The board had set up well for the Chiefs as their pick neared in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday.

The top-rated quarterbacks had gone high, and thanks to handful of other unforeseen picks, the Chiefs were sitting at No. 23 with two players ― USC receiver Marqise Lee and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard ― ripe for the taking.

However, the Chiefs didn’t take either skill player, both of whom would give immediate boosts to units that struggled at times last season. Instead they chose Auburn outside linebacker Dee Ford, a move that even left the loquacious pass rusher speechless when the Chiefs staff called to congratulate him.

“I’m very personable, I’m not quiet, I do speak my mind, but I was definitely speechless,” Ford said. “I was so speechless. I honestly don’t even remember the words they said. I think I was passed out.”

Like Lee and Dennard, the 6-foot-2, 252-pound Ford has some durability concerns. But unlike those two, Ford is a pass rusher, which obviously appealed to the sensibilities of Chiefs coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, both of whom have shown a first-round predilection toward men who can protect the quarterback and men who can get after the quarterback.

“He has a unique ability to rush the passer, and in today’s National Football League, with the way the game has increased in speed, it gives you another pass-rushing component,” Dorsey said. “Everybody knows when you can rush the passer, it makes the back seven look a little bit better.”

And in Ford, Reid said, the Chiefs are getting a high-energy player who can do just that, someone who can immediately help them get after a quarterback in a division where they’re tasked with facing the likes of Denver’s Peyton Manning and San Diego’s Philip Rivers twice a year.