With this weekend’s only action involving NFL players being the Pro Bowl, this segment is undergoing a temporary name change from playoff envy to Pro Bowl Envy. It is the 5th choice in the draft now with defense dominating early and a signal caller going to the Washington Redskins just in a bit of a recap. At pick number five sits the Kansas City Chiefs, a once proud franchise where playoffs on a yearly basis were an expectation, but recently the Chiefs have fallen on hard times.
In sticking with the theme, the Chiefs are on a very short list of teams without a Pro Bowl player on their roster this season and the draft is the perfect place to begin the correction process. Since perennial Pro Bowler Will Shields retired in April of 2007, Kansas City has had a revolving door along their offensive line with zero consistency in personnel and thusly zero consistency in on field performance. The Chiefs drafted Virginia Caviliers guard/tackle Branden Albert in the 1st round of 2008’s draft, but he has looked sluggish at times on the outside in pass protection and would be best suited at his natural position inside at guard.
For the Chiefs to get Albert comfortable and try to breathe some new life into their offensive line, tackle is the suitable choice for Kansas City with the fifth selection. Much like last year, the Chiefs will be faced with a difficult decision weighing a proven commodity in Russell Okung of the Oklahoma State Cowboys against the rising stock of Rutgers Scarlet Knights tackle Anthony Davis. The buzzword of draft day is always upside and Davis certainly offers plenty of that, but he also lacks the necessary focus at times to finish blocks and keep the quarterback clean. Okung is a proven player with polished skills and would be a much smoother transition to the NFL level of play.
Okung’s style is reminiscent of former Wisconsin Badgers product Joe Thomas when he was drafted 3rd overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2007 as he is a four year player with an abundance of talent and intangibles as well. That’s not a guarantee by any means that Okung will change the Chiefs current Pro Bowler-less roster two years down the line, but his selection is the best one possible for the long-term health of the franchise.