Your 2009 Rumor Riser: Tyson Jackson

Every year a rumor emerges in the days leading up to the NFL draft that sends all the talking heads in the media into an absolute frenzy.

This year’s rumor? LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson moving into the top 10, no wait, the top 5! Wait! Late word is that the Lions have scratched their choice of Matthew Stafford and are now taking Jackson with the top overall pick!

A month ago, Jackson was projected to go in the top 20, but no higher than No. 13 to Washington. Scouts dumped on his pass-rushing ability, but said he would be a nice addition to a team that needed a big-bodied run-stuffer on their defensive line.

But just less than a week ago, the National Football Post ran a story that the Chiefs were reportedly “in love” with Jackson and could take him No. 3 overall. Then Gil Brandt of the New York Daily News wrote that Jackson’s stock was rising and that KC was “smitten” with the defensive end. Now, fading (and I do mean fading) draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has the Chiefs slated to take Jackson in his latest mock draft.

How did Jackson go from an unspectacular prospect to a legit top 5 pick? The reason is because some feel as though Jackson is the only true 3-4 end available in the first round and with so many teams switching to that scheme, he has become a prized commodity.

I’m not ruling out the possibility of the Chiefs taking Jackson at No. 3 because quite frankly, you can’t rule out anything at this point. But if the Rams take offensive tackle Jason Smith at No. 2, which is a reasonable assumption, are we to believe Kansas City GM Scott Pioli will really pass on top linebacker prospect Aaron Curry? The same Aaron Curry who some feel is the best prospect in the entire draft? The same Aaron Curry who could feel a need for a rebuilding defense in KC?

As previously noted, every year it seems that a prospect comes out of nowhere and it usually turns out that the media made a mountain out of a molehill. Last year around this time, Sedrick Ellis was supposed to unseat Glenn Dorsey as the top defensive tackle taken off the board. But when the draft unfolded, Dorsey came off the board first, as he was projected to do before the rumor mill started to churn.

Teams have been scouting the draft for months and if Jackson is high on the Chiefs’ boards now, he was probably high on their board a couple weeks ago too. He didn’t just magically shoot up everyone’s boards the past couple days as Kiper or some of these other media outlets would have suggest. And because of that, I almost think that the Jackson rumors are just that – rumors, and that the Chiefs will take Curry and Jackson will slide anywhere from No. 9 to No. 13.

Either way, if the Chiefs do take Jackson at No. 3 and pass on Curry, I would be absolutely shocked if he made it past the Browns at No. 5. And if the Browns pass on Curry at No. 5 and don’t trade down, then my head will explode from the mass confusion.

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