School

Osweiler was a member of the graduating class of 2009 at Flathead High School, in Kalispell, part of Montana School District #5. He graduated in January 2009 with a 3.31 grade point average. The Braves athletic teams played in the western division of Class AA; there were only 14 teams in the state of Montana at that level.

He played football and basketball, earning offers of Division 1 scholarships in both sports. He made football his priority and was a three-year starter at QB for the Braves under head coaches Grady Bennett (2006) and Russell McCarvel (2007-08).

In those three seasons, he threw for 8,655 yards and 80 touchdowns, both are second highest totals in Montana high school football history. He ran for 1,100 yards and 20 touchdowns. Osweiler was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for Montana in 2008.

He left high school early so he could enroll in January ’09 at Arizona State.

Football

2008In his senior season, he completed 189 of 303 passes for 2,703 yards with 29 TDs and 9 interceptions. He averaged 14.3 yards per completion, while hitting 62 percent of his passes. He also ran for 760 yards on 202 carries and 13 TDs. FHS finished 6-5 on the season.

2007 – As the Braves went 6-5 on the season, Osweiler threw for 2,935 yards, completing 218 of 345 passes for 27 TDs and 11 INTs. Flathead fell to Billings 27-20 in the state playoffs. The Braves had a chance to drive down for a score and the lead, but Osweiler fumbled a snap in the end zone that was recovered by Billings.

2006 – Osweiler threw for 2,454 yards and 22 TDs as a sophomore and Flathead finished up with a 7-4 record, losing in the state Class AA semi-finals to Billings West. He missed one game and half of another due to injury.

2005 – As a high school freshman, Osweiler threw his first career TD pass and ended up with 563 passing yards and 2 TD throws in limited playing time for the Braves. He scored his first TD on a 1-yard run in the Class AA state semi-finals when Flathead fell to Helena Capital 33-12. In a relief appearance in that game, Osweiler was 8 of 15 for 85 passing yards and ran 3 times for 9 yards, including the TD. They finished the season 8-3.


Basketball

2007-08
– An all-state first-team selection for the second year in a row, he averaged 24.9 points per game in his junior basketball season, along with an average of 14.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.8 blocked shots.

2006-07 – Named to the all-state first team as a sophomore, Osweiler averaged 17.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He was the third leading scorer and rebounder at the Class AA level. The Braves finished the season with a 14-10 record, losing in the Class AA state playoffs-consolation round to Missoula Big Sky.

2005-06 – The Braves fell to Great Falls in the state semifinals 44-37, finishing the season with a 15-8 record. Osweiler in his freshman year at FHS had 12 points and 13 rebounds in that 44-37 loss to Great Falls.

During his sophomore year of high school, Osweiler made a visit with his father to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. They were in town for other reasons, but sat down with Mark Few and the Gonzaga head coach offered him a scholarship. The next day he called Few back and verbally committed to play college basketball at Gonzaga.

Rivals.com and Scout.com both listed him as a 3-star basketball recruit.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed him as a 3-star recruit and the No. 26 pro-style quarterback in the country. Scout.com rated him as a 3-star recruit and had him rated as the No. 49 quarterback prospect in the country.

Received scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida State, Stanford, Tennessee, UCDLA, Washington State and Arizona State. Stanford and Washington State joined Arizona State as the schools most interested in Osweiler. He made a commitment on April 30, 2008 to the Sun Devils.

College

Osweiler enrolled at Arizona State University in Tempe in January 2009 and became a political science major.

He played as a true freshman in coach Dennis Erickson’s program, but did not become the full-time starter at quarterback until 2011.

2011 – Named team captain for the season, he became the first Sun Devils QB to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season, as he went for 4,036 yards. He also set program records for completions (326) and attempts (516) in a single season.

2010 – Backed up starter Steven Threet for most of the season. But when Threet suffered a second concussion of the season, Osweiler took over against UCLA with the team down 17-0. The Aztecs came back and won the game 55-17, as he threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns. He was the starter against Arizona in the season finale and led the offense in the second half to a tie and then a 30-29 double-overtime victory.

2009 – Osweiler played six games as a true freshman, with one start coming against Oregon. That made him the first true freshman quarterback to start at the position since Jake Plummer in 1993. Threw his first TD pass in the fourth quarter of a victory over Idaho State.

Statistics

Year

G/S

A

C

%

Y

A/A

TD

Int

LG

R

Y

TD

Rec.

2011

13/13

516

326

63.2

4,036

7.8

26

13

60

83

90

3

6-7*
2010

7/1

109

62

56.9

797

7.3

5

0

78

38

124

1

6-6
2009

6/1

55

24

43.6

249

4.5

2

2

27

16

7

0

4-8
Total

26/15

680

412

60.6

4,882

7.2

33

15

60

137

221

4

16-21

*-(2011) Las Vegas Bowl.

Video

Osweiler vs. UCLA 2011- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW5UabDlwRk&feature=player_embedded

Osweiler vs. Southern Cal 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqYAUD97lRQ&feature=relmfu

Osweiler vs. Boise State/Las Vegas Bowl — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc_j2b_7lPM

Osweiler highlights 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5G6B-snaSM&feature=related

————————————————–

Quarterback Evaluation

Throwing motion – This is one area where Osweiler needs work, as his throwing motion is very inconsistent. Almost seems to shot put his throws, rather than using his full arm delivery and extension. At times there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to his changing his motion. The key is to get the ball in the receiver’s hands, but to do that at the NFL level a passer must be able to rely on his motion in all circumstances. He’ll need a lot of work in this area.

Arm Strength – Osweiler can make all the throws necessary in the NFL. He’s got the arm strength to throw deep and some of his short and intermediate throws are bullets that sometimes could be toned down a bit. He threw some passes against UCLA that were 40 yards plus and were placed exactly where they should have been. Impressive.

Touch – Shows good to average touch at being able to drop throws over defenders and into spots. He loves to fire the ball and in the ASU offense there were not many opportunities to drop the ball in the bucket.

Accuracy – Average at best, hitting for 63 percent in his only season as a starter. He tends to throw high even at times when he’s not facing any pressure. In the quick release offense at ASU last year, most of his throws tended to be placed in very catchable positions. Needs to work harder on leading the receiver coming out of the backfield; he’s late on those throws, forcing the receiver to slow down.

Play action – Since he seldom takes a snap under center, it’s hard to judge his ability to fool the defense with his fake handoffs. He’s very inconsistent in his mannerisms, sometimes working hard to sell the fake, other times going through the motion as he scans downfield for coverage clues.

Mobility – For a man his size, he actually does not look bad when he’s chased out of the pocket, or when it’s a designed roll out or when he just takes off running. He’s not afraid to take off if he doesn’t see anything available to him. On the roll, he shows good foot work and delivers the ball well.

Pocket Presence – Average at best, but then he’s had limited opportunities. He hasn’t developed the feel a good passer needs. He tends to get rid of the ball early and quickly, but when he doesn’t, it could be anything from breaking the pocket, to not feeling the pressure and standing still as he gets sacked.

Preparation – By all accounts within the program he’s very dedicated at preparing for a game plan each week and studying the opposing defense. He was honored in 2010 with the program’s off-season conditioning award.

Leadership – Appears to be the man in charge of the offense. By all reports he takes charge in the huddle and teammates look to him in times of trouble.

Decision making – It’s just OK but it appears he’s largely checking option one, then two, and then throw. He’s missed open receivers away from the side of the field he’s zoned in on.

Pressure Situations– He faced two of them at the end of his sophomore season when he led the Aztecs to a come from behind victory over UCLA, and then directed them to a double-overtime victory against rival Arizona.

Offensive experience – Limited with just those 15 starts in the last three years, he’s only worked out of the previous coaching staff’s shotgun-spread scheme.

Coaching influences – In his three seasons at Arizona State, he worked under QB guru and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. When Erickson and thus Mazzone were fired after the 2011 season; that made it easier for Osweiler to make the decision to leave school with a year of eligibility remaining.

————————————————–

Overall evaluation

Strengths – He’s a good athlete, and although tall and long legged, he’s not gangly when he plays or runs with the ball. Very good arm and overall he’s a good passer. He tends to throw high when he allows his footwork to be compromised. Will hang in the pocket to get a throw off and doesn’t seem afraid of the hit coming his way. He was voted team captain by his teammates.

Deficient – Overall, his field of vision is too small as he concentrates on his pre-determined reads. Sometimes zeroes in on his receiver and stares him down, taking the defense to that spot. He needs a lot of work on his fundamentals, as too often he seems to rely on his strong arm and athletic ability to make the passing game work.

Analysis – He should have stayed at ASU for another season, because what he lacks is experience. Another dozen games on the college level would do wonders for his transition to the NFL. As it stands now, he’ll have to learn from the sidelines, rather than on the field. He’s a good athlete for a player his size and that should not hinder him as it has other very tall quarterback types.

What the scouts said about Brock Osweiler

A scout for an AFC team said of Brock Osweiler – “Talented package that needs a lot of work. He’s one tall QB who uses that to his advantage. I think he’s enough of an athlete that he can make athletic moves and not look like Herman Munster out there. But he has a lot of work to do on the physical and mental parts of the game.”

Another scout for an AFC team said – “On tape he reminds me of a poor man’s Joe Flacco. Then you see him live and he’s a little bit better than that.”

What Brock Osweiler said

“One thing about the spread offense is I think it teaches you to manage a football game because the ball is in your hands to make a play 90 percent of the time. Even in the run game, you have to make decisions on the fly.”

“I don’t feel like there has ever been a quarterback who is 6-7, 240 pounds and has the athleticism I do and can make every throw on the football field.”

“I think in basketball to be a successful player you have to have great footwork. And obviously as a quarterback in the pocket, to evade rushers and blitzers and make moves and get the ball off, you have to have great feet. So basketball, as far as the footwork, has definitely transitioned over to my football game. As well as my vision; On the basketball court, you can be pushing the ball up the court, maybe bringing it up on the side and you’ve got to see somebody off in the corner, make a throw down the lane. Same thing as a quarterback; you’re sliding in the pocket, trying to find alleys to get the ball down field.”

What others said about Brock Osweiler

“What we saw in Brock was kind of what Gonzaga was built on. He did all the dirty work and he enjoyed it. I saw him play on the AAU circuit against some pretty good players and they didn’t want any piece of him because he would just blast right through t hem, knock them around on rebounds. He just had a great toughness about him.” Former Gonzaga assistant basketball coach Leon Rice.

“The really good quarterbacks that I’ve had, they’ve got that intangible quality; being able to find a way to win, and that what’s it’s all about Stats are stats. But making plays when you have to in key situations is what he did when we needed him to. He’s taken over the leadership of that offensive team.” Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson.

