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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Luke Kuechly Once Again Placed With Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have a merry-go-round of familiar characters that keep reappearing each time around if you follow the various mocks available for the 2012 NFL Draft. Luke Kuechly is one of the same names bandied about for the Chiefs' choice at either No. 11 or 12, pending coin flip. That's because the one glaring hole on the Chiefs defense, aside from defensive tackle, is inside linebacker. And Luke Kuechly's draft status fits that very slot. That's who Drafttek has the Chiefs taking in their latest mock.

Drafttek's profile writes, "Offensive tackle remains a high need for the Chiefs in this spot, but Jonathan Martin has been sliding into the lower reaches of Round 1. Where will the Chiefs go if they don't like the tackles left on the board? Luke Kuechly is the best player at a position of need. Jovan Belcher has held down the starting strong inside linebacker spot for the last two years; however, he has not developed as much as expected. He is strong against the run, but very weak in pass coverage, ranking 33rd out of 36 inside linebackers in that area. The Chiefs would prefer to field inside linebackers that are versatile, eschewing the usual strong and weak roles . . . Kuechly would fit the bill nicely. He is a tackling machine, relying more on brains and instinct than elite physical skills. He could be the last piece of what should be a top notch linebacker corps featuring All-Pro's Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston."

That last line is definitely true. Justin Houston really started to break out in the second half of last season, surprising a lot of fans and making a believer out of most. Tamba Hali benefitted from Houston's growth on the opposite side and had another tremendous season. Derrick Johnson had his best season to date and made the Pro Bowl. Clearly this will be an elite level unit if they can score a first round choice to add to the group.