The more I look at NFL history and the picks most likely to fall at the top of this upcoming draft, the more I'm convinced there's not one "must have" player for the Chiefs at number five. That's not to say that there aren't future Hall of Famers, Pro Bowlers or superstars in this draft. On the contrary, the early looks of several guys have me salivating to see them in a Chiefs uniform for a long time. And with several early draft picks, we're likely to pick up some real gems (or here's hoping).
But what I mean to say is: look at the playoff teams left and the players that have taken them there. Everyone is talking up Darrelle Revis and rightfully so. His ability to single-handedly counter a team's best wide receiver is mindblowing and he's still so young. The Jets are riding Revis' ability straight to the second round and doing so with a rookie quarterback. So perhaps that means a super-shutdown corner like Florida's Joe Haden is the way to go.
Yet one look at the Steelers recent triumphs places safety Troy Polamalu squarely in the spotlight. The recognizable hair and all-out playing style seemed to catapult the Steelers straight to the Super Bowl. With that in mind, you'd think a safety like Eric Berry is worthy of the top five pick and would be ideal for the Chiefs.
More after the jumpThen again, think of the recent Super Bowl champion New York Giants roster. They largely won with their much-celebrated defensive line and it's incredible talent and depth. They could rush the passer from either side and continued to put fresh bodies in on third down and late in the game. The games are often won in the trenches, so what if the Chiefs could trade up for Ndamukong Suh. After all, even with several high picks on the d-line, the addition of Suh would surely put us over the top in dominating the defensive front.
Then again, protecting the QB has to be priority one after getting a QB and that's exactly what we did last year with the Matt Cassel addition. Therefore Russell Okung is a logical choice and a safe bet for our top five pick. Most have us picking Okung for a reason and the Chiefs could certainly use better pass protection.
The bottom line is that you can make a case for many players. Yet each year, the team at the top usually wins in all kinds of ways - from St. Louis' powerful offenses under Mike Martz to the dominating defense of the teams above. It's not about drafting a certain kind of player, but instead having coaches who can make the players that you do have prosper. So no matter who we choose, it's really about having guys like Todd Haley, Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel get those players into the right schemes and positions.