Chiefs Still Need to Find a Young Defensive End

The Kansas City Chiefs have more than one need on defense as they prepare for the 2005 NFL Draft. Much of the talk this off-season has been on cornerbacks and linebackers but they won't ignore the defensive line.

As we get closer to the draft, they still need to acquire a young pass rushing defensive end. That player could come from Oklahoma where Senior Sooner Dan Cody has managed to come out of the shadows into one of the top defensive players in the draft.

Dan Cody has been one of the top producers for the Oklahoma Sooner defense over the past two seasons. Known as a relentless pass rusher; Cody managed to post 117 tackles and 25 sacks during his college career. That career sack total left him only six and a half behind the school record held by Cedric Jones.

From his freshman year in 2000 to his sophomore year in 2002, Cody for the most part fell under the radar screen. In fact he missed his 2001 season due to a battle with clinical depression which ended up becoming his red-shirt year. But he returned to the team in 2002 and assumed the role of a backup.

In 2003, he took the Big 12 by storm and started to realize his own potential. In his four years as a Sooner, Cody was part of three national championship games. The 2001 Orange Bowl against Florida State, the 2003 Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the 2005 Orange Bowl against eventual National Champion USC.

Cody's tenacious play earned him numerous All Big 12 and All-American Awards. In both his junior and senior seasons, Cody was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award which honors the NCAA's best defensive end (Both years he lost out to Georgia's David Pollack a certain first round draft pick). He undoubtedly deserves to be mentioned as one of College Football's elite defensive ends the past two years.

Ability- Cody is a blue collar worker. He has a non-stop motor type that refused to give up on any play. He has a knack for making tackles behind the line of scrimmage and has a nose for the opposing quarterback. Since he is so active, he appears to play even faster than his forty times would indicate. He's done a nice job refining his various pass rushing techniques and is at his best when rushing the passer.

On film Cody looks to have good balance with nice bend and leverage. In his lateral movement, he displays the ability to do some of the things you might see out of a linebacker. This is a major plus for him as some teams are likely to project him as an outside linebacker, especially if they are running a 3-4 scheme.

When it comes to the NFL, I don't think that Cody has the size or strength to play defensive end on every down. Most professional offensive tackles should be able to over power him and that would make him a liability against the run. Until he bulks up, Cody will likely be relegated to being third down pass rush specialist for those NFL teams who want to place him at defensive end.

He will likely make his initial mark on the NFL playing special teams as he plays with the reckless abandonment that you look for in a special teams captain.

Forecast- In the NFL, Cody reminds me of Falcons defensive end Patrick Kearney who will make some noise down the road in his NFL career. If Cody had the initial burst of Wisconsin's Erasmus James or the aforementioned David Pollack, he would likely be drafted ahead of both of them. Unfortunately for him teams are looking for an athletic game changer in the first round and many scouts see him as more of an effort guy. Yes, effort will get you drafted in the NFL, just don't expect it to get you drafted in the first round. When it comes down to draft day Cody will likely be drafted in the early to mid second round and that could land him on the Chiefs roster.

Tale of the Tape:
College: Oklahoma
Class: Senior
Position: Defensive End
Birthdate: 12/01/81
Height: 6'5''
Arm Length: 32.5"
Weight: 257lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.75
Bench Press: 355lbs


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