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Will KC Chiefs Go Defense Again In 2011 NFL Draft?

it's always hard to predict who your team will take in the NFL draft. Over the last three years, the Kansas City Chiefs have had a top five pick so it's been somewhat easier to predict their move. in 2009, we saw reports shortly before the draft that the Chiefs were strongly considering DE Tyson Jackson and in 2010 a very popular pick for the Chiefs was S Eric Berry.

In 2011, the Chiefs have the 21st pick so predicting which was they go is considerably harder. In 2009, the Chiefs had a need at defensive end, and went there. In 2010, the Chiefs had a need at safety, and went there. In 2011, i think you could argue they have a need at outside linebacker.

LB Mike Vrabel's future is unknown and retirement seems like a possibility. LB Andy Studebaker is behind him though it's not clear if he's an every down player. If he's not, then the Chiefs may want to look elsewhere for help.

Enter: UCLA LB Akeem Ayers. This is the pick, according to the latest mock draft from Don Banks of SI.com:

This is another pick that seems to line up a little too easily in terms of conventional wisdom. Everyone knows K.C. needs a pass-rushing outside linebacker who can run sideline to sideline and eventually take Mike Vrabel's job, and Ayers seems the logical candidate in this slot. If he goes higher than this, Georgia's Justin Houston becomes the name to watch.    

The Chiefs can go a few directions here -- receiver, offensive line, nose tackle or, as Banks suggests, linebacker. It's interesting to note that the Chiefs have gone defense GM Scott Pioli's first pick in each of the last two drafts. Will that trend continue in 2011?