Why Dexter McCluster Will Be The Kansas City Chiefs MVP in 2010
When the Kansas City Chiefs were getting ready for this past April's NFL Draft, everyone in Kansas City was debating who the team would take in the first round. While the team had apparent needs at safety and linebacker, and many thought the team would almost certainly address the offensive tackle position.
So when the Chiefs selected Tennessee safety Eric Berry with their first round selection, the fans and experts remained convinced the team would address their tackle needs in the second round.
They were all wrong.
You see, head coach Todd Haley and new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis knew the team's offensive line was good enough to get this team into the playoffs in 2010.
What this team was short on was playmakers.
So Kansas City selected Ole Miss running back "slash" wide receiver "slash" kick returner, Dexter McCluster, with their second overall pick. Only the diehard college fans who follow the SEC in Kansas City even knew who he was.
Listed as a running back in most draft guides. Most fans were baffled why the team would draft a running back since the Chiefs had already signed free agent Thomas Jones to pair with Charles.
That perception about McCluster quickly changed as soon as Chiefs fans started spotting highlight reels of the Rebels do-it-all star.
Read on to see the five reasons why McCluster's star will not only shine in Kansas City this fall, but he will become this team's most valuable player.
Despite a lackluster 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and a slightly better time of 4.44 at his pro day, McCluster plays even faster.
A lot faster.
New teammate and All-Pro guard Brian Waters said recently during Chiefs workouts that McCluster is easily one of the fastest players he's ever been on a football field with.
While his straight line speed is NFL caliber, it's his ability to change directions on a dime, seemingly without slowing down at all, that sets him apart. He has the ability to run away from NFL defenders, simply by changing directions.
Even at times when McCluster seems to be boxed in by defenders, his ability to break tackles and get into the open field are uncanny.
And while his speed will help him beat NFL players to the edge, it will be his quickness and moves on top of moves that will make him a home run threat.
Before Chiefs fans start making comparisons between McCluster and former Chief Dante Hall, they need to know one thing.
This guy can run routes, create separation and catch the ball.
Those were things that Hall struggled with as a Chief, making him primarily a kick returner. In McCluster, the Chiefs gain a receiving threat unlike any they've had in quite some time.
In an offense alongside veteran wide receivers Chris Chambers and Dwayne Bowe, McCluster will quickly become quarterback Matt Cassel's favorite target.
McCluster will join a former Rebel teammate, safety Kendrick Lewis, in Kansas City.
In addition to the Chiefs acquiring the talents of two former college roommates, they are also getting the offensive and defensive leaders of the Rebels as well.
Look for McCluster to become a leader on the offensive and special teams units, leading by example and making his positive attitude contagious for his teammates.
No one in Kansas City was more excited when the Chiefs selected McCluster than offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
The former Notre Dame head coach and offensive guru in New England and New York almost certainly thought Christmas came eight months early when his team picked arguably the most versatile offensive player in the draft.
Before there was Wes Welker in New England, Weis coached a couple of undersized Patriots playmakers in Dave Meggett and Troy Brown.
In McCluster, Weis gets a blend of both Meggett and Brown, one who's not only faster but more versatile than both of those players.
Without a doubt, Weis has been brainstorming all summer about ways to get the ball in McCluster's hands. So much so that barring injury, McCluster will not only drive opposing defenses crazy with mis-matches, but he will be the Chiefs most important offensive player in 2010.