“I think when you are in a situation like we are in right now, there are a lot of places that we need to improve in roster spots one through 53 and a lot of different positions. One of the things we are going to try and consistently do here is upgrade the team and upgrade positions across the board. In our situation, there are a lot of different ways we can improve this football team.”
Chief GM Scott Pioli/Pre-Draft Press Conference April 16, 2009
The selection of DE Tyson Jackson by the Chiefs in last month’s NFL draft sent a clear signal of intent that in fact, Kansas City is transitioning to a 3-4 defense. The cost associated with drafting Jackson third overall, indicates the importance being placed by the Chiefs on assembling a dominant defensive wall, rather than a makeshift collection of parts whose sum total amount registers average at best. This strategy of development was emphasized even more so by the supplementary choice of DE Alex Magee in the third round.
The consideration of a 3-4 defense in itself is foreign to mos t Chiefs fans, but the rock-solid steps taken thus far have helped to ease to some extent the initial concerns surrounding such an undertaking. But the issue of how DT Glenn Dorsey fits into the Chiefs future plans is purely unsettling and confusing, a true head scratcher if you will.
Dorsey was drafted fifth overall in 2008 by the Chiefs old brain trust as a penetrating defensive tackle for a 4-3 scheme. A classic nose tackle he isn’t, nor should he be physically modified to become one. Using Dorsey in such an experimentation would be a waste of his natural talents, diminish his value and risk aggravating previous knee and back concerns. The trading of Dorsey is not an indication of negative worth or poor performance, but reflective of the Chiefs need for a pure nose tackle. If anything, his rookie season has justified the selection and quantified his potential for success.
There is no denying the necessity of having a big butt on the inside when it comes to the 3-4 defense. The Steelers have Casey Ha mpton (6-1 325), the Patriots deploy Vince Wilfork (6-2 325), while the Raven march out the massive Haloti Ngata (6-4 345) and the turf at the Dog Pound sags under the girth of Shaun Rogers (6-4 350). If the Chiefs must force the square peg into the round hole, why not do so with Tank Tyler, Ron Edwards or Alfonso Boone?
With Tyler anchoring the inside, the Chiefs will have temporarily solved their problem at nose tackle but remain saddled with the issue of what to do with Glenn Dorsey. With one phone call to Tampa Bay, Minnesota or Seattle this problem could be a thing of the past. Granted, trading Dorsey would mean a sizable cap hit for the Chiefs and this in itself is a strong argument against a trade. However, if a trade were accomplished, the Chiefs could then begin focusing on a permanent long-term solution to their NT need by evaluating the talent that will be obtainable in next year’s draft.
Equipped with two first and two second round picks in the 2010 draft, K.C. would be in an ideal position to continue their labors of building20a dominate defensive wall. Envision if you will, what Sunday afternoons could be like with a defensive front consisting of the following players:
LDE Tyson Jackson 6-4 296
LDE Alex Magee 6-3 298
NT Terrence Cody 6-5 345
NT Tank Tyler 6-2 325
RDE Carlos Dunlap 6-6 290
RDE Robert Greenwood 6-5 290
Granted, forecasting any 2010 draftee at this point in time is impractical. Who can even say with certainty whether or not Cody or Dunlap will even make it though the upcoming college season? Then of course there is the all-important assessment of a player’s work ethic and general character. But the purpose of the draft is to acquire players that indeed fit the system, as was exhibited with the selections of Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee.
Yes, trading DT Glenn Dorsey would not only be costly but also to some degree, risky. However, “risky” can also describe the investment of time, monies and training into a player that will in all likelihood need to be replaced sooner than later. If the Chiefs are willing to trade off TE Tony Gonzalez for a future draft pick, should Glenn Dorsey be considered off limits?
“This is an exciting time but the process of player acquisition is a year-around, 24/7 opportunity.” Scott Pioli.