Bernard Pollard Brings Tackling Credentials

The Chiefs' goal going into the NFL draft was to bring a new attitude to the defense. Just like first-round pick Tamba Hali, Purdue safety Bernard Pollard brings a hard-hitting, play-making style to a team that sorely needs it.

Bernard Pollard's bio describes him as "blue collar." That speaks volumes to head coach Herman Edwards. Pollard also improves the defense in an area where the Chiefs have performed poorly the last three seasons. "He can tackle," said Edwards of his new player.

Pollard is a tackling machine. In his three-year career at Purdue he had 254 tackles (64 solo) with three interceptions. He does not have blazing speed, but he can get to the ball and he knows how to wrap up running backs.

He's also a standout special teams player. Pollard blocked three punts and five kicks over the course of his Big Ten career. The Chiefs have not had a player like that since Albert Lewis.

Edwards wasn't the only Chiefs coach beaming over Kansas City's second pick. "I can tell you the third happiest guy in the building is Gunther Cunningham," said Carl Peterson.

Pollard compared his game to elite NFL safeties like Roy Williams, Brian Dawkins and Sean Taylor.

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Pollard is one who seems confident he can make the jump to the NFL and one who feels he can play either safety position.

"I can play both," Pollard said. "I played strong safety all career through Purdue. I will play whatever they want me to play. Greg Wesley is a great safety. I look forward to playing with him and a lot of other guys. Sammy Knight is there, a great safety. I look forward to listening to that man and moving on."

Warpaint Illustrated Scouting Report:
Pollard moved into the starting lineup as a freshman and earned All-Conference honors every year. He led the team in tackles as a junior, posting 92 after recording a career-high 96 tackles as a sophomore.

Pollard is a strong, run-defending safety with marginal ball skills. He's quick to sniff out the play, flashes on the scene and has a burst of closing speed. He defeats blocks on his way to the action and takes good angles. He has some skill in zone coverage.

Pollard is not effective in deep center field. He lacks decisive moves in reacting to the pass and is slow laterally.

Pollard is a traditional strong safety who may fit in as a weak-side linebacker in certain schemes. He has a good ratio of size and speed, and should flourish in a scheme that reduces his lateral area assignments

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