SI: Chiefs Hit On WR, Miss On Pass Rusher

There is no shortage of draft grades flying around right now and the folks at Sports Illustrated are no different.  However, SI’s Kerry Byrne takes a bit of a different approach, simply looking at how team’s addressed statistical needs.

What I liked: I rarely suggest drafting wide receivers high, for reasons addressed in the Falcons and Bengals reports above.  But Kansas City is one of the rare teams for which it was a good move.  The Chiefs were statistically stout in most areas last year, save for the downfield passing game — their weakest link, as we saw in the punchless playoff loss to Baltimore.  So nabbing WR Jonathan Baldwin No. 1 was a good needs-based selection by a team that ranked just 23rd last year in average per pass attempt (5.85).

What I didn’t like: Would have liked to have seen a more aggressive play for a pass rusher in the second round, instead of devoting the pick to offensive lineman Rodney Hudson.  Kansas City was very good both running the ball and in pass protection last year.  But they were below average in the same areas on defense.

Overall, good solid selections that largely addressed most of their needs. Grade: B+

It wouldn’t have surprised me to see the Chiefs address their pass rush in either of the first two rounds before the draft started, but it quickly became clear they weren’t getting anyone — short of taking Justin Houston, their third round pick — in the second.  Outside of Nevada’s Dontay Moch, there wasn’t another name available that would get you excited.

Forget the fact that Hudson gives Kansas City much needed depth on the offensive line, something that can’t be overlooked considering the age of Brian Waters, Ryan Lilja and Casey Wiegmann.

If they hadn’t grabbed a guy like Houston – a first-round talent in the third – it would be fair to bag on Pioli for not giving Tamba Hali some help.  But short of a right tackle, which the team clearly didn’t see as a need, the Chiefs did a great job of addressing their biggest needs.

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