The Chiefs desire to upgrade their defense continued Saturday afternoon as they used their first-round pick (15th overall) to select linebacker Derrick Johnson from the University of Texas. As a senior, Johnson led the Longhorns and was fourth in the Big 12 with 130 sacks. He also added two sacks and an interception. Johnson also set an NCAA record last season by forcing nine fumbles.
Scouts see him mostly as an outside linebacker, which is an area of concern for the Chiefs, who may be without Shawn Barber to start the season. Barber missed the last eight games of the season after season-ending knee injury and will still be rehabilitating it throughout the summer.
The Chiefs had the best offense in the NFL last season, but their defense was 31st out of 32 teams. They addressed some of those problems by acquiring cornerbacks Sammy Knight and three-time Pro-Bowl selection Patrick Surtain, who they traded for on Friday morning by giving their 2nd round pick to Miami. Knight and Surtain were teammates in Miami last season. They also signed linebacker Kendrell Bell and traded a draft pick to Tennessee for defensive end Carlos Hall.
The Chiefs’ second round pick went to the Dolphins as part of their trade for Patrick Surtain. In round three, they selected punter Dustin Colquitt of Tennessee, who averaged over 40 yards per punt as a senior. Craphonso Thorpe, a wide receiver from Florida St. was their pick in the fourth round.
Kansas City had two picks in the fifth round and chose linebacker James Grigsby from Illinois St and cornerback Alphonso Hodge of Miami (OH).
With their two sixth round picks, Kansas City selected offensive tackle Will Svitek of Baylor and Khari Long, a defensive end from Baylor
Their final two picks in the seventh round were used to draft James Killan, a quarterback from Tulsa and offensive tackle Jeremy Parquet of Southern Mississippi.
The question mark at right tackle continues to loom over the Rams’ heads and they did something about it on Saturday by selecting offensive lineman Alex Barron with the 19th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Barron started 12 games for Florida St. as a senior and was a consensus All-American. He was also one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which is given each year to the nation’s best offensive lineman. He’s 6-6 and 316 pounds.
Barron’s size and quickness make him an attractive pick, but scouts believe he has to be more consistent from play-to-play to make a successful jump to the NFL. Another problem that could creep up in his career is that of injuries. During his freshman season he tore the ACL in his right knee and was granted a medical red shirt.
The Rams are still unsure about who their starting right tackle will be, given the physical and attitudinal questions surrounding Kyle Turley. He missed the 2004 season with an injured back and has since gone public with his strong dislike for head coach Mike Martz. The Rams may release him this summer.
The Rams took two other offensive lineman, selecting center Richie Incognito of Nebraska in the third round and guard Claude Terrell of New Mexico in round four. Incognito was kicked off the Nebraska sqaud last season and decided to declare for the draft as opposed to transferring.
St. Louis went with three defensive backs on Saturday and Sunday. Safety was of most concern, so they went with Oshiomogho Atogwe of Stanford in the third round and Jerome Carter of Florida St. in the fourth round. Their second pick was used to select cornerback Ronald Bartell Jr. of Howard.
In the fifth round, the Rams seleceted tight end Jerome Collins of Notre Dame and they selected wide receiver Dante Ridgeway of Ball St. and punter Reggie Hodges, who was Ridgeway’s teammate at BSU.
The Rams had two picks in the seventh and final round and went with Harvard qb Harvard Ryan Fitzpatrick and Madison Hegecock a fullback from North Carolina.