The Kansas City Chiefs made eight picks in the 2003 NFL Draft. They picked up two extra selections by making a first-round trade with the Steelers. Kansas City gave up their #16 spot to Pittsburgh and in return they took got the #27 spot in round one and the Steelers third and sixth round picks. The Chiefs selected Penn State running back Larry Johnson with their first selection. Johnson rushed for 2,087 yards last season, scoring 20 touchdowns for the Nittany Lions and was third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Head Coach Dick Vermeil and President/GM Carl Peterson maintained that Priest Holmes is still their starting running back and expect him to be at full speed by June after off-season hip surgery. At the same time, they said that passing on a running back of Johnson’s caliber with the 27th pick would have been a mistake. In round two, the Chiefs went with South Florida linebacker Kawika Mitchell. Their final pick on Saturday was cornerback Julian Battle from Tennessee in the third round. On Sunday, Kansas City selected offensive tackle Brett Williams from Florida St. in the fourth round. They went with guard/tackle Jordan Black of Notre Dame in the round five. The Chiefs then turned their attention to defensive needs by picking defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson of Oklahoma in round six, defensive tackle Montique Sharpe from Wake Forrest with their first pick in the seventh round and safety Willie Pile of Virginia Tech with their final selection. Vermeil and Peterson said they don’t expect any of this year’s draft picks to start in 2003, but hope they will be able to provide back up for the starters.
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