Probably going to get a bit wordy for a mere FanShot, though I considered it... Just been watching some of the combine, off and on, this past week, thinking about the various drills and what they might or might not say about a player. The more those guys on NFLN talk, the more I see how man-love can emerge from the combine and it plays into the hands of a smart GM.
RB: All-around skills most important. This means 8's across the board beats a 10 in speed, if that 10 is less than a 7 in any category. We hit gold with the toughness Jamaal showed in '09, but mustn't let that sway us from sanity. Chiefs invested relatively little in this RB. His heart and toughness
Thunder 'n' Lightning is a wonderful sounding phrase, but if Thunder can't catch a pass in the flat or beat LBs in space or sucks at pass protection, he's worthless. If Lightning can't survive the up-the-gut, he's mostly worthless.
The key, here, is that teams can't just power-up when Thunder's on the field, nor can they just go nickel, when Lightning's on the field. There are a lotta big backs who're looking very good at the combine. Seems like they're continuing the trends I see with WR and TE: Guys want the ball. They don't wanna block.
LB: Intelligence within a fairly wide range of physical measurables. If a team in KC's position is picking LB high in the draft, then they're kinda missing the point. Unless the value really isn't there, I see those 1st-3rd-rounders going for the trenches and corners.
WR: I think KC is a team that can _develop_ WRs, if the WR has it in 'im to be a playah. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see them go with quantity over quantity, drafting lower for upside, and skimmin' the cream off the top, after they've gone through the offseason churning process. I think the struggles of some of the better WRs on teams that weren't otherwise sound suggests that WR is a finishing touch. The rookie WR is more likely to catch the ball outta his breaks if the QB's getting that extra second to set up and throw.
DB: I'm generally OK with Haden in the 1st, if Suh's gone. One thing sticks out in my brain from today's commentary on NFLN and that is Parcells' penchant for picking DBs who are BIG, which is my preference, but it seems like the DBs with size rarely have the speed and quickness to really be shut-down corners. There are more 5'10'' guys who seem to have these traits. And these 5'10'' and 190 lbers appear to be more likely to come up and make the textbook tackle against the run, a trait that can be game-changing.
OL: I'm in the minority when I say that as far as the first 3 rounds are concerned, I'm mostly interested in OTs who can immediately beat O'Callaghan for RT duties. Agree with Steve Chiefs' Potpourri post that G can prob'ly be fixed by continuing to develop the players we have, with some who've been competing at T being thrown into the G sweepstakes.
DE: If Suh falls to the Chiefs, then take him. If Crennel can't build a dominant front 7 based on Jackson, Suh, Dorsey, with Magee, Gilberry and Edwards in the wings, then I'm way off base. Suh would be great trade-bait for either 4-3 or 3-4 teams, and Dorsey would be great trade-bait for 4-3 teams. So you could go in any number of directions, with Suh in hand. You don't make excuses for Dorsey being "pretty good," when your eyes tell you he lacks the power to bull-rush a number of LTs in the league - that's the one thing he can't do as a 3-4 DE, and it's part of the KC sack-drought issue, imo. Championships are built on POWER at the DE spots. Dorsey is a DOMINANT under DT. He's a COMPETENT 3-4 DE, but not exceptional. Plus a taller DE takes that much more pass away with his feet still on the ground. Dorsey has to leave his feet and lose a lot of leverage trying to play up to DE height.
NT: A reach for Williams or a trade-down, followed by a lesser reach for Williams (who projects in the 2nd half of the 1st round) might be optimal for the Chiefs. I know it's crazy, but it's not impossible for KC to grab BOTH Williams AND Cody. Forget FA. Go ahead and grab the top two NT prospects, expecting one to prosper, hoping both will.
OC: Grab the best C available with 2b.
Blah blah blah. It's late and I've already hurt everyone's head.