Over the years, the Kansas City Chiefs have invested a great deal of premium draft picks in defensive linemen. Other than Jared Allen (now with the Minnesota Vikings) and Tamba Hali (now an outside linebacker in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense), none have been able to endure great success in the NFL.
Have some been serviceable and able to show a proficiency to play in the league? Sure.
However, names like Ryan Sims, Junior Siavii, Eddie Freeman, Turk McBride, Tank Tyler and Alex Magee continue to haunt Chiefs fans.
And until Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and newly drafted Dontari Poe can break the mold, their names will also be clumped in with the proverbial busts that Kansas City is familiar with.
Is it fair to associate Dorsey, Jackson and Poe with the past failures of the organization? The answer to that is simple. Until certain habits are broken, the only expectation is repetition.
However, credit has to be given to Dorsey and Jackson—still reaping the benefits of astronomical rookie contracts before the new CBA went into effect last year—for maintaining the desire to flourish in the NFL, something that is absent with a large number of young athletes these days. But in order for them to elevate their games to the next level before their window of opportunity fades away, Poe must come into the league and be productive from day one.
With mixed reviews surfacing already, the selection of Poe with the 11th-overall pick raises questions revolving around the Chiefs’ failures at evaluating talent across the defensive line, specifically at tackle.
Why bring in a guy that you hope can be coached up and know is a developmental player, when defensive tackle was labeled as the principal need and the key position to helping the defense get over the hump?
Frankly, it is waste of time deliberating over the direction that Scott Pioli and Co. took with this year’s draft. It is now time for those in and around the organization, including the fans, to flip the switch and throw their blind faith toward the Chiefs, hoping they made the right decisions.
This season is very crucial for Pioli’s future in Kansas City, which rests solely on the shoulders of one player—Poe. If Poe comes in and is the perfect fit at nose tackle in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense, it will allow Dorsey and Jackson, two of Pioli’s other high-profile draft picks, to take the next step as players in the NFL.
However, if Poe is slow to develop, Pioli’s tenure in Kansas City may end sooner than expected, and Dorsey and Jackson might find themselves rubbing elbows with Sims and Co. in the Chiefs’ Hall of Shame.
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