Does Brock Osweiler fit with the Chiefs?

He’s a developmental project that will need time to become a real contributor at the position. He’s not going to be a prime talent as a first-year player. But all the parts are there to become a top NFL quarterback.

Top 100 Prospect – DL Fletcher Cox

It had to be quite a sight at high school track meets around Mississippi.

The Yazoo City High School boys 4 x 100 relay team would take the field and there would be three short, skinny guys and then what was that 6-4, 240-pound dude joining them. That was Fletcher Cox, and he would either run the second leg or the anchor/last leg when they took off on their 25-meter segments.

“I know a lot of people doubted how fast I was, but my 40-time was measured a million times and I was consistently at a 4.4,” said Cox, who picked up offers from Alabama and Auburn over the weekend. “I know a guy my size isn’t supposed to run that fast, but I do. It is just a God-given talent.”

That 4.4 speed is not quite evident now that Cox has come through his college football career as one of the top defensive linemen in the SEC. He’s now 295 pounds and running in the neighborhood of 4.8 seconds in the 40 yard dash. That was one of the fastest times at the NFL Scouting Combine for a player of his size.

As he gets ready to hit the NFL, he uses one current player as his guide – Chiefs DE Glenn Dorsey. “He’s a good player and when it is time for him to step up, he steps up and makes big plays,” Cox said of Dorsey. “He goes hard every play. Every time I have seen him play he plays hard. He doesn’t take plays off.”

Cox will get that chance this summer. Here’s his story.

Draft Profile – DT/DE Fletcher Cox


FLETCHER COX/DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Personal

Fletcher Cox

College – Mississippi State University

Born – December 13, 1990 in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Family – Raised by his mother, Melissa Cox Bright.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 4 inches.
  • Weight – 298 pounds.
  • Arm – 34½ inches.
  • Hand – 10 3/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 80¼ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.81 seconds.
  • Bench press – 30 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 26 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 7 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.07 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.55 seconds.

Hometown

Cox grew up in Yazoo City, Mississippi, a town in Yazoo County of 11,403 people according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The town was named by French explorer Robert La Salle in 1682 as “Riviere des Yazous” in honor of the Yazoo Indian tribe that lived in the area. It’s on the western side of the state about 45 miles from Jackson. Through its history, the town has seen destruction due to the Civil War, yellow fever, fire and tornados, the most recent in 2010 that claimed four lives. Among famous folks who have called Yazoo City home were actress Stella Stevens, speaker and trainer Zig Ziglar and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

High School

Cox was part of the graduating class of 2009 at Yazoo City High School, one of two high schools in the Yazoo County School System. City High has approximately 800 students in grades nine through 12. He participated in football, basketball and track & field.

In track & field he still holds the school record for the high jump at 5-feet, 8 inches. But in his last two seasons of track, he ran as part of sprint relay teams, on the 4×100 and 4×200 teams. Sometimes he would run the second leg, other times the final leg. Yes, his stature of 6-4, 240 pounds left many people amazed by what they saw, especially when he ran with good speed.

Football

He played for head coach Tony Woolfolk and seldom left the field, playing on the offensive and defensive lines, he also was the deep snapper for punts and he was on the punt return team as well.

2008 – Cox had 104 solo tackles, 135 total tackles, 10 quarterback sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles and a recovered fumble as the Indians finished 7-4 on the season losing a first-round game in the state playoffs to Itawamba 26-0. Cox was named first-team All-State by the Jackson Clarion Ledger newspaper and was voted by the Mississippi Coaches Association as 4A Defensive Player of the Year.

2007 – Finished up his junior season with 103 total tackles, 11 sacks and 2 interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. YCHS finished with an 8-3 record after losing to Noxubee County 32-12 in the first round of the state playoffs.

2006 – Yazoo City finished 11-2 on the season as Cox got the first extended playing time of his career. The Indians advanced in the playoffs, beating Cleveland (34-14) and Shannon (35-28) before falling to Clarksdale 33-14 in the state semifinals.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed Cox as a 4-star prospect and the No. 5 weak side DE in the country and the No. 2 prospect in the state of Mississippi. He finished his senior season ranked among the top 100 players. Scout.com listed him as a 4-star prospect and the No. 17 DE prospect in the country.

He received scholarship offers from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Colorado, LSU, Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State. He made his commitment to State in April 2008.

College

Cox decided on attending Mississippi State University in Starkville, majoring in industrial technology. Over his three years, he played in 36 games, finishing with 114 total tackles, 29 TFL, 7.5 sacks and 5 blocked kicks. He saw time playing at both defensive end and defensive tackle for head coach Dan Mullen. He was originally recruited by Sylvester Croom and his staff; they resigned after the 2008 season.

2011 – Suspended for the season opener for violations of team rules involving his academic performance. Four other teammates did not play as well. He went on to earn first-team All-SEC defensive honors with his 56 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 blocked kicks. He had seven tackles and 2 sacks against Kentucky.

2010 – Started 11 of the 12 games in his second season, missing the Alcorn State game because of a sprained ankle. Cox had 29 tackles. He also blocked a pair of kicks, giving him three for his career. An ankle injury early in the season limited his effectiveness through the first part of the season.

2009 – Cox played in all 12 games during his freshman year, with four starts – three at defensive tackle and one start at defensive end. SEC coaches voted him to the All-Freshmen honors. He had 29 total tackles, with five coming against Auburn. He earned his first sack against Jackson State.

Statistics

Year

G/S

Tkls

TFL

Sks

QH

FF

RF

BK

Rec

2011

12/12

56

14.5

5

3

1

1

2

7-6*

2010

12/11

29

5.5

2.5

4

1

0

2

9-4*

2009

12/4

29

3.5

0

2

0

0

1

5-7

Total

36/27

114

23.5

7.5

9

2

1

5

21-17

*-(2011) Music City Bowl; (2010) Gator Bowl.

Video

Cox vs. Wake Forest/Music City Bowl — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiLP5n4udrM

Cox vs. Alabama 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knp2RT5Ijsk

Cox vs. Kentucky 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puY2BKGgX0Q&feature=player_embedded

(Cox is wearing #94 in these videos, coming out of all four defensive line positions.)

Evaluation

Strengths – An athletic body, with a rare combination of speed, size, quickness and strength, all built in a body that has the potential for more growth. Moves easily for a man his size, and does it quickly. Shows impressive agility in his ability to adjust and redirect to the ball. Outstanding contributions on special teams in blocking kicks; he got five in his college career and developed the habit through a lot of hard work in practice.

Deficient – He does not explode off the snap the way he should be able to do with his physical skills. He still must do a better job of using his hands and perfecting his counter moves. Raw in his understanding of his position and he does not appear to have spent a lot of time working on his game off the field.

Analysis – Teams that shy away from the “one year wonders” may take a pass on Cox; he didn’t really make a mark for himself until the 2011 season when he broke through with a big performance. But in that season, he showed a continual growth physically and mentally. If he stays on that track, then there is no ceiling for his potential.

What the scouts said about Fletcher Cox

A scout for an NFC team said of Fletcher Cox – “This young man is still growing and he may add another 10 to 15 pounds of muscle before he’s all done. Very strong at the point of attack and that’s what you are looking for in any defense, whether 3-4 or 4-3. He’s not really a pure nose tackle, but he can play any of the spots on the line.”

A scout for an AFC team said – “If you want to see what he could be, watch tape of the Music City Bowl against Wake Forest. He was the dominate player on the field that night. It’s unlikely he’ll be able to do that as a rookie because most NFL teams are better than Wake Forest. But another year or two and he’ll be on that level.”

Another scout for an AFC team said – “He reminds me of a Kevin Williams coming out of college. He has those kinds of abilities and that kind of power. If he gets serious about the game, there’s no limit to what he can do on the line of scrimmage.

What Fletcher Cox said

“It was just me being going out every day and working harder and harder. I was worried about working harder and showing the young guys the right way. The goal of the NFL helped me out a lot more. This is a chance for me to do what I’ve always dreamed of, play in the NFL.”

On his one-game suspension to start the 2011 season – “I’ve never been asked about it ever since then. Nobody’s asked about it. I’ve never thought about it after that week. It was over. I don’t look back. I always look forward. That game, it’s just a game that I missed.”

What others said about Fletcher Cox

“He is probably one of the most athletic guys I’ve coached. He can go out here on defense, but he never comes off the field. He snaps long snaps, he does it all. You get a kid like that that can play offense, defense, special teams. If he had to punt and kick, he could do that too.” Yazoo City High School head coach Tony Woolfolk.

“Our goal is to develop young men to put them in a position to achieve their goals. Fletcher bought in to our program and matured during his time here. I’ve always said that we’ll support our players in their efforts to reach their dreams, and Fletcher has a chance to reach his. We wish him nothing but the best.” Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.

“He’s definitely motivating them. You sit back and you watch some of his guys, like Josh Boyd, guys who came in with him, Sean Ferguson, who’s a year older – they’re seeing the benefits of his hard work, his preparation, how hard he practices, and the carry-over that he’s bringing to the games.” Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris Wilson.

“He’s special. He’s blessed but, also, when he flicks the switch, you see all his tools at a whole other level. It’s cool.” Mississippi State strength coach Matt Balis.

Does Fletcher Cox fit with the Chiefs?

Without a doubt; very much so; a big fat yes. In three years at Mississippi State he’s shown great growth as a defensive lineman and his ability to play at just about every spot on the defensive front is enough to get any team excited. With his size and his future chances of growing even bigger and stronger, with the quick feet that he’s always displayed, Cox will make an impact in the NFL. If he’s still around at No. 11, GM Scott Pioli should run to the head of the line. If he passes on him, Cox will be gone before pick No 20.

Top 100 Prospects – QB Brandon Weeden

It’s the first item on any agenda when the conversation centers on QB Brandon Weeden.

On the day he’s drafted he will be 28, the oldest player in the player pool for the 2012 NFL Draft. By midway through the regular season, he will celebrate his 29th birthday.

“I think it’s a positive for my future,” Weeden said. “It’s one of those deals, the way I look at it is, name one person who wouldn’t want to be in the position I am, and have the kind of path I’ve had?”

That path led him to minor league baseball, where he was drafted by the New York Yankees and spent five years trying to climb the minor league ladder. When that stalled, he went to Oklahoma State and fought his way into the starting job at quarterback for the Cowboys. It’s quite a story and here are the rest of the details.

Draft Profile – QB Brandon Weeden


BRANDON WEEDEN/QUARTERBACK

Personal

Brandon Kyle Weeden

College – Oklahoma State University.

Born – October 14, 1983 in Oklahoma City.

