The latest NFL Mock Draft is out from the Sporting News and Russ Lande has the Kansas City Chiefs going with an outside linebacker. Zach Brown of North Carolina is his choice and it’s a name who has been crawling up draft boards, so the selection around No. 12 is not surprising in theory. However, this would completely ignore the man named Chiefs Rookie of the Year in Justin Houston.
More: Check out SB Nation's latest NFL mock draft.
“Brown can get after the quarterback and would draw attention from Tamba Hali,” writes Lande, “the Chiefs’ only consistent pass rusher. Brown would fit ideally at outside linebacker opposite Hali in Kansas City’s 3-4 scheme.”
That was a major need a season ago or even a half season ago. But Houston had 5.5 sacks in the Chiefs last 5 games and came alive even in run support. The Chiefs made Houston an early third round choice last April and stuck with him through growing pains in the preseason and early in the regular season. The work paid off as Houston really turned the corner toward maturity on a Chiefs team that already has strong linebackers in Derrick Johnson, the team’s MVP, and Tamba Hali, one of the greatest pass rushers in the NFL.
If KC is going to make a draft investment in their linebackers, it’s going to be at inside linebacker and even then they’ve extended free agent signee from last season Brandon Siler, who sat out all season on injured reserve. There’s simply no way the Chiefs take Brown here despite his talent.