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Saturday, April 27, 2013
Kansas City Chiefs find inside linebacker

By Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs added a need piece in the form of Alabama inside linebacker Nico Johnson with the second pick of the fourth round Saturday.

Johnson, a high-character leader on a national championship team, theoretically could compete to start as a rookie. The Chiefs have several players in mind to start along with three Pro Bowl players in their 3-4 linebacking crew. But Johnson has to be given a shot.

He was a productive college player and he comes from the premier college defensive program. He is instinctive and tough. Even if Johnson isn’t an immediate starter, I see this as a good long-term choice.

Meanwhile, there was speculation Kansas City might use the No. 99 pick on USC quarterback Matt Barkley. But the Eagles moved ahead of the Chiefs in a trade with the Jaguars and took Barkley with the No. 98 pick, the first of the fourth round. If the Eagles end up getting rid of quarterback Nick Foles, perhaps former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid will be interested in bringing Foles to the Chiefs. Will it happen? Who knows, but it’s worth monitoring.