Family – Married to the former Melaine Dawn Meuser of Moore, Oklahoma on July 27, 2009 in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. His parents are Shari and Robbie Weeden of Edmond, Oklahoma. Mom and Dad own and operate Adair’s Sleep World, a bed and mattress store in Edmond. He has a younger brother Ty Weeden, who was a 16th-round choice of the Boston Reds Sox in the 2006 June Amateur Draft. He spent five years in the Red Sox organization, but is not playing in 2012. There’s another younger brother Cameron.

Physical

  • Height – 6-foot, 3½ inches.
  • Weight – 221 pounds.
  • Arm – 31¾ inches.
  • Hand – 9 5/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 76 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

(Weeden did not test at Combine; numbers are from Pro Day in Stillwater on March 9.)

  • 40-yard dash – 4.89 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 32 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 6 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.36 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.45 seconds.

Hometown

Edmond, Oklahoma is a city in Oklahoma County with a population of 81,405 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. It’s a northern suburb of Oklahoma City and has been honored over the years as being one of the best communities in the country to live. The town first appeared as a stop on the Santa Fe Railroad line in the late 1800s. The town of Edmond was created overnight during the Oklahoma land rush in April 1889, when homesteaders staked their claims around the railroad station. Famous names that once or still call Edmond home are pro golfers Bob Tway and Scott Verplank, championship skater Shannon Miller, NBA superstar Blake Griffin and KU coach Bill Self.

High School

Weeden was part of the graduating class of 2002 at Edmond Santa Fe High School. They educate approximately 2,200 students in grades nine through 12 and compete in the Class 6A athletics. The Wolves began participation in high school sports in 1993.

Football, basketball and baseball were all sports that Weeden participated in at SFHS. He won all-state recognition in all three sports. He was the first athlete to be named player of the year in the county in baseball and football in the same season.

However, that success did not come until his junior and senior seasons. As a high school sophomore, Weeden was 5-7, 130 pounds and was playing junior varsity baseball and unable to get on the field in varsity football. By the time he returned to school for football practice in August of his junior year, Weeden has sprouted four inches to 6-1. By the end of that junior year he was 6-3 and added another inch as a senior.

Football

2001 – As the team’s starting quarterback, he led the Wolves to the school’s first ever appearance in the state football playoffs. In his first two games in the Class 6A tournament he threw for 628 yards and six touchdowns, taking SFHS all the way to the semi-finals before losing to state power Jenks.

2000 – In his first season as a starter, he shared the starting quarterback job for most of the season, as the Wolves went 2-8.

1999 – Stayed off the field for a second season because he did not feel at 5-7, 130 pounds that he was physically big enough to play against more veteran players.

1998 – Did not play.

Baseball

2002 – As a pitcher, Weeden was 5-1, with 9 saves and a 1.39 ERA, throwing for 40 1/3 innings in 21 games, allowing 26 hits and striking out 68 batters. At the plate, he had a .3373 average with 5 home runs and 32 RBIs in 49 games, with a .470 on-base percentage and a .579 slugging percentage. Weeden finished the year 16 for 16 in his final save attempts over his last two seasons.

Professional baseball

Weeden was selected No. 71 in the second round of the 2002 June Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, taken by the New York Yankees as their first pick in that year’s selection meeting. Among some of the players selected ahead of Weeden in the draft were Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, B.J. Upton, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Hamels, Nick Swisher, Mark Teahen, Joey Votto, Jon Lester, Jonathan Broxton and John Mayberry.

He was a hard throwing reliever that according to the Yankees could throw his fastball in the 88-95 mph range. Weeden spent five years in the minor leagues, reaching only the Class A level in 2006 when he threw for the Royals’ affiliate High Desert team in the California League. He finished with a 19-26 record with a 5.03 earned run average.

Yr Team  League Org 

W 

L 

ERA 

G 

GS 

IP 

H 

R 

ER 

HR 

BB 

SO 

WP 

Bk 

2002  GCL Yankees GCL NYY

2 

1 

2.86 

11 

7 

34.2 

29 

13 

11 

1 

16 

30 

2 

1 

2003  GCL Yankees GCL NYY

2

0 

1.73 

7 

4 

26.0 

17 

10 

5 

0 

9 

21 

2 

0 

  Staten Island NY-PL NYY

0 

2 

3.72 

5 

5 

19.1 

14 

13 

8 

0 

14 

17 

1 

0 

2004  Columbus SAL LAD

7 

9 

5.39 

27 

27 

122.0 

119 

84 

73 

15 

73 

106 

4 

2 

2005  Columbus SAL LAD

2 

9 

5.70 

26 

18 

94.2 

101 

67 

60 

13 

69 

96 

14 

0 

2006  High Desert CAL KC

6 

5 

6.03 

32 

4 

77.2 

96 

53 

52 

10 

32 

74 

9 

1 

Total      

19

26

5.03

108

65

374

376

249

209

39

213

344

32

4

Baseball Transactions

  • June 4, 2002 – selected No. 71 in MLB’s June Amateur Draft.
  • June 12, 2002 – signed with New York Yankees assigned to Gulf Coast Yankees in the rookie level Gulf Coast League.
  • December 13, 2003 – traded by the Yankees along with RHP Jeff Weaver and RHP Yhency Brazoban to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Kevin Brown.
  • December 8, 2005 – selected in Rule V draft by the Kansas City Royals.

Baseball Ends/Football Begins Again

Weeden never completely removed the idea of playing college football even after signing with the Yankees. He went to spring training with the Royals in 2007 and after conversations with team officials and others, Weeden made the decision to end his baseball career. There have been reports that a shoulder injury ended his pitching career, but that’s not the case. Weeden said: “I haven’t had any surgeries. I haven’t had any serious, serious arm issues. Since I’ve been at Oklahoma State, I haven’t had any shoulder pain at all. I could go out right now and throw for hours and not even be fatigued. All 32 teams had their doctors look at my MRIs and they said there weren’t any issues.”

In the spring of 2007 after leaving spring training, he moved to Stillwater and enrolled in classes at Oklahoma State. He also walked on to the football team.

Oklahoma State

Weeden enrolled at Oklahoma State University in the Business Management curriculum in 2007. He earned his bachelor’s degree in May 2011 and took post-graduate classes in business over the last year.

On the football field, he took a redshirt season in the fall of 2007, and then played the next four seasons for the Cowboys under head coach Mike Gundy. He established numerous single season passing records including most yards (4,727 yards), completions (408) and completion percentage in a season (72.3 percent) and single game records for passing yards (435 yards) and completions (34).

2011 – The Cowboys went 11-1 and had a No. 3 ranking in the BCS standings, earning a trip to Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In that game, Weeden completed 29 of 42 passes for 399 yards and 3 TD passes. He scored another one rushing as Oklahoma State beat Stanford. Against the big name quarterbacks in this year’s draft class he went 3-0, beating Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill:

Oklahoma State vs. Stanford/Fiesta Bowl/January 2, 2012

QB 

Att 

Cmp 

% 

Yds 

A/A 

TD 

Int 

Score 

Weeden 

42 

29 

69.0 

399 

9.5 

3 

1 

W/41-38 

Luck 

31 

27 

87.1 

347 

11.2 

2 

1 

L/38-41 

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor/Stillwater, Oklahoma/October 29, 2011

QB 

Att 

Cmp 

% 

Yds 

A/A 

TD 

Int 

Score 

Weeden 

36 

24 

66.7 

274 

7.6 

3 

0 

W/59-24 

Griffin 

50 

33 

66.0 

425 

8.5 

1 

2 

L/24-59 

Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M/College Station, Texas/September 24, 2011

QB 

Att 

Cmp 

% 

Yds 

A/A 

TD 

Int 

Score 

Weeden 

60 

47 

78.3 

438 

7.3 

2 

0 

W/30-29 

Tannehill 

47 

28 

59.6 

309 

6.6 

2 

3 

L/29-30 

2010 – Won All-Big 12 Conference first team honors at quarterback, and was third in voting for the conference player of the year award. He was named starter before the season opener. In week two, Weeden suffered a severe injury to the thumb on his passing hand. The next game after the injury, he threw six TD passes against Tulsa. Weeden had seven 300-yard passing games and three games over 400 yards passing. He had at least one TD in every game.

2009 – Weeden played in three games. He led the Cowboys to an 11-point comeback victory over Colorado 31-28 in a nationally televised Thursday night game. He threw a pair of 47-yard TD passes to Justin Blackmon and Keith Toston.

2008 – He appeared in only one game during the season, facing Missouri State, completing 1 of 3 passes for 8 yards.

2007 – Redshirt, no game action.

Statistics

Year 

G/S 

A 

C 

% 

Y 

A/A 

TD 

I 

Ru 

Y 

TD 

Rec 

2011 

13/13 

564 

408 

72.3 

4,727 

8.4 

37 

13 

17 

-102 

1 

12-1*

2010 

13/13 

511 

342 

66.9 

4,277 

8.4 

34 

13 

17 

-68 

0 

11-2*

2009 

3/0 

24 

15 

62.5 

248 

10.3 

4 

1 

4 

18 

0 

9-4*

2008 

1/0 

3 

1 

33.3 

8 

2.7 

0 

0 

1 

2 

0 

9-4*

2007 

Red 

Shirt 

                   
Total 

30/26 

1,102

766

69.5

9,260

8.4

75 

27 

39 

-150 

1 

41-11

*-(2011) Fiesta Bowl; (2010) Alamo Bowl; (2009) Cotton Bowl; (2008) Holiday Bowl.

Video

Oklahoma State vs. Arizona/Alamo Bowl 2010 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv_fAZq8li0

Weeden vs. Iowa State 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XooClErAx4&feature=related

Weeden vs. Oklahoma 2011 – http://draftbreakdown.com/brandon-weeden-vs-oklahoma-2011

Weeden/Fiesta Bowl vs. Stanford – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUbkSR4wtWI&feature=related

————————————————–

Quarterback Evaluation

Throwing motion – Among all the quarterbacks in this year’s class, he is the one guy that can manipulate his arm and mechanics and still remain effective. It’s probably a left over from his pitching days, but Weeden is able to adjust his motion when needed. The best thing, however, is that he does not do this all the time and his basic motion is quick, generally decisive and dominant in use.

Arm Strength – Weeden has a very live arm, a big gun on his right shoulder, although in the OK-State offense he wasn’t asked to go long very often. But he did throw a lot of intermediate routes with great buzz on the ball. There does not appear to be any pass at any distance that he can’t throw. Like most guys with his type of arm, he sometimes thinks he can throw the ball through a key hole, and that’s caused him problems at times.

Touch – Weeden showed touch on passes when needed, although it wasn’t necessarily a strength in his arsenal. When asked too, he was more than able to dump the ball over a defender and right into the bucket.

