Chiefs Round #4: ILB Nico Johnson

ILB Niko Johnson

After losing out on Quarterback Matt Barkley atop the fourth round, the Kansas City Chiefs filled an area of need when they selected Alabama Inside Linebacker, Nico Johnson.

Say what you about SEC players. But anytime you can draft Alabama players in any round you should be doing the happy dance. They are generally the most prepared players to make the jump from the college game to the pro game. And the Chiefs new draft pick, Nico Johnson, should have no issues making that adjustment to the big show.

In the case of Johnson, the four year Crimson Tide performer is an inside presence that should fit very well within the Chiefs 3-4 defense scheme.

In fact, he could become a starter this season and line up next to Chiefs All Pro Linebacker, Derrick Johnson. The new Johnson has shown flashes of brilliance at Alabama. He can play the middle of the field but his strongest asset is his ability to tackle.

The Chiefs already possess one of the games premier outside linebackers, Justin Houston, who has quickly become KC's most sure handed tackler and a pretty prolific pass rusher. With Nico in the mix next to DJ, suddenly three of the Chiefs four starting linebackers have the chops to shore up any of the Chiefs run defense weaknesses of a year ago.

The other linebacker, Tamba Hali, isn't a good tackler. But that's not his strength. His job is to get sacks and now with Niko in the middle of the field, he should be in a position to resurrect his pass rushing dominance in 2013.

And if that happens, that means Nico has the potential to become a three down defensive player. But even though, he's not a gifted pass defender, he's a smart player who seems to know where to be on the field. In other words, he finds the football.

Niko can attack the line of scrimmage and he's not afraid to take on blockers to occupy space so his teammates can make a play. And that's something, the Chiefs have to like about their new linebacker.

Though I would have liked to see the Chiefs grab Quarterback, Matt Barkley, but the Eagles spoiled KC's draft plan this morning. But that could open the door for the Chiefs to possibly acquire Quarterback, Nick Foles, from the Eagles for one of their sixth round picks later today.

That aside, Johnson was a solid draft pick for General Manager, John Dorsey, who is a master at drafting linebackers. And this pick matches the intense, physically gifted, athletic football player that Head Coach, Andy Reid, wants in Kansas City.

Add the fact he's an Alabama product and you might say the Chiefs found themselves a gem in round four.

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