Eric Kush to Kansas City: How Does Center Fit with Chiefs?
There are certain positions in the National Football League at which you just can't have too much depth, and the offensive line is one of them.
That's especially true for the Kansas City Chiefs. Starting center Rodney Hudson played in only three games last year. Fans of the team probably wish that left guard Jeff Allen had only played in three games, given what a turnstile he was while on the field.
The Chiefs took steps to address that need early in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft, selecting a small-school standout in center Eric Kush of California (PA).
If you've never heard of Kush, join the club. In fact, the crew covering the NFL draft live for Bleacher Report, including NFL Lead Writer Matt Miller, gave the pick an "incomplete" because Kush is such an unknown commodity.
Obviously the Chiefs saw something they liked in a 6'4", 306-pounder that ESPN calls "a blue-collar player with a quick first step."
That quickness was likely part of it, a trait that head coach Andy Reid values in interior linemen. The versatility that Damond Talbot of NFL Draft Zone lauds all but certainly appealed to the Chiefs as well.
I watched several games of the Vulcan center, and the first word that comes to my mind is versatile. Versatile is a perfect word for a person that can play anywhere on the offensive line. Over his career he has been asked to play up and down the line, and I feel at 6’3 and 302 pounds, he can play any position, but is more likely to be used as a guard or center at the next level.
However, this pick still feels like a significant reach. Kush may well be a versatile player who will develop into a solid NFL reserve, but he's also an undersized player who has never faced top-notch competition.
How would you grade the selection of California (PA) center Eric Kush?
There were a number of interior linemen, including David Quessenberry of San Jose State, on the board at this point who were much more highly rated by draftniks and appear much closer to contributing at the NFL level.
Now it may well be that the Chiefs know something that we don't, and it's possible that Kush will help the Chiefs up front much more quickly than it appears at this point.
With that said though, the Chiefs need depth (or even upgrades) on the inside of their offensive line now, not two years from now. Kush just doesn't look like the player who's going to provide that help in 2013, and he'll probably be buried on the depth chart to begin his first NFL season.
I'm not going to completely slam this pick, since I just don't know enough about Kush to do that, but players fly this far under the radar for a reason.
Because of that, I gave this pick a "C" in my Kansas City draft tracker here at Bleacher Report, as in "C ya later."
It will probably be the last we hear from Eric Kush this year.
At least Chiefs fans had better hope so.
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