Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Draft: 5 Players to Avoid in the First Round

Jeremy SickelContributor IIIApril 25, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Draft: 5 Players to Avoid in the First Round

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    The 2012 NFL draft is tomorrow, and teams should have a firm plan as to the direction they intend on going with at least their first few selections. The Indianapolis Colts did fans and pundits a favor by announcing they will be taking Andrew Luck with the first pick, something everyone presumed anyway.

    The Kansas City Chiefs have done a sound job in exploiting the draft in recent years to build depth and continuity on their roster. The last four drafts dating back to 2008 have produced 10 projected starters and another eight players that should contribute greatly during the 2012 season.

    With the Chiefs' roster pretty much intact with key players returning from injury and a busy offseason of free-agent signings, this year’s draft will help put the final pieces in place heading into the 2012 season.

    Positions of immediate need for the Chiefs include interior offensive line, defensive line, inside linebacker and safety. However, they must tread cautiously because not every player that might fit the profile will end up working out—and the Chiefs are all too familiar with the proverbial bust.

    Here are five players the Chiefs should avoid with their first-round pick in this year’s draft.

Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, Memphis

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    Standing at 6’4” and 346 pounds, Dontari Poe was the talk of the NFL combine, posting a time of 4.98 seconds in the 40-yard dash and putting up 44 repetitions on the bench press. However, the workout warrior’s draft stock has been on a rapid decline despite the fantastic showing.

    The knock on Poe is his subpar performance against lesser competition during his college career at Memphis. Someone that big, strong and fast should have annihilated most, if not every offensive lineman opposite of him, and that simply wasn’t the case.

    The Kansas City Chiefs can ill afford to use a high pick on another defensive tackle who is either considered a stretch, a project or a potential bust.

Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M

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    It is imperative that the Kansas City Chiefs begin finding an eventual replacement for current starting quarterback Matt Cassel. However, any team not holding either of the top two picks in this year’s draft will be gambling on any other signal-caller they might select in the first round.

    With NFL teams drunk off all the Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III clamor, Ryan Tannehill has crept into the top of the second tier of quarterbacks. And with so many organizations in hot pursuit of their franchise leader, Tannehill has been talked about going as high as No. 4 overall to the Cleveland Browns.

    There is no question that the potential is there for Tannehill to be a solid contributor in this league, but it will take time for him to develop into that player. The Chiefs need someone immediately in case Cassel’s norm is not in the ballpark of his 2010 season, something the entire organization is banking on.

Michael Brockers, Defensive Lineman, LSU

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    At 6’5” and 322 pounds, Michael Brockers flashed enough potential at LSU last season as a redshirt sophomore that he can be featured at either defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme or a defensive end in a 3-4 defense similar to that of the Kansas City Chiefs.

    The Chiefs are very familiar with selecting former LSU products in the first round, having done so three consecutive years from 2007-2009 by drafting wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and defensive linemen Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson.

    It is reported by Sports Illustrated that Brockers took 16 different visits to NFL teams—the most by any player—which is a true testament to his ability.

    Although the Chiefs do need help across the defensive front, there is plenty of depth in the middle rounds. And players taken later that don’t pan out won’t have fans clamoring about another high-round pick being wasted on a defensive lineman.

Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

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    Michael Floyd has a steady hold on being a top pick in this year’s draft, and some feel he is a safer pick than even Justin Blackmon. But the Kansas City Chiefs have more pressing needs than adding another playmaker at wide receiver.

    Dwayne Bowe is considered one of the best in the league, and last year’s No. 1 pick Jon Baldwin should make major strides this season as well. Throw in Steve Breaston and recently signed tight end Kevin Boss, along with Tony Moeaki returning from injury, and the Chiefs have a potentially explosive passing attack.

    Floyd is a great talent, so his inclusion isn’t a knock on him as much as it is that the Chiefs can improve as a team much more quickly by looking elsewhere with the eleventh pick.

Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford

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    In the 2012 NFL draft, there is Matt Kalil, then there are the rest of the guys who play offensive tackle; Kalil has separated himself that much from the pack. However, there is a nice group of secondary players, including Jonathan Martin out of Stanford.

    The Kansas City Chiefs went out this offseason and signed former Houston Texans right tackle Eric Winston to complement left tackle Branden Albert to help better protect Matt Cassel.

    Although tempting, Martin struggled with lateral movement at times against a speedy edge rush in college, something that won’t go over too well in the NFL.

    With the more immediate need along the interior part of the offensive line, the Chiefs should stay away from Martin, who might be better suited manning the less stressful right tackle position in the NFL anyway.

    Contact Jeremy at jeremy@popflyboys.com, on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy and read more at popflyboys.com.