How Each Draft Pick Fits into Kansas City Chiefs' Plan in 2012
The Kansas City Chiefs used this year's draft to stock their roster by adding more depth on both sides of the ball.
Instead of going after several impact players, they seemed content on stockpiling certain areas of the team with more talent, including at wide receiver and offensive line.
That being said, any of Kansas City's eight selections could play a part in their upcoming season.
Here is how I see each pick fitting into KC's plan for 2012.
DT Dontari Poe
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Former Memphis star Dontari Poe was taken by the Chiefs with the 11th overall selection in the draft to help fill a glaring need at nose tackle.
The Chiefs' brass liked his measurables and what he can potentially bring to the table from that spot on the field, despite the fact that he wasn't overly impressive against much weaker competition in college.
As of right now, Poe projects as the Week 1 starter at nose tackle for this team, considering that KC's current stable of DTs has virtually no experience at that position.
It's likely that Poe wouldn't make a huge impact in his rookie season, but expect him to be the man to beat for that spot heading into training camp.
OG Jeff Allen
Allen comes to the Chiefs after spending most his collegiate career playing left and right tackle for the University of Illinois.
At Illinois, Allen was a four-year starter who excelled as a pass-blocker in his time there.
He was very durable—he started 46 straight games for the Fighting Illini and became one of the team's best offensive lineman during his time at the school.
With Ryan Lilja and Jon Asamoah firmly in place at both guard positions at the present time, he should not get much playing time this season. He should be a backup at either guard spot and possibly at tackle as well.
OT Donald Stephenson
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The second offensive lineman that Kansas City grabbed in this draft was former Oklahoma Sooner Donald Stephenson.
The Blue Springs, Missouri product is viewed by many as a developmental tackle, as he currently projects as the backup to either Branden Albert or Eric Winston in 2012.
Stephenson might be as raw as they come for a third-round OT, but KC sees him as a potential long-term solution at left tackle.
As a member of the Chiefs, I don't expect Stephenson to sniff the field until at least his second or third season in the league.
WR Devon Wylie
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Fourth-round pick Devon Wylie can do a little bit of everything.
While at Fresno State, he returned kicks, was a gunner on the kick coverage unit and lined up as a wide receiver as well.
The Chiefs should initially use him in many of the same roles that he played for the Bulldogs, considering his blazing 4.39 40-meter dash speed that he possesses.
I expect Wylie to not only be the main slot receiver for KC this season, but he should see a lot of time on special teams, as that is where he could be the most dangerous at the next level.
CB DeQuan Menzie
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The Chiefs liked the leadership and versatility that former Alabama defensive back DeQuan Menzie could bring to their defense, which is why they took him in the fifth round of the draft.
Known as one of the leaders on the Crimson Tide's defense for the last two seasons, he has the ability to play either his natural position of cornerback or safety in the NFL.
If all goes well for him, he could be looking at playing as the third corner or third safety when the Chiefs switch to the nickelback and sub-package formations this year.
He is also very strong in run defense and solid in coverage as well, which could make him a viable option to become a starter in this secondary in the future.
RB Cyrus Gray
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The Chiefs were fortunate to have talented back Cyrus Gray fall to them in the sixth round of the draft.
The former DeSoto High star was very productive during his collegiate career, rushing for well over 1,000 yards in each of his final two seasons at Texas A&M, as he found pay-dirt on many occasions as well.
With Both Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis coming off of injuries suffered from last season, Gray would be excellent insurance for the KC running game this season.
Gray is one of the biggest sleepers in this draft class and it wouldn't surprise me if he starts making an impact on this offense as early as his rookie season.
DT Jerome Long
KC decided to add more depth to their defensive line by picking Jerome Long in the sixth round.
Long does have some pass-rush ability—he had five sacks for San Diego State in his senior season last year.
However, he is still very raw in many areas, and will likely not see the field much this season, assuming that he makes the 53-man roster.
WR Junior Hemingway
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Ex-Michigan wideout Junior Hemingway had a solid but not spectacular career for the Wolverines.
He averaged over 600 yards and four touchdowns in each of his last two seasons with the school, and was a reliable target at times for quarterback Denard Robinson.
With the Chiefs already appearing to be stacked at wide receiver, one might think that Hemingway will have his work cut out for him to make the team this year.
However, if he can play up to his potential, the Conway, South Carolina native has a legitimate shot of becoming a No. 4 or No. 5 wide receiver on this team in 2012. He could help this offense by becoming another reliable possession receiver for QB Matt Cassel.