With one pick in the second round and two in the third, general manager Scott Pioli and the Chiefs were set up to make some big choices and fill many of Kansas City’s weak spots. That is exactly what Pioli did.
With the 55th pick, the Chiefs grabbed Florida State offensive lineman Rodney Hudson.
While small for a guard, Hudson has the ability to line up at center, effectively replacing current center Casey Wiegmann, an aging center that has retirement rumors swirling around his name this offseason.
His speed and strength will provide more protection for quarterback Matt Cassel as well as open up big holes in the middle of the line for Jamaal Charles to take advantage of. His instincts and leadership ability along with his pure blocking talent make any reservations about his size moot.
Hudson does have the potential to be a Pro Bowl center in the near future, but may have been chosen earlier than necessary. Overall, this pick deserves a B-minus.
Yesterday saw the Chiefs gain an extra draft pick from the Browns, giving them the 70th overall pick early in the third round. Kansas City made the best of the pick, landing a first round talent in linebacker Justin Houston out of Georgia.
Houston brings a great pass rush, a skill that, when paired with linebacker Tamba Hali, will provide the Chiefs with an intimidating and powerful tandem of blitzing linebackers. His speed will allow him to play sideline to sideline and his strength will let him make tackles in the open field, a skill he demonstrated at Georgia.
While Houston has had his fair share of troubles off the field, an issue that caused his drop in the draft, his positives definitely outweigh the negatives and will give head coach Todd Haley a welcome relief on defense. Because of these issues, he is a minor risk, making him an A-minus.
Not finished bolstering the defense, Pioli chose grabbed defensive tackle Allen Bailey with the Chiefs 86th overall pick.
Bailey finished the 2010 season with seven sacks and 11 tackles for a loss. He will provide a durable presence on the defensive rush, only missing one game during his entire college career. His speed and instincts will make him an immediate presence on defense next season.
If Bailey is able to play more consistently, he could potentially turn into a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle. For now, he is a solid draft choice, earning a B-plus.
Bailey and Houston will provide a duo of young pass rushers to Kansas City that will greatly increase the pressure opposing quarterbacks feel. If both of them live up to their potential, next season could see the Chiefs become a defensive force.
Overall, the second day saw the Chiefs add a great deal of talent, deserving a B-plus on the day.
So far, the 2011 NFL draft has provided the Chiefs with much of the talent that will help them make it to the next level. With five more picks tomorrow, Kansas City will attempt to build on their draft success.