One area that the Kansas City Chiefs may need to address through the draft this coming April is defensive end. Tyson Jackson had his best season for the Chiefs in 2013, but he is heading into free agency and the team might not be able to bring him back. Missouri Tigers DE Michael Sam is a player they should keep an eye on if they’re looking for a bargain at the position.
It seems strange that the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year could be a ‘sleeper’ in the draft, but at 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, he is undersized for defensive end. They tried him out at linebacker during Senior Bowl week, but it did not seem to be his forte. Sam is clearly a pass-rushing defensive end.
No matter the position, size seems to be everything to pro scouts despite constant evidence against it. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are perfect examples of quarterbacks, while Cameron Wake, Jason Babin, Charles Johnson and Chris Clemons could be considered undersized at Sam’s position as well. Who knows how many more undersized players could have made an impact in the NFL, but never really got an opportunity because of their measurables?
Sam’s performance speaks for itself. He racked up 48 tackles, 19 for a loss and 11.5 sacks for Mizzou last season against some pretty hefty SEC offensive lines. The Chiefs need to solidify their pass rush, and Sam could bring production in that area. Kansas City averaged just one sack per game in their 2013 losses compared to 3.8 per game in their wins, and they never touched Peyton Manning.
Kansas City needs a consistent pass rush to compete in the AFC West. If other teams are foolish enough to pass up on Sam because of his size, the Chiefs should make their move. As of now, Sam is ranked around 15th at his position heading into the draft and if he lasts that long on the board, somebody is going to get a big steal.