The Kansas City Chiefs closed out the 2012 NFL draft on Saturday by adding five players in the final four rounds. Here’s the rundown on those five…
Devon Wylie (WR-Fresno State): A fourth-round selection who steps into a position that’s a cautious area of need—if Dwayne Bowe doesn’t go locked up to a new deal, or if Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston don’t come through as second options, there’s room for a rookie to step in. Seen in that light this was a good spot to draft a receiver and Wylie looks like a god pick. The report compiled by ESPN’s Scouts Inc. praises his body control and ability to play the ball. He needs better footwork—the scout lingo is that he “hops into his breaks”, this alerting a defensive back to cut and costing the receiver a critical split-second. He also needs better use of head and shoulder moves. All very reasonable flaws for a fourth-round choice and correctable if Wylie is committed.
De’Quan Menzie (DB-Alabama): There are injury concerns here, namely an Achilles tendon tear that cost him much of the 2010 season. Menzie also doesn’t have great raw speed, so his ability to be a pure cover guy is limited. What he does have is good agility, the ability to adjust to the ball in midflight and his run support wins high praise from the scouts. It’s the latter that likely determines his NFL future and the evolution of the AFC West—right now, every team except Kansas City is heavily oriented to the quarterback—deciding how that future plays out with the Chiefs.
Cyrus Gray (RB-Texas A&M): I liked this pick, coming in the sixth round and it’s the availability of backs like this that caused me to be so critical of the Peyton Hillis signing during free agency. Gray has good lateral movement and uses his blockers well. He’s good enough to be a second-string running back. Whether he can become an NFL starter depends on how well he learns to stay disciplined on interior runs and not bounce them outside too quickly.
Junior Hemingway (WR-Michigan): He looks like a seventh-round pick. The scouts like his ability to find a soft spot in the zone, so I suppose we can’t rule out his making the team in August, but the natural talent isn’t there, particularly initial quickness off the ball.
Jerome Long (DT-San Diego State): No scouting information available Long right now, and I’m not going to pretend I watched enough Aztec games to have a reasonable opinion (I watched their bowl game against UL-Lafayette and that was it).