Jackson Fits The Mold

From the Truman Sports Complex

Why was the Chiefs first-round selection defensive end Tyson Jackson out of Louisiana State?

Because of all the reasons that Scott Pioli has been talking about since the day he walked into the Chiefs facility back in the middle of January. As he said then and has repeated many times, he’s trying to create a team with the 53 players that fit, not the 53 best players.

And with his first selection as the man in charge of the Chiefs draft room, that’s exactly what he got done.

No doubt there are many Chiefs fans who wrinkled up their noses because their team was drafting another defensive lineman; the fifth time in the last eight years that the team’s first choice played on the line of scrimmage. Visions of Ryan Sims, Junior Siavii, Tamba Hali and Glenn Dorsey danced in their heads and the front half of those visions was nightmares.

And there are some Chiefs fans that are not going to like this, but there are great similarities to the basic fundamentals that Pioli brings to the table with the foundation blocks that Carl Peterson thought important. Maybe the biggest factor they share is the belief that football teams are built on the line of scrimmage.

That wasn’t exactly what Pioli was looking for when he walked into the draft room Saturday morning. But after QB Matt Stafford went to Detroit and OT Jason Smith was selected by St. Louis, the radar screen had several possibilities for the Chiefs. Ultimately, there was only one choice.

There may have been players ranked higher by all the pundits, draftniks and even NFL teams. Guys like LB Aaron Curry and WRs Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin were still there. So were OT Eugene Monroe and QB Mark Sanchez.

Pioli passed on all those players, although he considered some of them (he wouldn’t say who.) He was ready to talk trade, but nobody was calling and the Chiefs did not call anybody about a deal.

Put in position to make the selection, Pioli grabbed a player that fits the mold of what he’s looking for in rebuilding this Chiefs roster. Yes, there’s athletic ability, size and strength and all those things so very necessary to play on the line of scrimmage in the NFL. Hey, it’s not like Jackson wasn’t rated as a high first-round pick.

But there had to be something more in Jackson to be the name Pioli picked. There had to be those intangibles that Pioli believes are very tangible, those factors that make for the 53 right guys, rather than the 53 most talented players.

Jackson has some of those qualities. When asked the most important, Pioli didn’t hesitate.

“He loves football, loves to play football,” Pioli said.

Pioli discovered that in his conversations with Jackson. He got that from talking to others about what was important to this young man from Edgard, Louisiana. Jackson spoke in glowing terms to someone about former LSU head coach Nick Saban, who recruited him to Baton Rouge and was the Tigers head coach in his red-shirt freshman season. That conversation was relayed to Pioli, who worked with Saban in Cleveland and they still talk frequently about players and football. Good words about Saban mean something to Pioli. Good words from Saban mean more, because the coach understands the tangibles that the personnel man seeks in players.

Whether or not Tyson Jackson becomes the cornerstone of the Chiefs re-birth is something only the future knows for sure. But he’s cut from the cloth that Pioli seeks.

And that’s why he was the third player drafted.

23 Responses to “Jackson Fits The Mold”

  • April 25, 2009  - citk says:

    Pioli is far far different in approach than Peterson. I think that is obvious.

  • April 25, 2009  - anonymous says:

    The author, again with the lame attempt to raise Peterson’s legacy above that which it deserves. HE SUCKED!

  • April 25, 2009  - Jason says:

    Most fans are disappointed at this selection … As if they were talented enough to do Pioli’s job. Everyone needs to calm down. I trust what Pioli is doing … He is not Carl Peterson. The over-reaction from this pick has been ridiculous.

  • April 25, 2009  - anonymous says:

    The only way Pioli may have done anything different to get more picks would have been, as I mentioned before. The ballsy move. Any one remember me having the Chiefs drafting Sanchez at three, hoping to force one of the teams like the jets into a trade?

    That would have been a huge gamble but it may have paid off.

  • April 25, 2009  - MDChief says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Jason. Obviously Pioli sees enough to think he can make a Richard Seymour type out of this, and if that works out (and I don’t know anyone besides Bill Polian or Bill Bellicheck credible enough to dispute it at this point) we will have reinvented our defense.
    He got the guy he wanted for our system-part of the “right 53.” Geez, I get tired of reading the panic and whining from the people who were so excited to change regimes in the first place.
    Have a little patience-Rome was not built in a day. I’m still crossing my fingers for Atlanta’s #2 next year plus LJ to Arizona for Bouldin. Then we’ll be electing Pioli President.

  • April 25, 2009  - MDChief says:

    BTW- being in Maryland, I laughed my rear off when I saw the Raider’s first pick. Hayward- Bay is a really fast, really mediocre receiver! Gotta love Al, don’t you?

  • April 25, 2009  - Hank says:

    I was shocked (at first)to hear our first round selection even though he was talked up much recently just as I was shocked that Tony G. was traded (again at first). I now see Tony’s trade as a good thing (although a 2nd THIS year would have been a great thing). I will now read informed sources about Jackson and probably rejoice in a day or two or three.

