NFL Draft 2011: Will the Kansas City Chiefs Take a Risk with Akeem Ayers?

Casey CrailCorrespondent IApril 15, 2011

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Coffman #14 of the Kansas State Wildcats is met by Akeem Ayers #10 of the UCLA Bruins in the first half at the Rose Bowl on September 19, 2009 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The majority of mock drafts have either Akeem Ayers from UCLA or Phil Taylor from Baylor at the 21st overall position.

Either player would fill a need on the defensive side of the ball.

Taylor is a mammoth and could anchor the defense at the nose tackle position.

Also, the Chiefs invested the second overall pick in Tyson Jackson who has been a disappointment as a pass rusher. Both Jackson and Glenn Dorsey would benefit off better play at the nose tackle.

Draft Tek has Taylor listed as the 54th best prospect, so this could be considered a reach.

However, the New York Jets have been linked to Taylor after cutting Kris Jenkins, so if Scott Pioli wants him, he will have to take him at No. 21.

Like Taylor, Ayers would fit into Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defense.

Ayers is a well-rounded outside linebacker who can just about do it all.

The risk with taking Ayers in the first round is that he does not excel at any one skill.

He draws comparison to San Francisco 49ers linebacker Manny Lawson.

Both can rush the quarterback well, but not like you would want from a first-round pick. Also, both have the ability to drop into pass coverage better than the average linebacker.

The thing that separates Lawson as a prospect and Ayers would be Lawson's 4.43 40-yard dash time compared to Ayers' 4.81.

While the need to replace Mike Vrable is present, Ayers like Taylor could be a reach.

The Kansas City Chiefs showed great improvement last year and will be looking to add more talent through another successful draft.

However, investing in a reach like Akeem Ayers or Phil Taylor could prevent immediate improvement from their position.

The Chiefs' pick is a wild card unless Pioli and Crennel like one of these two players.