Junior Siavii Signs Six-Year Deal

Kansas City Chiefs signed their first 2004 draft pick on Wednesday. Whern they inked Oregon Defensive Tackle Junior Siavii to a reported six-year contract.

Siavii was on the primary targets before the draft. Kansas City traded out of the first round in hopes they could still draft the Oregon standout. Siavii is expected to be part of the defensive line rotation that new Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham is implementing for the 2004 season.

The Chiefs were very excited to draft Siavii and Kansas City President/General Manager Carl Peterson is glad that Siavii is under contract.

"We are pleased to have Junior under contract before we leave for training camp," Peterson commented. "We think he's the type of player who will make a solid contribution in his rookie year and, hopefully, become a starter in the near future. He has worked very hard since he arrived in Kansas City after he was eligible to be here under NFL rules. He weighs 336 pounds – right where we would like him to be. It appears this will be a very competitive training camp at the defensive tackle position."

In two seasons with Oregon, Siavii combined for 58 tackles (38 solo). Known more for stopping the run as the Ducks defensive tackle, he did record two sacks.

He's not expected to crack the Chiefs starting lineup but the Chiefs knew he would be a project before they drafted him. If he can play at a productive level for 15-20 plays per game in his rookie season, the Chiefs would be ecstatic. One thing is certain: if Siavii can adjust to the speed and pace of the NFL, he could push 2002 #1 draft pick Ryan Sims.

In past years, Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil has been forced to wait on his top draft picks to sign but not this year.

"The competition at defensive line is going to be very intense," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said Wednesday. "If you miss some of camp, it's tough to catch up. Remember what happened to Ryan Sims? It was tough for him to catch up, and he ended up getting hurt. So this is good news because he (Siavii) can go to work next week. He's been working all along like he was planning to have this done."

The Chiefs have lacked a solid run stuffer at defensive tackle. That is one reason why they signed Lionel Dalton in the off-season. Ryan Sims needs to step up his game this season and a solid rookie campaign by Siavii could be just the push that the former first-round draft pick needs to stabilize Kansas City's defensive line in 2004.

Still Vermeil does not want to put any pressure on Siavii. He knows whatever he gets out of his top pick this year will be a bonus to the defensive line.

"Hopefully he can help give us the rotation support where the quality of play doesn't drop much from what the starter provided."

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