  • April 25, 2009  - Merwin says:

    I was thinking along the lines of an offensive tackle as the best available athlete along both lines. I had hoped that we could trade down to regain the second round pick we traded away. So I will reserve my judgement till September to see how it all pans out with the first round pick.

  • April 25, 2009  - anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if J.Smith wasn’t the player the Chiefs wanted, once he was gone, they took the second highest player they had rated, at a position of need.

  • April 25, 2009  - boomer says:

    I have not watched any film on this young man. I have not watched film on any other player in the draft, not to the extent the scouts and coaches do. I have not spoken with this individual, nor have I spoken to anyone about this young man. Therefore, I am not really qualified to dispute today whether this was a good or not so good pick. I’ll wait for a couple of years and trust the people who have watched the games, watched the film and talked to the guy have what it takes to make a good decision. That keeps me sane! Just sayin…

  • April 25, 2009  - MDChief says:

    Hallelujia. Finally, some people making sense.

  • April 25, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    Every year there are people the “experts” are sure will be immortal stars in the NFL….only to play a few games and then never be heard from again….and players that the “experts” wouldn’t give the time of day to who become immortal stars in the NFL. The “experts” said the Chiefs would be and should be drafting someone other than Jackson….like Curry. Truth be told….nobody knows what these players will be until they play their years in the NFL. Jackson could look like one of the best picks ever and Curry could be gone like the wind. Who knows…..it’s silly to get all in an uproar about it when none of us really know what we are talking about.

  • April 25, 2009  - CraigK says:

    Carl Peterson was only as good as the Head Coaches he hired. When Marty left is showed.
    As far as today, I’ll trust that Pioli/Haley did their homework. It’s obvious with the exit of Tony G that team comes first. Good, the players ran this franchise ever since Marty left.

  • April 25, 2009  - Chiefs Fan says:

    Will Dorsey still be around to be reunited with Jackson? Is there any truth to the rumors the Chiefs are trying to trade him because he doesn’t fit what they want to do? That would make last year’s number one a bust with the Chiefs as well. It would also be a huge hit on Clark’s pocket book for little to no production.

  • April 25, 2009  - MDChief says:

    I think if they were trying to trade him, legitimately, it would have been for a late #1 and something later (rumor was the Falcons 1st and 3rd). i don’t know if that was true or not-it came from NFL.com which was the same source as Cassel’s new contract that turned out not to be true. My guess is they will convert him to an end in the 3-4 and move him inside on passing downs, similar to Jackson.

  • April 25, 2009  - findthedr says:

    Dorsey was selected last yr at #5 overall. Am I supposed to believe Tyson Jackson is a better player because he was drafted at #3?

    Maybe this was like Ryan sims playing on the same line with Julius Peppers.

    Re-uniting Dorsey and Jackson might get the best out of both players. I guess they could make it a complete LSU line by grabbing Ricky Jean-Francois tommorrow.

  • April 25, 2009  - MDChief says:

    In my opinion, you should believe that Jackson was the best fit for our system at number 3 this year. Had this regime been in place last year, who knows if we would have picked Dorsey.

  • April 25, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    This was not an exciting pick. I certainly was not excited about it. I think it was a reach at #3. Having said that, I like this pick better than Curry. Certainly not a surprise that Pioli picked this guy. As the draft got closer I had a feeling this might be the pick. Make no mistake this was Pioli’s pick. Gotta give it to him, this was a ballsy pick, because it was a risky pick. Some people want to make a god out of Pioli, those people will be disappointed.

    Colby you are better than this no name, you don’t need to argue with him.

  • April 25, 2009  - Skrappy says:

    Time to be patient and let Pioli work his magic… Looks like the consensus is that this is a weak draft overall, so Tony for a #2 next year might have been better than one this year… I just like instant gratification.

    With that being said, “I Love to play Football” too! Can I get on the team? I need some cash!

  • April 26, 2009  - alex k says:

    I like it, hes played with dorsey, hes a character guy, he fits. this makes a lot of sense.

    with our 3rd rounder, I really like Sidbury, he would give us that needed pressure, and I assume dorsey/tank/jackson is the new line.

    Now the question becomes with pioli make a deal for a player, get more picks with that 2nd next year, or stay pat…I wanted to move up for Brown or Barwin ,but not at the cost of a first rounder.

  • April 26, 2009  - alex k says:

    this is a seymour or russell maryland type, he can really disrupt that line of scrimmage…

    lets be glad oakland took heyward bey over crabtree….although denvers draft was pretty nice altho i question the need on moreno, couldve cleaned up with another linebacker….glad they didnt…chargers got a good player in english, surprised people dont think he went early…I think my guy Sidbury can do the same things

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