Chiefs sign second-round pick, strong safety Pollard

Updated: July 21, 2006, 2:42 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Kansas City Chiefs on Friday reached a contract agreement with second-round draft choice Bernard Pollard, a safety from Purdue, ESPN.com has confirmed.

The 54th player chosen overall, Pollard will sign a four-year contract worth about $3 million. The deal includes $1.3 million-$1.4 million in guarantees and minimum base salaries.

A big-hitting strong safety, at his best when playing close to the line of scrimmage, Pollard impressed the Kansas City coaching staff in spring workouts and could push veteran Sammy Knight for the starting job in training camp. Under new head coach Herm Edwards, the Chiefs are installing more Cover 2 looks, and Pollard is well suited for the strong safety position in that alignment.

In 36 appearances for the Boilermakers, Pollard started all but one game, and he finished his career with 254 tackles, one sack, four interceptions, nine passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two recoveries. Pollard was also a special teams star, blocking five kicks in three seasons, four of them in 2004.

Pollard runs well for his size (6-feet-1½, 224 pounds), but he still needs plenty of work on his coverage techniques. But he's got a solid frame, moves well to the ball, gathers himself and then explodes into tackles. He is a very instinctive player against the run, and can be an intimidating presence in that part of the game, and is quick enough to run upfield with tight ends.

Kansas City has now reached agreements with four of its seven draft choices. Among the unsigned picks is first-round defensive end Tamba Hali, but negotiations with the representatives for the former Penn State star have been progressing steadily.

Pollard is only the eighth player in the second round to complete a contract. Although the pace of signings has picked up this week, as anticipated, just 17 choices in the first three rounds had come to terms on their rookie deals as of early Friday afternoon.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.