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Archive for Monday, April 26, 2004

Chiefs acquire lineman

April 26, 2004

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— The Kansas City Chiefs' most significant acquisition on day two of the NFL draft was not a rookie but a four-year starter.

Determined to get immediate help, the Chiefs sent Philadelphia their fifth-round pick this year and fourth-round choice in 2005 for John Welbourn, a guard/tackle who told the Eagles he did not want to play for them any more.

By the time the two-day draft was done late Sunday afternoon, the Chiefs had acquired eight new players -- a defensive tackle, a tight end, a linebacker, two wide receivers, a defensive end, an offensive tackle and Welbourn.

Welbourn (6-foot-5, 318-pounds) is the only newcomer who figures to have a chance to be in the starting lineup when Kansas City opens the season at Denver.

"We felt that John had the quality of play and ability that far exceeded certainly anything that we could find in the fifth round or later in this draft," Chiefs president Carl Peterson said. "He has also played offensive tackle, but he's been their starting left guard for the last four years. He's a big, strong, physical guy."

He could be a replacement for right tackle John Tait, who signed a free-agent contract this spring with the Chicago Bears and broke up one of the best offensive lines in the league.

Welbourn had been outspoken in his desire to get out of Philadelphia, and Kansas City was one of the teams he told the Eagles he would agree to play for. The Chiefs are set at both right and left guard with Brian Waters and Pro Bowler Will Shields.

"He'll line up as a football player, and then we'll see where he fits from there," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. "But he's a very fine pass protector."

With two picks in the fourth round Sunday, the Chiefs took wide receiver Samie Parker of Oregon and defensive end/long snapper Jared Allen of Idaho State.

In the sixth and seventh rounds, they went for Jeris McIntyre, a 5-11, 203-pound receiver from Auburn and Kevin Sampson, a 312-pound offensive tackle from Syracuse.

Their first pick on Friday went for Junior Siavii, a 6-4, 344-pound defensive tackle from Oregon. Siavii became the 34th player taken after the Chiefs swapped their late-round pick in the first round with Detroit.

The Chiefs will also be active in the rookie free-agent market. Three of their top players -- running back Priest Holmes, fullback Tony Richardson and defensive end Eric Hicks -- all came into the league as undrafted free agents.

One area of concern that was not addressed was place kicker. Incumbent Morten Andersen, who turns 44 in August, showed signs last season that he was losing range. Lawrence Tynes, who failed to beat out Andersen a year ago, will be back in camp for another try.

"He's been the best kicker in Canada the last two years," Peterson said. "He's a guy we know a lot about. Frankly, we think he's going to give a lot of competition to Morten Andersen."

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