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Examiner
  • Chiefs focus on defense in draft

  • A defense bad enough to make NFL history got all the attention on Kansas City’s first three draft picks under the command of Scott Pioli and Todd Haley.

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  • A defense bad enough to make NFL history got all the attention on Kansas City’s first three draft picks under the command of Scott Pioli and Todd Haley.
    Then the team’s new brain trust turned to offense.
    Now, they’ll focus on free agents, rookie free agents and any other method that may present an opportunity to take the Chiefs from the miserable 2-14 they suffered through last season to the status of Super Bowl contenders they knew in the 1990s.
    “There’s a lot of ground to cover,” Pioli said at the end of the day on Sunday. “And there’s a lot more ground to cover. As this ends today, we’re not through improving this football team. There’s going to be a lot of things that happen. There will be other opportunities.”
    One immediate disappointment to Chiefs fans may be the lack of draft trades. As director of pro personnel at New England, Pioli was famous for wheeling and dealing and working out slick agreements that brought in winning players. But all the way through their first pick in the seventh round, not one deal was reached.
    It wasn’t for lack of trying.
    “We talked about a lot of different trades with a lot of different people, spent a lot of time on the phone,” Pioli said. “Sometimes we felt like we would have to give up too much to get to certain spots. there were a couple of players we thought about potentially trading up for, but it was getting close enough to our pick and fortunately, they fell to us. So we were able to save our picks. I love to look for trades. But if they’re not right, or if the right opportunity isn’t there, you don’t consummate the trade.”
    After taking LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson with the overall No. 3 choice on Saturday, the Chiefs went for Purdue defensive lineman Alex Magee in the third round on Sunday and then selected Ohio State cornerback Donald Washington in the fourth.
    The Chiefs did not have a second-round pick because Pioli already had addressed another gaping need by trading the pick to New England for quarterback Matt Cassel.
    Clearly, Pioli and head coach Todd Haley went into the draft with defense on their minds.
    “Our philosophy is to take a combination of best available player, plus need,” Haley said Sunday. “Obviously, if you’ve been around here a little bit, they had a little trouble stopping people.”
    With their fourth pick on Sunday, the Chiefs finally took Missouri tackle Colin Brown. The 6-foot-7, 325-pounder was born and raised in Braymer, Mo., about an hour north of Kansas City, and grew up a Chiefs fan. With their fifth overall selection, they stayed with offense and drafted wide receiver Quinten Lawrence in the sixth round. He averaged nearly 20 yards per catch for McNeese State coming into his senior year but played in only five games as a senior because of a leg injury.
    Page 2 of 2 - With their seventh-round pick, the Chiefs made running back Javarris Williams of Tennessee State the 212th player taken overall.
    While sinking to 2-14 last year, the Chiefs finished ahead of only winless Detroit in total defense. Their 10 sacks set a league record for pass-rushing futility.
    “I don’t think in this league you have much of a chance to win if you can’t slow the other offense down,” Haley said.
    The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Magee also played defensive end for the Boilermakers and offers all sorts of possibilities for Kansas City’s new 3-4 defense.
    “Kansas City had been in a different scheme, and obviously when you start to think about changing over to a little more of an odd front, so to speak, you need certain types of players,” Haley said. “And again, to get two big defensive linemen who we think have a chance to compete right away, that’s a big deal.
    “I think this is all about competition. The more competition you have at each position, the better.” Magee said he’s confident of improving Kansas City’s anemic pass rush.
    “We’re going to get to the quarterback,” he said.
    Washington was so overcome at being drafted he appeared to break up while talking to reporters through speakerphone.
    “I can’t really explain it. This is a dream come true,” he said. “I can’t explain it, man. This is something I’ve been looking for my whole life, and it’s here.”
     

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