Chiefs’ Edwards promises more roster changes
Kansas City, Mo. ? They did not get a cornerback, and they did not trade quarterback Trent Green.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, the draft of 2007 may be remembered almost as much for what did not happen as for what did.
“There’s a lot of different ways you can get these players,” head coach Herm Edwards said. “It’s not over yet. Our team at this point is not the team you’re going to see on opening day.”
Without a fourth-round pick, the Chiefs used their final selections Sunday for a running back, a place kicker, an offensive tackle and a Division III tight end.
The kicker, UCLA’s Justin Medlock, figures to be the only one of the four who might win a starting spot right away. The Chiefs were not happy with the performance in 2006 of incumbent Lawrence Tynes.
Medlock was taken with their second pick in the fifth round, a few minutes after they took running back Kolby Smith of Louisville. Herb Taylor, a 295-pound offensive tackle from TCU, was selected in the sixth round.
Then in the seventh, they made tight end Michael Allan from Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., the 231st player drafted.
General Manager Carl Peterson said he believed it was the first time the Chiefs had drafted a Division III athlete.
“He was at (the NFL scouting combine) and performed very well and competed very well,” Peterson said. “We took a long look at him.”
Allan was obviously picked with an eye toward the future since Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, 31, has been to eight straight Pro Bowls.
“Michael Allen is a gifted kid,” said Edwards. “I think there’s probably two coaches up there on the entire staff. He probably had to help line the fields. But … I think he scored 24 touchdowns, and didn’t look out of place in the All-Star game. He has real good hands and has good speed.”
Still unresolved was an issue that everyone figured would be among the most urgent – help for aging starting cornerbacks Ty Law, 33, and Patrick Surtain, who soon will be 31.
But the Chiefs stuck with their “board,” their overall grading of every player available.
“We filled some needs,” said Edwards, “Did we fill all of them? No. But you can’t in a draft unless you have 20 picks. You have to do what the board dictates you do. And you have to hope you get a little lucky in certain positions. But we feel very, very good about the players we drafted.”
Green, one of the league’s most productive passers for five years before he missed eight games last year with a severe concussion, will turn 37 in July. Edwards, determined to invest the team with youth, wants to give second-year man Brodie Croyle every opportunity to show he’s ready.
But Peterson and the Dolphins can’t agree on compensation for Green, who is still under contract and, according to Peterson, still Kansas City’s starter.
Peterson said Miami never budged from the late-round draft choice it originally offered, which apparently was far from the early-round compensation the Chiefs demand.
“We presented to them what we thought was appropriate compensation for the value of a starting quarterback, two-time Pro Bowler, and what we know and believe he could do if he went there,” Peterson said.
“They presented what they thought was appropriate, and we didn’t think it was anywhere near what was appropriate for this guy.
“Sometimes the best trade you make is the one that doesn’t happen.
Peterson continues to suggest Green could still be the Chiefs’ starter next year.
Damon Huard, who was 5-3 starting in Green’s absence last year, has signed a two-year contract. It seems unlikely that Green would be willing to renegotiate his Chiefs contract, or that any team would want to pay a backup $7 million.
“We’ve got a very good quarterback situation,” Peterson said. “A lot of things are going to happen between now and Sept. 9 when we kick it off for real.
Smith had 780 yards on 138 carries for Louisville last year, scoring seven touchdowns after starter Michael Bush was injured in the season opener. In 44 games at Louisville, Smith made 14 starts, totaling 300 carries for 1,781 yards and 18 touchdowns.
“Being drafted is a great honor,” he said. “Now I’ve got to show them I have the courage and the will to do any and everything they ask of me.”
Medlock, 5-11, 201, will be counted on to oust Tynes, who kicked himself into the doghouse last year by hitting only 24 of 31 field goals and playing poorly in the playoff loss at Indianapolis.