04/30/2012 - The Chiefs did not make the AFC field for the playoffs last season, but that did not have general manager Scott Pioli trolling the draft waters for immediate help and contributors to his starting lineups. Instead, Pioli drafted like he's had a solid contender for several seasons, selecting eight draft picks that almost to a man, are down the line players for the Chiefs. "One of the things we talk about is trying to get this team bigger, stronger, faster, tougher and we feel in the last two days we have certainly gotten bigger, stronger, faster, tougher," Pioli said. "We've created quality depth and definitely created competition throughout the football team." BEST PICK: Tackle Jeff Allen: A four-year starter at Illinois at left and right tackle, Allen may be switched to guard with the Chiefs and compete with veteran Ryan Lilja for the starting job at left guard. - The Sports Xchange
A four-year starter, Allen wasn't highly recruited out of high shcool with Illinois one of the few schools that offered him a scholarship. He enrolled early and saw early playing time in 2008 as a true freshman, starting nine games at right tackle and earned several Freshman All-American honors. Allen moved to left tackle in 2009 as a sophomore and started all 12 games. He again started every game in 2010 as a junior, playing the weak tackle position and earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors. Allen returned in 2011 as a senior and again started all 13 games at weak tackle, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors.
Allen has very good starting experience (47 career starts), playing both left tackle and right tackle as the weakside tackle opposite the tight end. He looks the part with average lateral agility, but has disappointing functional strength with very little push in the run game and poor hand use -- looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane. Allen has the size and foot quickness to be an adequate pass protector at the next level, but needs a lot of improvement as a run blocker before he's NFL ready. He offers some upside for the next level as a developmental player probably best suited inside at guard or right tackle.
Strengths: A big athlete with good bulk and a filled out frame. Stays balanced and doesn't overextend himself in pass protection -- stays disciplined with good bend and body leverage. A smooth mover and covers a lot of ground, working hard to mirror rushers -- agile footwork and keeps his feet moving. A better-than-expected athlete and has steadily improved in pass protection. Plays with a wide base and is stout at the point of attack -- can control rushers when he uses his hands effectively. Started the final 47 games of his career with experience at both left and right tackle as a two-year captain.
Weaknesses: Has a sloppy body with a soft belly and very average arm length, not consistently extending his arms. A finesse blocker and lacks an aggressive, physical nature -- lack of strength exposed in the run game (not a mauler). Needs to be more aggressive with his hands and jolt defenders at the POA -- too much of a grabber and catch blocker with poor hand placement. Doesn't have the natural power to redirect rushers and needs to deliver some hits instead of only absorbing them. Isn't technically refined and gets lazy with his fundamentals, allowing rushers into his body and ending up on the ground too much. Needs to block with better bend and pad level with a bad habit of stopping his feet on contact and slipping off blocks -- struggles in space. Needs to improve his overall awareness to recognize extra defenders -- too many holding penalties for a player with his experience. Lacks an intense, competitive demeanor.
NFL Comparison: Jeremy Bridges, Arizona Cardinals
-- Dane Brugler