Chiefs First Round Pick: If They Choose a Linebackeron April 1st, 2012 at 2:18 pm
Chiefs First Round Pick: If They Choose a Linebacker
The Kansas City Chiefs will be looking at the defense early in the upcoming NFL Draft. They will have a decision to make if they choose to pick a linebacker first.
The Chiefs have the eleventh pick in the first round draft order this year. They will look to be as successful in the draft as they were in the free agency offseason. So far the Chiefs have picked up a phenomenal Offensive Lineman in Eric Winston, bruiser Running Back Peyton Hillis, and Tight End Kevin Boss. They also added depth at quarterback with Brady Quinn.
The favorite among draft experts for the Chiefs to pick up is Luke Kuechly (pronounced Keech-lee). He had a great combine and seems to have solidified his position at the top of the Inside Linebacker position because of his performance during drills.
The Chiefs might feel a little different about this pick if they look a little deeper into the talent at this position during the draft. Namely, Dont’a Hightower.
When you compare game film of Kuechly against Hightower there is an obvious difference in their talent. Kuechly, while a good, solid, linebacker, does not rise to the level of play that is seen by Hightower. Kuechly is riding the hype that comes when someone does really well at the combine. This hype put him at the number one position ahead of Hightower.
There are plenty of examples where someone does extremely well in the combine but not as well on the field. Hightower, from Alabama, is a proven asset on the field in high profile games, his team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, just won the National Championship. He also played in the SEC which is the premier conference to play in. Kuechly, Boston College, played in the ACC which doesn’t even come close to the SEC in terms of talent level.
If you were to put Alabama and Boston College on the field, using last year’s players, against each other what would be the end result? ‘Bama would Roll Tide all over the field. This wouldn’t even be a competition. You could say with confidence that Hightower would have a good game, but couldn’t say the same about Kuechly.
When comparing the linebackers side by side you will see that Hightower has much more upside over Kuechly and plays with a motor set at a higher RPM. He is much more talented and is a playmaker. Kuechly is more of a field manager.
With the eleventh pick the Chiefs will want to pick someone who can make an impact now. Hightower also fits the bill with this and is the better pick for this position.