After saying that he would draft Tyson Jackson all over again if given the chance, Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli is said to be feeling the pressure as the defensive end enters the all important third season. Former Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards thinks more pressure is on the player, especially considering how his teammates may react if he continues to struggle.
“Now they’re walking around,” Edwards said, “and the players in the locker room are looking at him.
“This is an important year for him. He knows that. If he has some kind of success, what you have to do as a staff if you want to save him, you want to put him in position to have success. … There’s so much pressure on that guy dealing with being a first-round pick. There’s so many expectations. Ah, he might be that B-word. That kid’s got to deal with that.”
That word is “bust,” and although it might still be too early to label Jackson in such a way, the time seems to be approaching. The Chiefs already have cut ties with another defensive lineman, former third-rounder Alex Magee, who was Pioli’s second draft choice in 2009. They traded Magee and this year’s sixth-round draft pick to Tampa Bay last year for a fifth-rounder.
It was terrible to see Jackson go down with an injury in the opening game of last season for so many different reasons. Not only because we all need to see what he can do, but because he was starting to show real signs of progress. In the short amount of time we saw of him in that game, he looked like a different player.
Even though he only missed four games, in reality it was much longer than that. When Jackson first got back out on the field, he looked much more like the player we saw most of his rookie season. However, as the leg got stronger and he gained confidence, Jackson’s name started being heard more often. That’s when he showed some of that potential that Pioli saw in him when making him the third overall pick.
No one is going to argue that Jackson is going to make Chiefs fans forget about some of the players selected after him like Clay Matthews, but there is still hope for him to be an impact player in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense. It just might not be so easy to see after such a rough start.