At this point, after tinkering with a bunch of mocks, here is my October 2009 ideal mock right now.
First, a discussion of my goals:
- I largely throw out best player available because I honestly have no earthly clue who will be the best player available anywhere. The Draft turns into a mad scramble halfway into the second round. So I projected players to a likely round and made my selection.
- This draft is intended to be a meat-and-potatoes draft, designed to make our trenches that much better. Pioli has eight picks -- five of them go to the trenches, both in offensive line (2) and in pass rushers (2).
- All defensive players were selected primarily by their ability to get into the backfield. I believe you can teach defensive players to play the run -- pass-rushing is much harder to learn.
- Even though the biggest holes on this team may be WR and CB following this draft, I know Pioli will be in the FA market for both.
- This draft is pretty solid in the midrounds with passrushers, so I used that to my advantage.
- This draft also has about three players that are insanely fast but incredibly little. They all are prime targets as kick returners, and will likely be available in the 5th.
- As long as this draft is not a massive bust, I will spend the next two drafts focusing on primo WRs and pass rushers.
- I want four immediate starters, at least one additional eventual starter, and a couple consistent contributors. Of these starters, at least a couple have All Pro potential.
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1. S Eric Berry, Tennessee
I prefer Berry over Mays. Mays is a gifted talent much like LaRon Landry is. But like Landry, I worry that he's just a scheme-changer, rather than a team-changer, if that makes any sense. The Chiefs defense can operate more freely thanks to Mays, but there wouldn't be a complete attitude overhaul like there would be with Berry who I view as an Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins leadership type. Great safeties make phenomenal defensive captains, and I see Berry gripping that mantle as aggressively as possible.
2. C Kris O'Dowd, USC
O'Dowd is just made to succeed in the NFL. Of all my picks, this is pie-in-the-sky material, because there's a good chance a team with fewer needs will go with O'Dowd. I think O'Dowd fixes the biggest problem on our OL: the center. Niswanger was smart, but not football smart. O'Dowd is a smart blocker that anchors well, and won't consistently get shoved back into Cassel's face. If O'Dowd is available at the top of the first, I'd put the Chiefs top priority at obtaining him.
I put considerable effort into upgrading the center and tackle positions because we have zero depth there. The guard position is weak too, currently; Waters has had a rough year and our right guard position has been pathetic with Goff struggling and Alleman not doing much better. However the Chiefs have a lot more options at guard than they do at either center or tackle. Colin Brown and Darryl Harris are both players that have potential. Wade Smith can play either position well enough. Ndukwe hasn't even gotten his chance just yet. So the Chiefs have the tools to tinker there.
2. NT Boo Robinson, Wake Forest
I do not believe the Chiefs would benefit too much from a two-down NT. The best NTs in this league are able to go three downs and are athletic enough to make noise in the backfield, not just anchor well. Robinson is an unusual talent, in that he's nearly 330 lbs and still athletic enough to get into the backfield -- really, he reminds me a bit of BJ Raji. Robinson is not going to be a block of granite type, but he will definitely occupy blockers.
3. OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Carimi is just a beast of a man (6'8", 320+) and is a renouned run blocker who is swift enough to protect against speedier rushers. I'm not saying he's swift -- he's swift enough. Carimi would start today at right tackle.
4. OLB Dexter Davis, Arizona State
Davis is a pure passrusher, that seems to be all he does. And the Chiefs are shopping for pin-your-ears back types in the midrounds. Davis would be the best of the bunch. A decorated history in the Pac 10 of beating really good offensive lines for double-digit sacks every year. Davis is a lunchpail guy.
5. OLB Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Washington
Te'o-Nesheim's production has also be consistently good in the very tough Pac 10. I think he's less likely than Davis to breakout, but this is another guy who does nothing else well other than get into the backfield. Could be a pure sack specialist?
5. WR/KR Brandon Banks, Kansas State
Banks is the speed demon I think this team should invest in in the 5th round. The Chiefs need a great kick returner, and the tiny Banks sports 4.2 speed with a 30+ yard kick return average. The rules changing on kick returns means pure athleticism and speed is more important than ever. Banks will pay for himself after a few years of solid returning.
5. RB Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State
A player like Dixon will be a must once LJ is released. Free agency always has a couple guys who can fill in, but if the athletic, 240 lb. Dixon survives this far, the Chiefs would be doing themselves a favor by grabbing him. Charles and Williams will be leading the rushing attack next year, and the Chiefs could use a big guy with a fullback's body who can plow through short-yardage situations.
The new-look Chiefs, assuming everything else stays the same:
QB: Cassel, Croyle, Gutierrez
RB: Charles, Williams, Dixon
WR: Bowe, Bradley, Wade, Long, Lawrence
TE: Ryan, O'Connell, Cottam
LT: Albert, Ndukwe
LG: Waters, Smith
C: O'Dowd, Smith
RG: Brown, Harris
RT: Carimi, Richardson
DE: Dorsey, Magee
NT: Robinson, Edwards
DE: Jackson, Gilberry
OLB: Hali, Davis
ILB: Johnson, Mays
ILB: Williams, Belcher
OLB: Vrabel, Te'o-Nesheim
CB: Flowers, Carr, Leggett, Washington
S: Berry, Brown, McGraw, Morgan
PR: Wade <!-- / message -->