Chiefs Close Out 2013 NFL Draft with Four Picks
KANSAS CITY (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs chose Alabama's Nico Johnson with the second selection in the fourth round of the NFL draft, grabbing a future partner for inside linebacker Derrick Johnson.
The Eagles traded up three spots to the first pick in the fourth round, and chose Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley. That led to speculation that the Philadelphia brass thought the Chiefs might be interested in Barkley with the No. 99 overall pick.
The Chiefs wound up picking Johnson, filling a need at linebacker by choosing a natural fit for the 3-4 defense Kansas City intends to keep under new coordinator Bob Sutton. Johnson is the first defensive player chosen by the Chiefs. They'd already drafted offensive tackle Eric Fisher, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Knile Davis.
Kansas City also added another piece to their retooled secondary Saturday when they drafted Sanders Commings out of Georgia with the first selection in the fifth round. Commings played mostly at cornerback with the Bulldogs. But at 6-foot, 216 pounds and with a penchant for hitting hard, his skills appear to translate well to safety.
The Chiefs signed cornerbacks Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson in free agency, but they were still looking for depth at safety behind starters Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis.
Commings was suspended two games as a senior due to a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend. He said the Chiefs asked about the incident during the draft process and came away convinced that his off-the-field issues were in the past.
In the sixth round, Kansas City added depth to their offensive line Saturday by picking Eric Kush. Kush played center for California University, a Division II school in Pennsylvania.
The Chiefs lost center Rodney Hudson to a season-ending broken bone in his left leg three games into last season. Ryan Lilja slid over from guard to center for most of the season, but he announced his intention to retire after the Chiefs finished 2-14 a year ago. This left the Chiefs in need of a backup center.
Kansas State fullback Braden Wilson will have a chance to play in front of friends and family after getting drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round Saturday. The 6-foot-4, 251-pound Wilson helped to protect Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein last year for the Wildcats, who surprised just about everyone by winning the Big 12 championship.
It's unclear how the fullback will factor into new coach Andy Reid's offensive in Kansas City, or whether he might be converted to a tight end. The only other fullbacks on the Chiefs roster are Patrick DiMarco and Ryan D'Imperio.
The Chiefs used the first pick in the seventh round on Mike Catapano, a defensive end out of Princeton and the third Ivy League player selected. Cornell offensive tackle J.C. Trett went in the fourth round to the Packers, eight spots ahead of Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was drafted by the Ravens.
Catapano was not invited to the annual scouting combine, but participated in the East-West Shrine Game. Fifteen NFL teams showed up for Princeton's pro day to check him out. He had 12 sacks and 15½ tackles for loss as a senior.