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NFL Draft 2012: Pass Rusher Is 'Hidden Need' For Chiefs

Coming into the 2012 offseason, the two primary positions of need for the Kansas City Chiefs were both related to a tackle of some kind. Eric Winston signed early in the free agency period, which gave the Chiefs the offensive tackle they needed on the right side. Many fans and mock experts look to the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft for the defensive tackle the team needs. Andy Benoit of the New York Times agrees that nose tackle is needed, but he also believes another issue is pressing as well.

The Chiefs need a pass rusher, someone to truly bear the burden with Tamba Hali in getting to the quarterback. The Chiefs tied for third to last in the NFL last season in team sacks, and Benoit isn’t as enamored with Justin Houston as others. Check out his take below:

The Chiefs addressed their other outside linebacker position last season by drafting Justin Houston in the third round. Houston has some athleticism and showed improvement as a rookie. He finished with 5.5 sacks, though three of those came against Chicago’s depressingly overmatched right tackle Lance Louis. Houston has not yet shown to be a consistently dynamic edge presence against the pass. Perhaps that will change, but you can never have too many pass rushers anyway. Right now, the Chiefs only have one.

It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Chiefs add some help along the line in a versatile pass rusher who can do what Wallace Gilberry did two seasons ago. They could also make a move in the first round for a pass rusher instead of an all-around linebacker like Luke Kuechly. The draft has a few options for the Chiefs and it’s clear they will look to upgrade their pass rush. Romeo Crennel has already said as much.

For the latest news and notes about the Chiefs and the NFL Draft, head over toArrowhead Pride.