Several NFL writers have posted their grades, opinions and analysis of the Kansas City Chiefs class from the 2011 NFL Draft. With every short paragraph mentioning the same basic points of discussion, we wanted to move further into the discussion by inviting Wes Bunting to chat about the Chiefs draft class in great detail. Bunting is the National Football Post’s director of college scouting and serves as their draft guru at this time every year.
Here is part one of two (coming tomorrow) where Bunting discusses the overall draft class and why he thinks Justin Houston is a one trick pony.
SB Nation KC: I want to eventually discuss some of the individual players taken, but I'd love to get your take on the overall draft class and what Scott Pioli was thinking with this haul?
Wes Bunting: I like what Pioli did. You get the sense that Pioli only likes these high character guys, and I think he's getting away from that if you look at the draft. Jonathan Baldwin wasn't an overly high character guy. Justin Houston failed a drug test. It's not that there's anything wrong with that for Pioli, but that was the main thing that stood out to me.
You just can't assume that he likes a certain type of guy. I think Pioli just likes good football players overall. If he has the conviction that they are going to end up being good football players and they can learn from their past mistakes, then he's going to draft them. So that's the one thing I took from this draft class. Overall it's a nice looking class and I think Pioli did a really nice job.
SB Nation KC: Some fans would cry foul and point to the major moves to get the "right 53." If Pioli gives the stamp of approval, do you think that should be enough for any fan to show no cause for concern?
Wes Bunting: Honestly if anyone gives their stamp of approval, that should be the case. That's how it is in the NFL. You're not taking the guy based on who he has been. You're taking him based on what he can be. Take a look at Justin Houston. He failed his drug test at the NFL Combine. Now, can you live with that with your defensive lineman? Is that what he will be? I mean, let me ask you, do you think that's a high character guy as a Chiefs fan?
SB Nation KC: I would say no, which is why I say that some might be confused with Pioli's decision.
Wes Bunting: Exactly. You have to make a cut off at some point. If Pioli feels this guy can learn from his mistakes over the long term, then that's his convictions and he's entitled to that. I put trust in Pioli and ultimately, I'm not a big Justin Houston fan, but I don't worry too much about his character concerns over the long term.
SB Nation KC: If Justin Houston doesn't fail the drug test, where does he go in the draft?
Wes Bunting: Second round.
SB Nation KC: So what makes you say that you're not a fan?
Wes Bunting: He's a one trick pony in my mind. He's got a good fastball, a speed rush off the edge. He's got a good first step, but he's got tight hips. I don't think he does a great job flattening around the corner. That's a concern. And there's no change-up to his game, meaning there's no way for him to keep tackles off balance.
He doesn't have much of a counter. He doesn't have much of a bull rush and you've got to be able to get at the quarterback in at least three different ways if you want to be a successful pass rusher. He's going to have to learn that. As of now, he just has the speed rush.
SB Nation KC: So in terms of Chiefs fans expecting him to come in and fill that outside linebacker role on all three downs, that's just not going to happen?
Wes Bunting: Well, I think he's going to come in and rush the passer. He's stiff hipped and not going to hold up in coverage, so he's not going to play on third down. Or if he is, he's not going to drop off in coverage. They're going to let him get after the passer. Initially, he could have some success because of that great first step is going to shock people initially. But the more tape teams get on him and the more prepared offensive tackles are, they're going to know that all they have to do is play that speed rush.
Houston's going to have to develop some kind of counter -- an inside-out, an outside-in, a rip, a bull, something where he can consistently shut the box and engage. If he doesn't have a counter to that, he'll get himself in trouble.
SB Nation KC: Is there a comparable NFL player?
Wes Bunting: Everyone is so different. He's got a great first step, but I don't want to compare different players. They're just too different.