Accuracy – Weeden is an accurate thrower, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes at Oklahoma State. But when he’s forced to move around, or when there is pressure on him in the pocket, his accuracy drops a great deal, with a lot of high throws, the type that get picked off.

Play action – Taking nearly all of his snaps out of the shotgun makes for a different dynamic when it comes to play action. He seems to have a good handle on the football and makes believable fakes.

Mobility – He’s a good athlete and actually can move quite well. In throwing the ball, he’s much more of a pocket passer. Wedden was never viewed as a runner or run option in the Oklahoma State offense.

Pocket Presence – Tends to get happy feet in the pocket and when that starts, there is seldom anything good that comes from it. He’ll get throws off when he probably would have been better off taking the sack. His throws under pressure tend to run high, same with the times he throws off his back foot. With pressure, his footwork fundamentals quickly go out the window.

Preparation – Early in his time with the Cowboys, Weeden’s prep each week was not what coach Mike Gundy thought it should be. That’s why he wasn’t No. 2 in his second year, but No. 3 on the depth chart. After getting an earful from Gundy, some of it publicly, Weeden started putting more effort into prep and as he left the program, he was serious about watching tape.

Leadership – Although his teammates liked to razz him about his age, the Cowboys followed Weeden and he was the unquestioned leader on the field as a junior and senior. One advantage of his age is the increased maturity and the fact he played professional baseball gave him a head start on dealing with ups and downs of any sport.

Decision making – The OSU offense tends to view just one side of the field, either left or right, thus taking some of the options out of making decisions, and thus lowering the pressure on the quarterback. Watching tapes from his first starts in 2010 through his final games in 2011 there is an obvious upward trend in better decision making.

Pressure Situations – When it was needed, Weeden did a very good job in the fourth quarter of games to help his team come-from-behind, or produce a victory.

Offensive experience – His only playing background is with the current OSU attack, limiting his experience in handling other schemes. In his first three years on campus the Cowboys offense was only 50 percent in the shotgun and he lined up under center and dropped back to pass on occasion.

Coaching influences – Mike Gundy is the head coach he played for but he had different coordinators and quarterback coaches in the last two seasons, with Dana Holgorsen in 2010 (now head coach at West Virginia) and Todd Monken last year (returning to the college game after time in the NFL).

Evaluation

Strengths – Physically, he has NFL tools with a strong arm, strong constitution, strong mind and the ability to adapt very quickly to changing circumstances. Leadership and maturity very quickly made him the locker room leader for Cowboys in a short period of time.

Deficient – Fundamentals are sometimes lax, especially with his footwork when he’s pressured. He played the last two years, when he was the Cowboys starting QB, in a shotgun offense where he seldom took a snap from center and dropped back to pass. That will be an adjustment and another spot where his footwork must improve. He does not throw particular well on the move.

Analysis – He was just a two-year starter for the Cowboys, after spending his first three seasons in Stillwater out of action or as a little used backup, sometimes even listed as the No. 3 QB. Weeden has all the intangibles to be a starting NFL quarterback and with his background and his mature status, he should be less affected by the move to pro football than other, younger players in his draft class.

What the scouts say about Brandon Weeden

A scout for an AFC team said about Brandon Weeden – “One part of his story that I like is the fact they didn’t give him anything at Ok. State; Gundy made him earn it and I think that’s made him a legitimate prospect in the NFL. That said, I think he still has development to make, since he started just two years. There are some fundamentals that have to be stripped down and reloaded.”

A scout for an NFC team said – “His age is a factor and there’s no getting around that fact. With five years in baseball and then only two years playing, he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on his whole body. But you wonder what might be ahead sooner rather than later with his shoulder or elbow.”

A scout for another NFC team said – “He has a check mark next to every trait you would seek in a starting quarterback candidate. He’s not a first rounder because he does not excel at any of those traits. I’m not sure he’s ever going to be anybody’s franchise quarterback, but he’s better than some guys who started in the league last year.”

A scout for another NFC team said – “Working in that Ok. State offense, it’s all dinks and dunks, so it’s hard to translate how he might handle a typical NFL offense. There’s a transition that has to go down there and at 28 already, it has to happen fast.”

What Brandon Weeden said

“Such a big deal has been made of my age. I use it to my advantage. I think it’s a positive this year. I think it’s a positive for my future. It’s one of those deals, the way I look at it is, name one person who wouldn’t want to be in the position I am, and have the kind of path I’ve had?”

“You’re throwing every pitch as hard as you can. There’s a lot more stress that goes in your shoulder. In football, you don’t really ever throw one 100 percent. Even when I was playing baseball in the offseason I’d throw a football and never have any issues. In baseball, I had a hard time sleeping at night. Now my arm’s never sore.”

“The thing I loved about the quarterback position was you always had the ball in your hand. I’m a competitive guy. I just always loved it. There’s something about completing a pass and getting hit, something fun about that.”

“You’re only given so much time to do certain things. You don’t want to look back when you’re 35, 40, 50 years old and say, ‘Man, I wish I had gone back and done something.’ I’ve just always been a person that says, don’t say, ‘What if?’”

What others said about Brandon Weeden

“I love Brandon Weeden if you want a quarterback that’s tough as hell and that’s a winner. He’s already beat Nick Foles in a bowl game two years ago. He beat Robert Griffin 59-24. He beat Andrew Luck in the Fiesta Bowl. He beat Landry Jones. He beat (Ryan) Tannehill. I like Weeden as you can tell. I would find something for him to do.” Former NFL head coach and ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden.

“The reality is he’s an awfully good football player. Whether someone decides because he’s 28 or guys taken previously that were older that didn’t turn out like they’d hoped; if you look at previous drafts and quarterbacks that have gone in the first and second rounds and they don’t consider him in that group. I don’t see that.” Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Does Brandon Weeden fit with the Chiefs?

Yes, as much as he would any NFL team seeking a starting quarterback. The age question is what every team will have to answer. Matt Cassel will be 30 in May; Weeden will be 29 in October. Every quarterback needs an adjustment period to the NFL. If Weeden needs a season or two, that would put him over 30 already. He is not the perfect candidate to be an NFL starting quarterback, but he has the skill set to

Top 100 Prospects – OT Riley Reiff

South Dakota football is hardly known as a football factory, largely because the sparse population has not produced many high schoolers that ended up as pro football players.

A handful of players had long careers: DL John Dutton, TE Jay Novacek, QB Norm Van Brocklin and K Adam Vinatieri. Currently only three South Dakota-born players are in the league: Vinatieri and Minnesota LBs Chad Greenway and Ben Leber. State population in the 2010 census was 814,180, that’s the 46th most populated state ahead of only Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. There are 64 metro areas in the United States with more people living there than inhabit the entire state of South Dakota. There are less than 75 high schools playing 11-man football in South Dakota.

Another South Dakota native will soon be in the league – OT Riley Reiff out of Parkston, S.D. and the University of Iowa, where he played three seasons for the Hawkeyes. Reiff is considered one of the best blockers in the country and his name should be called in first or second round. “I look forward to increasing the number of South Dakota players in the league,” Reiff said. “We can play the game, it’s just that there are so many of us and there are other sports that divide attention.” Here’s the rest of his story.

Draft Profile – OT Riley Reiff


RILEY REIFF/OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Personal

Riley Thomas Reiff (pronounced Reef)

College – University of Iowa.

Born – December 1, 1988 in Parkston, South Dakota.

Family – Parents are JoEllen and Tom Reiff. His mother comes from a large farming family; she was one of 19 children. When her mother/Riley’s grandmother Margaret Heisinger passed away in 2009, she had 19 children, 55 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. His father was his first wrestling coach while running an agricultural supply business. He has an older sister Nikki and two younger brothers, Eric and Brady.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 5¾ inches.
  • Weight – 313 pounds
  • Arm – 33¼ inches.
  • Hand – 10 1/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 80 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.21 seconds.
  • Bench press – 23 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 26½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 2 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.87 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.77 seconds.

Hometown

Reiff grew up in Parkston a town of 1,500 people in Hutchinson County, in the southeast corner of South Dakota. It’s so small that the total area of the two is less than one square mile. It’s an agricultural community that became a town in the mid-1800s.

High School

He was a member of the graduating class of 2008 at Parkston High School, part of the Parkston School District 333-3. He was a first-team All-State performer as a defensive end in 2005-2006-2007 for the Trojans and head coach Jon Mitchell. He also played tight end. Plus, he was selected as South Dakota’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2007.

Reiff finished his high school career with 261 tackles, 23 sacks and eight interceptions. He also caught 27 passes for 321 yards and 9 TDs. He played DE, DT, MLB, TE, G and OT in three seasons with the Hawkeyes.

Reiff also lettered in golf and track. He qualified throwing the discus for the state track meet as a sophomore, the first year he threw the discus. He also played American Legion baseball.

Football

2007 – Parkston finished 5-4 on the season and lost in the first-round of the state playoffs. At defensive end and then middle linebacker, Reiff had 83 tackles and 6 sacks on the season where he was the team captain as a senior. At tight end, he caught 27 passes for 321 yards and 9 TDs.

2006 – Reiff had 80 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior defensive end.

2005 – He finished his sophomore season with 51 tackles and 9 sacks playing defensive end. Parkston finished 8-3 that season and lost in the state semifinals to eventual champion Aberdeen.

2004 – As a high school freshman he started at defensive end for a team that went 6-4.

Wrestling

He finished his high school competitive wrestling career with a 144-21 record with 87 pins among his victories and three individual state titles and two team titles as well.

2008 – Did not wrestle as he recovered from hand injury suffered in football.

2007 – Parkston won the Class B state title, finishing with a 40-0 individual record and the state championship in the heavyweight division.

2006 – He was the state champion at 215 pounds for the second straight season with a 39-0 record. Parkston finished second in the state.

2005 – Reiff earned his first state championship as a freshman, taking the 215-pound title while his team was second in the state. He was 42-1, his only defeat coming to Garretson H.S., All-South Dakota wrestler Tyler Sorenson.

2004 – As an eighth grader he wrestled on the varsity level and finished fifth in the state tournament while Parkston won the class B team championship. Reiff had a 23-20 record in that season.

He competed in a national freestyle wrestling tournament in 2007 and finished sixth among heavyweight wrestlers from around the country.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed Reiff as a 3-star prospect and the No. 25 rated defensive end in the country.

Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa were the schools that heavily recruited him. Reiff committed to Iowa in April 2006, but then switched his verbal pledge to Nebraska in October 2007. By the end of 20007, he had returned his commitment to the Hawkeyes.

College

Reiff was an Interdepartmental Studies major in Iowa City and was on track to graduate in spring 2012.

In three seasons on the field for head coach Dennis Ferentz’s Hawkeyes he’s played in 39 games, 37 starts and 34 consecutive starts.

