ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. on Wednesday released his first mock draft of the year, and he has the Chiefs selecting 20-year old Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt with the 23rd overall pick.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Here is Kiper’s analysis of the selection:
“The Chiefs got exposed some along the defensive line as the season progressed. A 9-0 start for the Chiefs masked the fact that Dontari Poe’s play tailed off considerably, and there really isn’t an above-average 3-4 DE on the roster. Tuitt has a rare combination of size and quickness, a player who will play at 300-plus pounds and drive blockers with power but can also turn, rip, bend and get around defenders with agility. He’s not a ‘perfect fit for this scheme’ as much as he’s a great fit in any scheme. He sometimes reminds me a young Richard Seymour.”
Tuitt, a two-year starter who is listed at 6 feet 6 and 312 pounds, declared for the draft after a junior season in which he logged 49 tackles (nine for loss), 71/2 sacks and one interception in 13 starts. He also racked up 13 quarterback hurries, the second-most on the team.
As a sophomore in 2012 ― his first year as a full-time starter ― Tuitt led a stout front seven that helped propel the Fighting Irish to the BCS National Championship Game, racking up 42 tackles (including 13 for loss) and 12 sacks in 12 games.
Here is a video of Tuitt playing against USC this fall:
Here is a highlight video of Tuitt from his breakout 2012 season: