With training camp only a few weeks away, it’s about time to start looking at which younger players will need to step their games up in 2010. Bill Williamson broke down the ten most important from the AFC West including two Chiefs.
Branden Albert, left tackle, Kansas City: This is Albert’s third year with the Chiefs, who took him with the No. 15 overall pick in 2008. He was inconsistent as a rookie, but he made improvements as last season went on. If he continues to make strides, he should be fine. Kansas City gave him a big vote of confidence when it didn’t take left tackle Russell Okung in the first round of the draft this year and move Albert to right tackle. Kansas City selected safety Eric Berry instead with the No. 5 pick.
Glenn Dorsey, defensive lineman, Kansas City: Dorsey probably shouldn’t be on this list anymore. The No. 5 overall pick in 2008 was expected to already be an established stud going into his third season. While Dorsey has played well occasionally, he has been far from a dominant player. Many scouts and coaches thought he was the top player in the 2008 draft, but he has been a big disappointment. He has had two different coaching staffs in the past two seasons and had a hard time adjusting to the 3-4 defense in 2009. He may be moved around the defensive line this year as the Chiefs try to find the best spot for him. He must perform this season or it could be his last in Kansas City.
Even with his inconsistent play last season, I’m not too worried about Albert’s future. He showed down the stretch of last season that he was really starting to fully grasp his position and will only be helped by having two more experienced guys — Ryan Lilja and Casey Wiegmann — around him in practice everyday in addition to Brian Waters.
Dorsey, like Albert, showed as the season went along that he could be an impact player. Considering how poorly his season started out of the gate in training camp, it has to be a good sign heading into St. Joseph. Short of Dorsey taking several considerable steps backwards, it’s hard to believe that this would be his last year with the Chiefs.
Obviously both players have a new coordinator they need to impress, but after getting on board with last season’s extreme regime change, this should be a much easier transition for Albert and Dorsey.