There are few voices surrounding all things NFL that are respected more than Adam Schefter, so when the ESPN analyst notes that 2012 NFL Draft prospect Chandler Jones of Syracuse is being compared to Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals, that’s enough to warrant some extra attention. The reason is another pass rusher he brings up at the very spot the Chiefs are selecting at No. 11.
“[Jones] will be a first-round pick, and on draft day pass-rushers always seem to go higher than people think,” wrote Schefter. “See Freeney, Dwight, another former Syracuse standout who never was expected to go where he did, to Indianapolis at the 11th overall pick. I don’t have a precise feel as to where Jones will go just yet, but my belief is it will be a bit higher than people expect. Anyone who draws comparisons to Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is going to be a high pick.”
Jones has been called a raw project in this year’s class, but he does project to go in the late first or early second round by many mock drafts. Romeo Crennel of the Chiefs has already come out saying that the team could never get enough pass rushers, and for a franchise that finished third to last in the NFL in total sacks, grabbing such a player makes sense.
Jones’ numbers from last year aren’t that great, with 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 2011. They’re also about the same as his totals from 2010. He’s also coming off of a knee injury last season that will need attention.
As for Campbell, he had 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles last year and seems like a good bet to continue to get better for the Cardinals as one of the better underrated pass rushers in the NFL.
It’s not likely that the Chiefs make such a move at No. 11, but as Schefter says, there’s a precedent there for what many would call a reach. The Colts would say they had the last laugh on that one, however.