On Friday night the Chiefs took an eye toward their present and future by taking a pair of offensive lineman that could be starters in 2012 or 2013. By adding Oklahoma Tackle Jeff Allen, Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli, found an heir apparent to veteran and 2013 free agent tackle, Branden Albert.
If that's not the case, Pioli found a sound back-up in the Blue Springs, Missouri native.
Stephenson was part of a monster offensive line at Oklahoma that gave up just 11 sacks all season long. The 6'6" tackle comes to the Chiefs with solid pass protection skills and mobile feet that should easily fit into KC's run first, pass second offense.
Still the pick does raise some eyebrows. With needs at middle linebacker and safety, the decision to pick Stephenson was a bit curious. But when the San Diego Chargers jumped ahead of the Chiefs and took LSU Safety, Brandon Taylor, the team felt that Stephenson, who some projected as a second round pick, was too good to pass up.
When asked by reporters after he was selected by the Chiefs, the Missouri native was very humble. He told the media he had no idea where he'd be drafted. In fact Stephenson wondered if he'd be drafted at all.
Well he knows now.
"I'm speechless. I love the Chiefs. I've always loved them. Having the chance to play in my hometown is huge," Stephenson said shortly after being taken in the third round by Kansas City.
Pioli was wise to add offensive line depth with both his picks Friday night. In adding Jeff Allen he can slide into a starting spot at Guard. And Stephenson provides quality insurance in the event the Chiefs pass on signing Albert long term or he succumbs to an injury.
No matter how you view the pick taking a tackle with more glaring needs is never a risk. It's clear with two of its three draft picks along the offensive line the Chiefs plan to run the ball and hope they can provide better protection for their quarterback, Matt Cassel.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will Tackle Donald Stephenson become a starter in 2013?
For all the news, notes and quotes on the Chiefs, visit WarpaintIllustrated.com