2011 – He had 13 starts at LT and was named to the All-Big Ten Conference first-team. He was also named to the pre-season Playboy All-America team.

2010 – Reiff started all 13 games at left tackle and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

2009 – As a redshirt-freshman, he started 11 of 13 games for the Hawkeyes. Reiff opened three games at LT, seven games at LG and one game at RT. One of his LT starts was against Penn State. At LG he started against Michigan and Wisconsin and Ohio State. He opened at RT in the Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech.

2008 – Redshirt season, he did not play.

Jurisprudence

July 2008 – He was arrested for public intoxication and interference with official acts early in the morning of Saturday, July 19. Reiff was discovered shirtless in an alley behind the Pita Pit restaurant in Iowa City at 2:45 a.m. When the police arrived, he took off running, went through the back door of the restaurant, knocked several trays of food on the ground, and then ran out the front door. Eight police officers gave chase on foot, eventually apprehending Reiff after 20 minutes.

Video

Iowa vs. Oklahoma/Insight Bowl 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmS0XmkMeJ0

Iowa highlights 2010 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWfhLJXbMnk

(Reiff wears No. 77 and is playing left tackle.)

Evaluation

Strengths – He’s got some natural instincts playing the position, and he does a good job of understanding leverage and angles. Reiff is a very good hand fighter and uses them to his advantage, helping to keep defenders away from the passer. Plays with an attitude and isn’t afraid to mix things up.

Deficient – His short arms had scouts talking about Reiff moving to right tackle in the NFL because he’s not exceptionally quick and has troubles handling outside speed rushers that get the angle on him. While he was a very athletic prep athlete, he’s not exceptional in any particular athlete ability. He needs to work on strength, quickness and speed.

Analysis – Reiff should be a 10-year-plus pro, but it probably will not be at left tackle. He’s better suited to the right side, or possibly moving inside to guard. Doesn’t mean anything but that he will be drafted lower than some thought and he won’t make as much money over his career.

What the scouts say about Riley Reiff

A scout for an AFC team said of Riley Reiff – “He played better last year as a sophomore, than he did this year as a junior. He probably should have stayed in school, to see what direction his career is taking. Not sure how much upside there is there.

An NFC scout said – “Solid player with some upside, like all those kids from Iowa City. Don’t think we’ll see him in the Pro Bowl any time soon, but he can help any team with a question mark at tackle, especially right tackle.”

What Riley Reiff had to say

“Whether it was my freshman year in high school or in college, I just wanted to play and knew I could. I always had aspirations of playing at the next level and then making it to the next level.”

“Wrestling helps your conditioning. The muscle you use for wrestling, they help you in football. It’s a totally different sport, but your footwork, the use or your hands and how you use your hips, that’ all goes into play and helps you out as an offensive lineman.”

What they said about Riley Reiff

If you knew Riley, it’s more about a mentality than anything else. He’s going to fire off the ball, and he’s going to try to put you on your back every time he hits you. So that’s kind of the approach he takes and that’s what makes him a good player.” Iowa teammate Tyler Nielsen.

“The other thing I tell people about Riley is he has great heart. He has great heart and he knows how tough this is going to be. Going to the next level, he knows there is a lot of guys his size, but I think he has what it takes to be real successful because of his heart.” High school head coach Jon Mitchell.

He brings toughness to the field. I’m not saying the others don’t, but that’s the number one attribute that comes to mind.” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Does Riley Reiff fit with the Chiefs?

Yes and no. His personality fits the type of offensive lineman that Pioli is looking to draft, and that Iowa pedigree makes him attractive to the Chiefs because they love Kirk Ferentz trained players. No, because they filled their right-tackle spot by signing a relatively young UFA Eric Winston.

Cassel Should Be Pissed . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Matt Cassel said he was not upset at all during the off-season, even when his team became associated in media reports with other quarterbacks.

First, Peyton Manning asked for his release from the Indianapolis Colts. Even before he landed on the waiver wire, head coach Romeo Crennel said he would be interested in Manning if he were available.

Later, team chairman Clark Hunt was quoted by CNBC that the Chiefs were very interested in speaking with Manning about making his move to Kansas City.

In the last month, the team has developed a very public infatuation with Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill, attending his Pro Day workout, having their own private workout in College Station and bringing the quarterback with 19 career starts to Kansas City for an up close and personal meeting.

And then, earlier this week Pioli talked about preparations for next week’s draft, and Cassel’s name came up in context with the selection of other players: …Read More!

The Who, When On Schedule . . . Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Now, the NFL knows who and when after the release on Tuesday of the league’s regular-season schedule. But that really doesn’t give the Chiefs and the 31 other teams any more evidence of what type of season lies ahead.

So many opinions are generated in April about how the 16 games line up in the final 17 weeks of the 2012 calendar. Those opinions are meaningless when the ball gets kicked off in September. There remain far too many variables in the equation that will be answered with the off-season programs, the NFL Draft, mini-camps, training camps and the pre-season. The lineup of games that looks tough right now may be something far less in the very near future.

For instance, right now it looks like the Chiefs failed to catch a break when they got both meetings with the Broncos in the last six games of the season. It would have been better to get those locked down in the first six games, before Peyton Manning and his team really come to know each other. Come the end of November when they play the first time, who knows what kind of shape Manning and the Broncos offense might be in after 10 games.

Meeting up with the Indianapolis Colts and their starting quarterback-to-be, Andrew Luck would figure to be better for an opponent early, when he’s still wet behind the ears. But the Chiefs face the Colts two days before Christmas. Luck may be really feeling comfortable by then, or possibly he could be so battered and bruised that he’s not effective in the Indy offense. …Read More!

Chiefs 2012 Schedules

Pre-Season

Day

Date

Opponent

H/A

Time

TV

FRI

8/10

Arizona Cardinals

H

7p

KCTV

SAT

8/18

St. Louis Rams

A

7p

KCTV

FRI

8/24

Seattle Seahawks

H

7p

KCTV

THU

8/30

Green Bay Packers

A

6p

KCTV

 

Regular Season

Day

Date

Opponent

H/A

Time

TV

SUN

9/9

Atlanta Falcons

H

Noon

FOX

SUN

9/16

Buffalo Bills

A

Noon

CBS

SUN

9/23

New Orleans Saints

A

Noon

CBS

SUN

9/30

San Diego Chargers

H

Noon

CBS

           

SUN

10/7

Baltimore Ravens

H

Noon

CBS

SUN

10/14

Tampa Bay Bucs

A

Noon

CBS

SUN

10/21

BYE

     

SUN

10/28

Oakland Raiders

H

3:05p

CBS

           

THU

11/1

San Diego Chargers

A

7:30p

NFL

MON

11/12

Pittsburgh Steelers

A

7:30p

ESPN

SUN

11/18

Cincinnati Bengals

H

Noon

CBS

SUN

11/25

Denver Broncos

H

Noon

CBS

           

SUN

12/2

Carolina Panthers

H

Noon

FOX

SUN

12/9

Cleveland Browns

A

Noon

CBS

SUN

12/16

Oakland Raiders

A

3:05p

CBS

SUN

12/23

Indianapolis Colts

H

Noon

CBS

SUN

12/30

Denver Broncos

A

3:15p

CBS

Chiefs Add Potential Spark In Return Game

The Chiefs announced Tuesday morning that they had signed street free agent CB Mikail Baker.

Baker (5-11½, 195 pounds) played his college ball at Baylor University, where he set all the school’s career records on kick returns; he had 83 returns for 1,963 yards, an average return of 23.7 yards with one TD. That was a 93-yard score against Iowa State during the 2008 season.

He was selected in the seventh-round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He did not play in the pre-season because of an injury and went to the injured-reserve list before the start of the regular season. He was released via an injury settlement last October.

The Chiefs are in dire need of a spark in their return game, whether its kick returns or punt returns. In the last three seasons, they’ve had one punt return TD (Dexter McCluster on September 13, 2010) and one kick return TD (Jamaal Charles on November 22, 2009) in 49 games. That’s a 32-game drought for punt returns and a 39-game drought for kick returns.

Baker is a 24-year old native of Dallas, who attended Skyline High School.

No Crack In Chiefs Draft Door . . . Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel came out of the Chiefs draft bunker on Monday and met with the media horde. It’s something that goes on with every team in the National Football League as the annual NFL Draft grows near.

No matter the GM might be, or the head coach or personnel director, it’s an annual exercise of trying to speak a lot and say nothing. There are no secrets revealed in these sessions. Sometimes the draft big shots try to send out a smoke screen or two, usually in hopes of pushing attention away from a particular player or situation that they are focused on.

But as he went through his fourth pre-draft visit with the media, Pioli played it pretty straight – he answered every question, but said nothing. Same with Crennel, who was going through this exercise for the first time with the Chiefs. His time as head coach of the Browns prepared him for his second chance.

Here’s what was learned from the Monday conversation: …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – CB Stephon Gilmore

Ever so slowly, the Carolinas are becoming a football hotbed.

What was once considered prime basketball recruiting territory is now giving up top of the line football talent to the college ranks, with plenty of it staying in North or South Carolina.

CB Stephone Gilmore is one of those guys. Out of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Gilmore is entering the 2012 NFLNFL Draft as one of the fastest climbing players on draft boards. The junior corner started every game he played for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks, that’s 40 in all, beginning with the first game of his true freshman season.

Gilmore has displayed all the talents that will draw him into a first-round position. Here’s his story.

Draft Profile – CB Stephon Gilmore


STEPHON GILMORE/CORNERBACK

PERSONAL

Stephon Stiles Gilmore

College – University of South Carolina.

Born – September 19, 1990, in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Family – Parents are Linda and Stevie. His parents have been married for 24 years. Stevie manages a title loan office. Stephon is the oldest of six children. Following him are Sabrina, Sierra, Steven Jr., Scarlett and Savannah, who is 12 years younger than his oldest brother.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, ½-inch.
  • Weight – 190 pounds.
  • Arm – 31 inches.
  • Hand – 9¼ inches.
  • Wing span – 73½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.4 seconds.
  • Bench press – 15 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 36 inches.
  • Broad jump – 15 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.63 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 3.97 seconds.

Hometown

Gilmore grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the fourth largest city in the state, with a population of 66,154 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Rock Hill is actually part of the Charlotte, North Carolina metropolitan area, as it is located 25 miles south, just over the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Once inhabited by the Catawba Indian Nation, the city of Rock Hill dates to 1852, when railroad workers built a depot on the site out of rock they had removed to lay track. In the 1960s, Rock Hill was at the front lines of the civil rights movement. Nine black me were jailed when they staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter. In 1961, Rock Hill was the first stop in the South for the original Freedom Riders, who boarded buses in Washington, D.C. and went south. When the Freedom Riders stepped off the bus in Rock Hill, they were beaten by a mob of white residents who were uncontrolled by the police. Among the noteable natives or one-time residents of Rock Hill are baseball manager Sparky Anderson, Olympic speed skater Lauren Cholewinski and a host of former and current NFL players like Ben Watson, Johnathan Joseph, Chris Hope, Rick Sanford and Donnie Shell.

