With their last two picks of the NFL Draft, the Chiefs continued a day three trend of finding great value when they selected San Diego State Defensive End, Jeremy Long and Michigan Wide Receiver, Junior Hemingway.
The only goal in day three of the NFL Draft is to add depth to your football team. The Chiefs certainly did that Saturday by adding a pair of higher ceiling guys in the seventh round. And if they did their homework correctly, each of them could stick on the final roster come September.
All-Mountain defensive tackle, Jerome Long, had a career year in 2011 for the San Diego State Aztecs. He led the team in tackles with 73 and notched five sacks. Long stands 6’5” and comes in around 300 pounds. The Chiefs might move him to defensive end and because of his inside/outside versatility, Long could provide some much needed depth on the defensive line.
If the Chiefs keep him at Nose Tackle, Long has the ability to gain weight. The soon to be graduating Senior bulked up some 60 pounds from his freshman year.
At either position, he’s a project. That won’t diminish the fact Long has some solid pass rushing skills. Plus for a defensive lineman, he’s a solid tackler. That’s something the Chiefs need more of heading into the 2012 season. My guess is that he’ll play some special teams. But if you’re looking for an even higher ceiling for Long, he does remind me a bit of former Chief, Jared Allen.
As their last pick of the draft, the Chiefs curiously added another wide receiver, Junior Hemingway from Michigan. In round five, the Chiefs added Fresno State burner, Devon Wylie. Now Wylie is a slot guy but Hemingway is a big strong receiver who could gain a roster spot as a back-up.
Still with rumblings that Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs continue to haggle over a new contract or that he was on the trading block this weekend, the Chiefs were wise to add a pair of receivers Saturday.
But that’s not the only reason they took Hemingway. He has the size and weight to play inside as a slot/hybrid tight end. Though I don’t think that’s going to be a position that he ultimately settles in with the Chiefs because I do think he’s better as an outside receiver, he does possess good route running skills, has a high motor and decent (not great) hands.
That aside what Hemingway does bring to the Chiefs short term is insurance should Bowe continue to go through the offseason workouts unwilling to sign his franchise tender or lower his contract demands.
The good thing about that is Hemingway comes to the Chiefs with his eyes wide open about earning a roster spot. If the Bowe saga continues, he might get a better chance to make this team than he ever thought considering he was one of the last players taken in the 2012 NFL Draft.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will both Long and Hemingway make the final 53-man roster for the Chiefs?
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