Eric Fisher to protect Chiefs QB Alex Smith, one side or the other


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NEW YORK — Nobody could be happier with Kansas City drafting Eric Fisher than newly acquired quarterback Alex Smith.

The Chiefs could possibly have both tackle positions solidified heading into training camp, depending on what happens with current left tackle Branden Albert.

Kansas City placed the franchise tag on Albert earlier this off-season, but he is still searching for a new contract, and it appears the Chiefs are willing to trade him.

But, whatever happens, Smith should be excited to have Fisher protecting the edge-rush, especially after former Central Michigan offensive tackle and San Francisco 49er Joe Staley pleaded his case to Smith on why Fisher should be No. 1.

Fisher has also been the beneficiary of Staley’s guidance throughout the draft process.

“Joe Staley has been a huge mentor for me,” Fisher said. “He’s someone that’s been there and done that.  He’s just played in the Super Bowl, so you really can’t do much more than that.”

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If they do decide to trade Albert, Fisher will likely fill the left tackle position. If not, Fisher will likely man the right side.

Fisher’s rise to the top has been nothing but extraordinary.

Despite being a three-year starter, he did not receive any prestigious individual accolades until his senior season.

Earning First-Team All-MAC honors, Second-Team All-America by SI.com and Third-Team All-America by the Associated Press began to put him on the map, along with a bowl victory over Western Kentucky in December.

He was initially thought of as a first-round selection after his senior season, but, after a dominant performance at the Senior Bowl in January, scouts were beginning to project him as a top-10 pick.

His showing at the NFL Combine put him in the discussion to be the top overall pick, bettering his main competition for first overall and eventual No. 2 selection, left tackle Luke Joeckel, in three of the six drills. They tied in two others.

Now, he will go up against some of the best defensive ends in the league.

“There are a lot of great defensive ends in this league,” Fisher said. “They’re so athletic, so fast.  That’s just going to push me harder and push me to be a better player.  There are just so many names out there that I hoped to get the opportunity one day to play against them, and I now get that opportunity.”

The Chiefs have not taken an offensive tackle in the first round since they drafted Albert 15th overall in 2008.


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