High School

He was a member of the 2009 graduating class at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, one of three high schools in the York County School District #3. The school has approximately 1,500 students in grades nine through 12. Gilmore did graduate a semester early, leaving after December 2008 with enough credits to graduate and enroll in college.

Gilmore participated in football, basketball and track and field for SPHS. In his final season of basketball as a junior in 2007-08, he averaged 18 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds per game.

The Stallions teams competed in football at the Class 4AAA level under head coach Bobby Carroll. It was in 2008 that SPHS went 15-0 and won the 4AAAA Division II state championship with a victory over Northwestern H.S. In that game, Gilmore ran for 119 yards and 3 TDs and passes for 69 yards and another TD to clinch the title. In that same season, Gilmore earned All-America status as a high school senior from Parade Magazine.

2008 – Gilmore earned South Carolina Mr. Football honors and was first-team all-state as a two-way player. At QB, Gilmore ran 145 times for 1,262 yards, 8.7-yard average and 23 TDs. He passed for 1,771 yards, completing 112 of 187 passes, with 14 TDs and 5 INTs. Defensively, he had 2 interceptions on defense.

2007 – He ran for 1,145 yards on 164 carries with 14 TDs. He threw for 1,679 yards, with 13 TDs and 16 INTs, completing 105 of 199 passes. On defense, he had one interception. The Stallions finished 9-4 on the season.

2006 – As a sophomore quarterback, Gilmore threw for 900 yards and 8 TDs and ran for more than 1,000 yards and 12 TD tosses. SPHS finished 3-8 on the season.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed Gilmore as a 4-star recruit and the No. 2 overall prospect in the state of South Carolina and the No. 6 athlete available in that group of potential recruits. Scout.com listed him as a 5-star player and the No. 3 safety in the country.

Scholarships offers flooded in from over 30 teams. He narrowed his field to Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson and South Carolina. He selected the Gamecocks on October 14, 2008.

College

Gilmore graduated from high school in December of 2008 and enrolled for the spring 2009 semester at South Carolina. That allowed him to take part in spring practices and it helped him earn a starting job with the Gamecocks.

2011 – He started all 13 games giving him 40 consecutive starts for the Gamecocks over three seasons. He had 46 total tackles and four interceptions. He had 10 tackles in the season opener against East Carolina. He had four tackles and a sack against Florida. In the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska he had his fourth INT of the season and also returned a blocked PAT kick for a 2-point play for South Carolina. In the spring he was named the school’s Harris Pastides Scholar-Athlete for football. He was also one of 21 football players to earn All-SEC Academic honors.

2010 – Earned first-team All-SEC honors and third-team All-America designation from the Associated Press. Gilmore led the team in tackles with 79 on the season, including 3 sacks. He also had three interceptions. He returned one of those picks 80 yards for a TD against Furman. Against Alabama, he had nine tackles and 2 sacks. He took snaps at quarterback in the Wildcat and was used as the team’s primary punt returner, averaging 5.2 yards on nine returns. He was also named to the South Carolina’s Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2009 – Started in all 12 games for the Gamecocks, becoming one of the few true freshman starters in the secondary in the Southeastern Conference. He earned recognition on several Freshman All-America teams. He finished with 56 total tackles and one interception. Gilmore’s best game performance came against Florida with a total of 10 tackles. He returned 15 punts for a 10.1-yard average. He returned one punt 75 yards for a TD, only to have it called back on a penalty away from where he was running the ball. He was also used by Spurrier in Carolina’s Wildcat offense as quarterback, as he ran 5 times for 20 yards and completed a 39-yard pass to Alshon Jeffrey.

Statistics

Year

G/S

Tkls

TFL

Sks

QH

Int

PBU

FF

RF

Record

2011

13/13

46

3

1

3

4

7

1

1

11-2*

2010

14/14

79

6

3

2

3

2

1

1

9-5*

2009

13/13

56

6

3

0

1

8

2

0

7-6*

Total

40/40

181

15

7

5

8

17

4

2

27-13

* – Bowl games = (2011) Capital One Bowl; (2010) Chik-fil-A Bowl; (2009) Papa John’s Bowl.

  • 7 running plays for 31 yards.
  • 1 of 3 passing for 68 yards.
  • He returned 28 punts for 206 yards, a –yard per attempt
  • He returned 2 kickoffs for 47 yards.
  • He scored one touchdown and one 2-point conversion.

VIDEO

Gilmore 2011 highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq_7sE0jMzM

Gilmore 2010 highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2y7PXDBFL0

Evaluation

Strengths – Durable, available, you can count on him cornerback who did not miss a game or start during his college career. His strength is in zone coverage, although he can play press man-to-man, but will need work to be an elite cover man. Not so in zone, where he knows the assignments of every defensive player on the field and keeps his group organized. Any play in front of him has him exploding to the ball carrier. He’s very good playing centerfield and does a nice job of reading quarterbacks. He’s outstanding at being prepared and coaches rave about his team leadership.

Deficient – Needs to add more muscle to his skinny frame to protect himself on the field and provide more power in press coverage and tackling. He’s a willing tackler, but his lack of bulk sometimes leads to him getting run over by bigger ball carriers. Strength also needed to get away from receivers who try to block him outside. Once they latch on, he has a hard time getting them off. Is explosive with the ball in his hands on defense and special teams as a punt returner, but he spends too much time and energy trying to break plays running east and west, instead of pushing the ball north and south.

Analysis – He’s still a young man learning how to play the secondary at a high level, and certainly the NFL is a step above the SEC. But his ability to come in as a freshman and start from his very first game speaks loudly on his talents and his intangibles. Gilmore remains raw in many of his techniques, but he’s got the physical and mental package that is worth working with and improving.

What NFL scouts said about Stephon Gilmore

An NFC scout said of Stephon Gilmore – “I really like the upside with this kid; I don’t think he’s come close to showing us his upper reaches of talent and performance. He’ll need to buckle down and forget about beating NFL receivers with his pure skills. Those will get the job done for him, but he’s going to need time on tape and fundamentals.”

What Stephon Gilmore said

“I like to tackle a lot. I think most corners don’t like to tackle. I like to make plays on the ball and sometimes I try to strip the ball. I just try to be a complete corner. It’s a great time to be a cornerback.”

What others said about Stephon Gilmore

“It’s his personality. You won’t see him in trouble. And on the field, he’s just a smart player. That’s one person I can say, he can get all the hype, but at the end of the day he’s always going to be humble.” Former South Carolina teammate Darian Stewart.

Does Stephon Gilmore fit with the Chiefs?

Players with Gilmore’s potential and skill fit every team and situation that the game presents. Where the Chiefs are sitting now however, it doesn’t seem to fit. Gilmore is a first round, early second-round choice. GM Scott Pioli is not going to allow Brandon Carr to walk as a free agent and then turn around and sign an outstanding corner prospect to replace him.

Down-Sized Off-Season . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs

The 2012 National Football League begins Monday. That’s the start of the off-season workout clock for most of the league’s 32 teams.

Heavily governed these days by the labor agreement with the NFL Players Association, there are just 10 weeks available to teams like the Chiefs and head coach Romeo Crennel and his staff to prepare the unit for the coming season.

All of this will come to the players along with $155 per day for each day they partake in their team’s three-phase program of work over 10 weeks. Thus, if a player decides to fully take part in all of the workouts and mini-camp between now and June 15, he’ll make just less than $6,000.

And, it’s all voluntary. Without a doubt the words that are repeated most often in the labor agreement in Article 21 and its nine sections that cover off-season work are:

“No club official may indicate to a player that such individual workouts are not voluntary, or that a player’s failure to participate in such workouts will result in the player’s failure to make the Club (or that a player’s failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player’s failure to make the Club or result in any other adverse consequences affecting his working conditions).” …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – QB Kirk Cousins

He was 19 months old and he was in the middle of all sorts of mischief. While he played in the kitchen one afternoon, Kirk Cousins decided to reach up and grab a boiling pot of water that had spaghetti bubbling in it from the stovetop.

The boiling water severely burned his upper torso and in the emergency room of the local hospital, when they took off shirt, they pulled a layer of skin off his neck, chest and shoulders. Infection spread and his fever spiked at 106 degrees. He spent two weeks in the hospital and for a year after that moment, he had to wear a special jacket to compress his skin.

Doctors said the skin would grow back, but that his shoulders had been burned so much that he might never regain full use of them.

Turns out the doctors were wrong. They became the first members of the “Under-estimate Kirk Cousins” club. They would not be the last.

Now, more than two decades later Kirk Cousins has set remarkable records for playing quarterback at Michigan State University. He’s the only Spartans QB that never lost to arch-rival Michigan. He’s going to be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he won’t be considered a premiere pick. There will be doubts about him. He’s been there before.

“He’s been overlooked and underestimated most of his life,” his father Don Cousins told ESPN.com last year.

His story is certainly one filled with a refusal to give into others view of what his role should be. “I’ve just tried to cross one finish line and go to the next goal. It’s kept me humble and focused.”

Here’s the rest of his story and an in-depth analysis of his career to date, and what might be expected in the NFL.

Draft Profile – QB Kirk Cousins


KIRK COUSINS/QUARTERBACK

Personal

Kirk Cousins

College – Michigan State University.

Born – August 19, 1988, in Barrington, Illinois.

Family – Parents are MaryAnn and Don Cousins. MaryAnn (Woodard) Cousins grew up in Ft. Dodge, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa where she earned a nursing degree. Her father Don Woodard was a four-year letterman at Iowa (1945, 1947-49) playing tight end and defensive end, and he graduated from the Iowa Medical School. Don and Martha Woodard retain season tickets for Iowa home football games.

Don Cousins is the founder and president of Team Development, Inc., an evangelical consulting firm for small churches and religious organizations. He’s the co-author of the Walking with God series of books for small groups. Here’s his website.

Kirk is the middle of three children. His older brother Kyle was a pitcher and outfielder at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he helped lead the program to back-to-back 20-victory seasons and the school’s first conference championship. He also earned a degree in accounting. Younger sister Karalyne is finishing her third year as a pre-med major at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 2 5/8 inches.
  • Weight – 214 pounds.
  • Arm – 31¾ inches.
  • Hand – 9 7/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 73 5/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.84 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 28½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 1-inch.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.06 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.56 seconds.

