Earlier this week, the Kansas City Chiefs began to officially sign their 2014 Draft Picks, coming to deals with every member of their draft class outside of first round pick Dee Ford. The Chiefs also made a few additional transactions that failed to make headlines, which were the signings of DT Jermelle Cudjo and OT J’Marcus Webb.
Although the average fans aren’t too familiar with Cudjo nor Webb, any addition made during this time of the offseason is worth taking a look at. Due to the fact that both possesses on-field experience and possible veteran leadership, Cudjo and Webb bring value to a young NFL team such as the Chiefs.
It’s no certainty that both Cudjo and Webb, or either one of them, make Kansas City’s 53 man roster, but regardless, kicking the tires on two experienced veterans who may be able to contribute if a player falls victim to the injury bug does no harm.
Jermelle Cudjo, a four year veteran that played college ball at Central Oklahoma, played in 38 games as a situational defender in St. Louis. Cudjo missed the entire 2011 season due to a serious back injury, but has since returned to form and participated in 28 games.
In a nutshell, Cudjo’s primary role in St. Louis was to step in as a situational run defender, and was reliable in the fact that at 6’2, 304 lbs, he could be plugged in and simply take on blockers with ease. That role isn’t likely to expand in Kansas City, at least at first, as the Chiefs already have five defensive lineman with experience in Bob Sutton’s defense.
The four year veteran possesses some strength issues as he was pushed around quite often considering his size, but does have impressive lateral quickness, which could immediately be seen on film.
The fact that over three years in St. Louis, Cudjo never truly saw an expanded role brings up the question as to whether he will every be more than a situational defender. But, that question cannot be answered until after the Chiefs staff get their hands on him. Cudjo has potential to become a solid addition to a talented defensive line, but will need to impress early on to receive any opportunity.
Less than 24 hours after the commencement of free agency, the Chiefs front office allowed a gaping hole to open up along the offensive line. They then followed up by making only one underwhelming free agent addition to the line in OG Jeff Linkenbach, and failed to address the need until the sixth round in the draft. Thus, creating a major depth issue at offensive tackle.
Despite losing his starting job in 2013, Webb Drew a surprising amount of interest among NFL teams, and visited with multiple teams prior to and after the draft.
Although J’Marcus Webb hasn’t necessarily excelled as a started tackle in the NFL, starting experience and reliability is all you can ask for in a backup lineman. With 44 starts under his belt over four seasons, Webb brings exactly that to Kansas City.
Webb may not make an immediate impact as a Chief, but figures to bring some quality veteran leadership, and not too bad of an insurance option if a starter falls to injury.