Hometown

The Cousins family lived in the Chicago suburbs until Kirk’s seventh grade year when they moved to Holland, Michigan, a city of 33,051 people (2010 Census) that sits on the western edge of the state, along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The town also sits on the banks of Lake Macatawa, which flows into Lake Michigan. The town was formed by Dutch Calvinists who were escaping religious persecution in the Netherlands, and they settled in the area in the mid-1800s. Holland became the largest of over a dozen Dutch settlements in that part of Michigan. Every May they hold the Tulip Festival in Holland. It’s also home to the world’s largest pickle factory, operated by H.J. Heinz Company since 1897 and during the growing season they process over one million pounds of pickles per day.

High School

Cousins was part of the graduating class of 2007 at Holland Christian High School, topping his class of 229 students with a 4.0 GPA, while also serving as class president.

He sang in the choir and played football, basketball and baseball (pitcher) for Holland Christian over his four years at the school.

Football

Cousins finished his career with 3,204 passing yards, 40 TDs and 18 INTs. He was a two-year starter at QB for head coach Tim Lont and the Maroons. He ended up setting 35 school passing and total offense records and was the most decorated and productive player in school history.

2006 – Named Area Player of the Year and All-Conference QB after throwing for 28 TDs, 10 interceptions and 2,088 yards (130 of 231). HCHS finished 7-3 and made the Michigan playoffs for the first time in school history. They were third in the Ottawa-Kent Green Conference.

2005 – Cousins started six games at quarterback before suffering a broken ankle that finished his season. In those games he was 68 of 135 for 1,116 yards, 12 TDs and 8 INTs. HCHS went 3-6 on the season.

2004 – The Maroons finished 4-5 and in fifth place in the Ottawa-Kent Gold Conference. He saw limited play time at quarterback and worked primarily on defense.

2003 – He was the leader of the HCHS freshman team that finished 9-0.

Basketball

2007 – The Maroons went 11-11 on the season under head coach Mike Phelps, finishing fourth in the O-K Green Conference. Cousins was a starter at guard.

2006 – HCHS struggled to a 4-15 record, finishing in last place in the O-K Green Conference.

2004 – Cousins played on the Maroons freshman team that went 20-0 on the season.

Baseball

2007 – HCHS went 24-8 on the season, with Cousins serving as a pitcher and outfielder.

2006 – The Maroons put together the best season in school history going 27-5 and winning the Division 2 regional before falling in the state quarterfinals.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed him as a 3-star prospect and No. 27 player in Michigan. Scout.com had him as a 2-star player.

That broken ankle suffered in his junior season had Cousins on the fringe of the recruiting scene. He was considering Toledo and Western Michigan when Mark Dantonio left the University of Cincinnati and was named head coach at Michigan State. When Dantonio couldn’t sign his top quarterback prospects, he offered Cousins a scholarship in January 2007. Cousins signed the next day.

College

At Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan Cousins majored in Kinesiology. He graduated in December ’11 with a 3.68 grade point average. He became the 16th player in the program’s history to be named Academic All-Big Ten Conference for four consecutive seasons.

He was only the second player in MSU history to be named captain three times (the other was Robert McCurry, 1946-48.) Cousins finished his career as the winningest QB in Spartans history with a 27-12 record including a 22-5 mark in his final two seasons. In 2010 and 2011 seasons he was a finalist for the Manning, Davey O’Brien and Wuerrfel Trophies honoring quarterbacks and college players for their on-field performances as well as activities in the community.

2011 – Named to the second-team All-Big Ten Conference offense. He threw for 329 yards with a TD against Notre Dame and for 300 yards and a TD against Georgia. Cousins set a Michigan State single season record with his 25 TD passes. He threw at least one TD pass in 13 of 14 games.

2010 – Led the Spartans to an 8-0 start and was honored with Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference offense. MSU finished 11-2 with Cousins as the starting quarterback. Against Northwestern he threw for 331 yards and 3 TDs and added three TDs against both Wisconsin and Purdue. He was named the team’s outstanding underclassmen back on offense.

2009 – Voted one of four team captains by his teammates and coaches, becoming only the second sophomore to earn the honor in Michigan State’s then 113-year football history. Also was voted by his team the Biggie Munn Award as the most inspirational player on offense. He earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference offense. He won the starting quarterback role in pre-season competition with Keith Nichol. He ended up throwing for 19 TDs, 9 INTs and 2,680 yards in 12 games as the Spartans finished 6-7. Cousins missed one start (Illinois) due to a sprained ankle. Against Western Michigan, he threw for a career-best 353 yards, completing 88 percent of his passes (22 of 25) with 2 TDs.

2008 – Cousins spent the season as the backup to starter Brian Hoyer. He played in 5 games, but all were against top competition. He completed his first 10 attempts against Ohio State and led the only Spartans scoring drive with a 3-yard TD pass. Against Penn State he hit 7 of 9 passes for 81 yards and a TD pass. In the Capital One Bowl against Georgia he hit 4 of 5 throws for 36 yards in his one series. .

2007 – Redshirt season; he did not play.

Statistics

Year

G/S

A

C

%

Y

APA

TD

Int

LG

Run

Y

TD

Rec.

2011

14/14

419

267

63.7

3,316

7.9

25

10

69

37

-39

0

11-3*

2010

13/13

338

226

66.9

2,825

8.4

20

10

55

40

-136

1

11-2*

2009

12/12

328

198

60.4

2,680

8.2

19

9

73

31

60

0

6-7

2008

6/0

43

32

74.4

310

7.2

2

1

32

3

-12

0

9-4*

2007

Red

Shirt

X

x

x

x

x

x

X

x

x

x

X

Total

45/39

1,128

723

64.1

9,131

8.1

66

30

73

111

-127

1

37-16

APA=average yards per attempt.*-(2011) Outback Bowl; (2010) Capital One Bowl; (2009) Alamo Bowl; (2008) Capital One Bowl.

Video

Michigan State vs. Michigan 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0IaNI-3sw4

Michigan State vs. Georgia 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owBOdv4BITA&feature=related

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pLvCYm_yNg&feature=relmfu

(Cousins wears No. 8.)

Kirk Cousins speech at the Big 10 kickoff luncheon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp15N9BbYgY&feature=player_embedded

(If you want to see a video of what leadership is about in college football, don’t miss Cousins’ speech.)

————————————————–

Quarterback Evaluation

Throwing motion – With a quick release, he has no wasted movement in his throwing motion. Very clean mechanics – he’s obviously thrown a lot of passes and done it with a lot of coaching. However, when pressured at all, he tends to double clutch on his throws, creating timing problems with receivers and dropping his accuracy.

Arm Strength – Above average arm strength, he’s capable of making any and all throws that an NFL team would use. But he will never overwhelm anyone with his powerful throwing.

Touch – Can drop a pass in a bucket down the field, and has shown excellent accuracy when dropping balls into the corners of the end zone.

Accuracy – Short and intermediate routes bring throws that are right on the money, as receivers seldom have to break stride or reach for his throws. He does struggle more on the deeper throws.

Play action – Needs to work on this area, but for a college quarterback he’s really pretty good at selling the fake and hiding the ball.

Mobility – He can move, but he’s not a running threat. If he takes off, it’s more likely to find a place to throw the ball. On the run, he does not throw the ball well or with great accuracy. It’s the major negative in his package.

Pocket Presence – Needs improvement here as well. He tends to allow his fundamentals to crumble when he’s facing pressure and moving his feet. Cousins will get those nervous, happy feet that are a sure indicator that he’s feeling the rush. He’s gotten better at dumping the ball before the sack, and those numbers have come down over the last couple years. The pressure will have him throwing off his back foot too often and that sends the ball in bad spots at times.

Preparation – It’s doubtful there were many quarterbacks that did more in preparation than Cousins did in the average week. Former NFL head coach Jon Gruden called him a “meticulous preparation freak.”

Leadership – Being named team captain for three consecutive years in votes by his teammates tells us all we need to know about him. He actually was named a captain for the Spartans before he was named starting quarterback.

Decision making – He is still a work in progress when it comes to pre-snap reads. He won’t take too many chances with the ball. There are times when he will try to force a throw into coverage or an area that’s not prudent.

Pressure Situations– One of the best in the college ranks last year. Just remember the last second victory over Wisconsin, with his 44-yard TD pass to the goal line on the final play of the game that gave the Spartans the victory over then No. 4 Badgers.

Offensive experience – In the Spartans offense, he’s played under center and he’s taken snaps in the shotgun. He’s worked with one-back, two-back, no backs, shows no problem dealing with any of those schemes.

Coaching influences – Dantonio comes from a defensive background. His offensive coordinators during Cousins time with the Spartans have been Don Treadwell and Dan Roushar. The QB coach for his entire time at East Lansing was Dave Warner.

————————————————–

Overall evaluation

Strengths – Good, not great athlete her has good strength, speed and quickness … he’s off the chart on intangibles, especially leadership and work ethic … better than average passer, with a solid TD to INT ratio and good numbers for completion percentage and average yards per attempt.

Deficient – Is not a running threat and when he moves to throw the ball, he has troubles with accuracy and fundamentals … he has a times tried to win games on his own, a habit that quarterback have coming out of high school that must be broken to survive. He’s gotten better at not forcing himself into those roles … needs to be physically bigger to withstand pounding on the NFL level, as he’s not well muscled and isn’t so called quick twitch enough to be able to sidestep big hits … some evaluators label him a game-manager type QB, who doesn’t have the package to go out and win games himself.

Stats to consider – in three seasons as the starting QB, Cousins played 12 games against ranked competition. MSU went 4-8 in those games and the QB had 18 TD throws compared to 13 INTs … in his senior season his passer efficiency rating was 145.12. That was 30th overall and No. 12 among senior QBs.

Analysis – Whether Kirk Cousins has the opportunity for an NFL career or not, he will lead a remarkable life and will achieve great things, likely far greater than anything he can do in football. His chances of being drafted and coming and pulling an immediate starting spot are slim. But weight room work and a good QB coach to drill footwork and he can help a team as a starter, or a very solid and reliable backup.

What the scouts said about Kirk Cousins

An AFC scout said of Cousins – “He’s a great kid and very smart. He’s driven and with his intelligence, that will keep him around the league, maybe for a long time. But he won’t ever become a franchise-type quarterback. He just doesn’t have the tools.”

An NFC scout said – “He doesn’t have the whole package, so that will push him down in the draft, probably third round. His personality and leadership skills are exceptional. His play and his athletic ability are not.”

Another NFC scout said – “This guy needs a lot of work on his fundamentals, especially his feet. He’s way to lax using his feet at times, and that gets him in trouble. He won a lot of games at East Lansing, but he didn’t do so well against the better competition. There’s limited upside with him.”

What Kirk Cousins said

“There are always going to be people to prove wrong. There are always going to be people who say I can’t do something. I welcome that. They fuel me.”

“I would love to meet him; to be mentioned in even the same sentence as Tim Tebow that would be an honor. His character, his positive attitude, his leadership are all things I aspire to do.”

What others said about Kirk Cousins

“He’s a goal setter. He’s an achiever. It’s in his wiring. He went through high school and had a 4.0 GPA. He set a goal to never have a B and he never had one. He just sets goals and goes after them.” His father Don Cousins.

“He set a goal to be a starting quarterback. He wants to win championships and go to the Rose Bowl. He wants to do anything help his team get there. All of the outside stuff doesn’t bother him. It’s out of his control.” More from his father.

“He’s a person that is able to rise above challenges. You see that on the field. He has confidence in himself, breeds confidence to our football team. He’s a tremendous asset for us. That’s not just on the field. That’s in the locker room. That’s away from football.” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio.

“We spent a lot of time with Michigan State (before the Gator Bowl) and with Cousins, specifically. What you’re getting is a three-time team captain, so that tells you what type of leader he is. He does have, I think, prototypical NFL size and he ran a very good offense at Michigan State. They ask him to do a lot of different things — under the center, in the shotgun, there’s a two-back attack, there’s a no-back attack. You’re getting a winner. He just reminds me of guys that play on Sunday for a living. That’s the kind of kid he is. That’s the serious background that he’s had. That’s the future that he wants.” ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.

“He’s a self-starter. He’s one of those kids that just won’t take no for an answer. He’s going to be successful. He wasn’t a highly touted recruit coming out of high school. He’s flourished at Michigan State. He’s gotten stronger, he’s gotten faster, and he’s become much more masterful of the quarterback position. If he gets with the right group of guys, he can really take off and enjoy great success.” More from Gruden.

Does Kirk Cousins fit with the Chiefs?

Without a doubt he would fit with the type of player and person the Chiefs want. But if the goal is to find a franchise –type quarterback in the NFL Draft, Cousins is not that guy. If the goal is to find a talented player with the potential to become the type of winning quarterback every club needs, then he’s as good a choice in this year’s QB class as anybody else beyond the top two names.

How does he compare to Ricky Stanzi, Chiefs 5th-round choice in 2011?

Cousins and Stanzi had similar career paths that were separated by a season. Stanzi started 35 games (2008-10) and Cousins started 39 games (2009-11). Here are their career numbers over their careers:

Year

G/S

A

C

%

Y

APA

TD

Int

LG

Run

Y

TD

Kirk Cousins

45/39

1,128

723

64.1

9,131

8.1

66

30

73

111

-127

1

Ricky Stanzi

39/35

907

542

59.8

7,377

8.1

56

31

70

160

-4

2

An NFL Draft, A Legend & A Hometown Hero

Back in 1957 the NFL Draft was quite a different animal than it was today. There was no TV coverage, darn little newspaper coverage, no draftniks and thus, not much interest.

Being selected in that draft 55 years ago, was just as important then as it is today. And, sometimes just as news worthy.

Memories of this came this past week when the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced this past week that Len Dawson will be honored as a “Hometown Hall of Famer.” The recognition ceremony will go down on Thursday, April 19 at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. It is part of a national program that honors the hometown roots of football’s greatest players.

Dawson came out of Alliance the seventh son of a seventh son, went on to Purdue and then was selected in the first round of the ’57 NFL Draft. He was grabbed by the Steelers who had the fifth choice in the round. That decision disappointed Cleveland coach Paul Brown, who had the sixth selection and had targeted Dawson.

Forced to regroup, Brown grabbed a running back out of Syracuse named Jim Brown.

And that, as they say “is the rest of the story.” …Read More!

The Sound of Bulls#@t … Friday Cup O’Chiefs


Dr. Feelgood is an English bar band from the 1970s-80s that never really made it big here in America.

But they did record a song that captures the attitude and temperature of where the National Football League is right now with 13 days and counting to the annual NFL Draft. It’s called “Tell Me No Lies” and the first two stanzas say it all:

“I’ve been keepin’ my ears to the ground.

I’ve been hearin’ rumors going round.

Don’t give me that dirty double talk; my advice to you is take a walk.

Tell me can’t you see, that you ain’t foolin’ me.

So tell me no lies . . . don’t tell me no lies.”

It’s lying time again in pro football. For the two weeks before the Draft, just about every one of the 32 teams engages in smoke screens, planted stories, false rumors, true rumors and just about anything else that will smoke its way into the draft rooms of the other teams.

The same thing happens when the teams call out from their bunkers and deal with the media. For 50 of the year’s 52 weeks, those that run NFL teams do not like their scouts and personnel types talking to the media horde. In fact, some teams forbade even “Hello, how are you?” chance exchanges.

Yet for two weeks, everybody’s talking, everyone has become Deep Throat.

Example: last week, I received a return call from an NFL scout who I’ve known for years. His team owns one of the picks between No. 3 and No. 11 in the first round. Out of nowhere he tells me “we are hearing the Chiefs are serious about their interest in (Ryan) Tannehill and that they’ve talked about moving up in the first round to make sure they get him.” …Read More!

Inside The ’12 Draft Class … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

The fortunes of Kirk Cousins (left), Quinton Coples and Michael Floyd are going up and down.

I’ve been guzzling that 5-Hour Energy stuff like it was a fine Chardonnay. My ears are raw from holding the phone to them for so many minutes, hours, days. I’m worried that if I don’t get out of this chair more I’ll be one of those people they find that has melted into the furniture because they were sitting so long.

Its NFL Draft time and that makes for busy days and nights, and days and nights. It is a lot of talking, a lot of listening, plenty of watching – just about every sense but smell. That kicks in after I’ve been in my draft bunker for a couple days.

There’s still plenty of ground to cover in this search but I think I can safely admit to a couple of items:

  • Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will go one-and-two.
  • There are another four players that rank with them at the top of most draft boards: Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson and Morris Clairborne.
  • As usual, there are only 18 to 20 players that are considered true first-round talents.
  • Quarterbacks and defensive linemen are the most overrated players on the draft boards of most teams.
  • No player has won over more personnel folks and sent his stock soaring than former Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd.
  • No player has picked up more question marks in the draft process over the last three months than DE Quinton Coples.
  • If somebody is looking for a player with similar character traits and lifestyle to Tim Tebow, we’ve got Tebow Lite waiting for an NFL chance.

Let’s walk back through that list as we are now 15 days away from the first round. …Read More!

Here’s Segment #3 And Last of Answer Bob

Dio says – Bob, does the arrival of Peyton Manning to the division make improving the pass rush through the draft more of a priority? A lot of talk that the Chiefs will look at a nose tackle in round one but I’m wondering if Fletcher Cox makes more sense as a guy who can provide an inside pass rush? Run stuffers can be found later. Also, a lot of fans seem to be ready to replace G Ryan Lilja with perhaps David DeCastro in round 1. I think he is still a solid starter and we have other needs. What is your take?

Bob says – I think consistent pressure on the passer is something every team needs in every game, whether they are facing Peyton Manning or a journeyman passer. Against a guy like Manning, it’s a real tightrope because if you try to send extra people after him, he’ll pick apart the defensive coverage and find the weak spot and the area left open by the blitz. The Chiefs need to find a way to put pressure on the passer with four guys. Let’s say that Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are solid on the outside. Thus, they need inside pressure, and that’s not something they’ve gotten lately, and that means in years, several years. I like Cox, but whoever might be that pick at No. 11 he can’t be a part-time player. I love DeCastro – if you had a couple guards and tackles made up like him and you’d be solid up front for years. Lilja by his own admission had a sub-par season in 2011. His career is trending down and he’ll have to be replaced soon. If that means possibly going a year early because you can get a talent like DeCastro, then I say it’s well worth consideration.

————————- …Read More!

Chiefs Give Locals A Lookie-Lou

Part of the process for the annual NFL Draft is what amounts to a local Combine that each team is allowed to hold at its facility. They can invite players who grew up and played high school ball or college ball in their area, which is roughly defined as anything within 45 miles of the city.

The Chiefs are holding their local combine on Tuesday at their facilities. According to kcchiefs.com they’ve invited 17 players to take part in the session, which includes physical testing, medical evaluations, position specific drills with the coaching staff and skull sessions with tape and a blackboard.

Last year, the Chiefs did not sign any of the local prospects, although five players in that group did sign with NFL teams, including former Mizzou LB Andrew Gachker who spent all 16 games on the active roster of the Chargers.

Here’s the group that will get a chance to display their stuff this year. There are players representing Mid-America Nazarene (3), Missouri (2), Pittsburg State (2), William Jewell (2) and one player each from Truman State, Northwestern (that’s TE Drake Dunsmore to the right), UCLA, SW Baptist, Nebraska, Washburn, Missouri State and Oklahoma. Only two – Dunsmore and Oklahoma OT Donald Stephenson appear to have a chance to be drafted. The others will need to sign as undrafted free agents to get their chance. …Read More!

Here’s Part #2 of Answer Bob

Here’s part two of the answers to your questions on free agency and the draft. We’ll keep throwing up more as Monday rolls along.

As always, thanks for your support and readership.

————————-

R W says – Bob, assuming the team’s primary needs do you see them addressing those needs such as picking a NT in the first round or do you see them being in an enviable position to go with the highest rated player on their board regardless of position?

Bob says – In any given NFL Draft there may be three or four teams that are in such a good position with their roster that they can truly go after the quote, unquote “best player available” without worrying about position. RW over and above your comments, somebody has been pushing Kool-Aid to the Chiefs faithful that the team’s roster has all holes plugged and is solid and ready to go for the 2012 season. Poppycock! There are question marks across the board and there are holes in this roster that need to be filled whether by free agency or the draft. If the best available player when the Chiefs pick No. 11 is a cornerback, Pioli can’t possibly take him. If that player is a wide receiver, he can’t take him. There are too many other holes to fill.

Many teams when they create their draft board do not rate players numerically, one through 253. Instead, they are rated on different levels, with each round having plus, even and minus picks. For instance they may have 7 players rated as 1st-round plus, 10 players listed as a 1st-round/even and 7 players rated as 1st-round minus. So a team drafting at No. 11, could draft any of the 10 players listed as 1st-round/even prospects as he best player available. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospect – DT Alameda Ta’amu

Back in the fall of 2010 the University of Washington faced Nebraska twice. The first meeting came in September when the Cornhuskers blew away the Huskies 56-21 in Seattle.

The second time came in December, when the teams met in San Diego’s Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. This time, it was Washington picking up a 19-7 vict