There are quite a few mock drafts that have us taking Bulaga at 5. The reasoning of these outsiders is the Ferentz connection as well as Pioli's track record of favoring positional value in the 1st round over a BPA strategy. He did it when he was in New England, however they were usually drafting in the bottom 3rd where reaches aren't as evident as they are in the top 5. Many Chiefs fans, myself included, believe this scenario is unlikely for one of two reasons. First, the only justification you should have in taking an offensive lineman top 5 is if you plan on him being your franchise LT and many fans believe he is already on the roster. Second, the offensive line has been a priority this offseason with the signings of Weigman and Lilja. But, is Pioli high on Albert like we are and are we looking into those two signings too much? Lets examine after the jump.
One of the mock drafts that has us taking Bulaga is one of the best draft sites on the internet: Walterfootball.com. Walter's logic for the pick is the same reasoning I laid out above. Now, I decided to e-mail Walter because I wanted to tell him that I thought his picks were out of touch and also tell him to lay off a few jabs he likes to give the Chiefs during his picks. Here is the e-mail:
Hey man, I love your site. I go to it multiple times a week. I love mock drafts and trying to predict how things are going to shape out. That being said, I think you are a little out of touch with the KC regime. I agree that Eric Berry is not the favorite at 5, but I can't see us drafting Bulaga.
We brought in two interior lineman (Weigman and Lilja) in the offseason, which leads me to believe that they aren't going to move Albert. Albert just doesn't make sense as a right tackle. If anything we would move him to LG and we have Waters and now Lilja.
Also, Pioli hasn't ever drafted offensive lineman early. Matt Light was his highest pick in the 2nd round. I'm thinking its going to be another defensive lineman. They seem pretty high on Dorsey, but I wouldn't put it past them to draft Suh and or McCoy if they fall to 5 and then try to move Glenn on the 2nd day of the draft. McCoy may be more unlikely, but I think he can play a 5-technique.
Also, they could do something insane like trade up w/ Tampa for their 2b and a swap in the 1st for Dorsey. Tampa could then trade the 5th pick to Denver for Marshall. And if all else fails they might reach for Dan Williams. They did the same for Tyson Jackson. Anyway, thats my two cents.
And would you get off the Pollard band wagon, please! That guy missed so many tackles and got burned in coverage constantly. He was also resistent to the coaches. I didn't see him play, but a couple of games this year. I don't know if he got scarred after we cut him, no teams were making offers, and he decided he better shape up or his NFL career was over. I can't imagine that he is leaps and bounds better.
Also, give Cassel a break! The guy had no running game the first half of the season, was contantly getting knocked on his ass, and had a WR corp that almost set an NFL record for dropped passes. It was pathetic.
I don't why you have Aaron Hernandez in the 3rd round, but I hope we can pick him up as well as Andre Roberts of the Citadel. With JC in our backfield and two more reliable weapons for Cassel, I think he will have a good season. The defense will still be a work in progress no matter what. But, I really like the direction we are going.
This is what Walter wrote back:
I'm glad you like the site and thanks for the e-mail. I appreciate it.
Casey Wiegmann and Ryan Lilja will have no impact on this draft. Wiegmann signed a 1-year deal. He's 37 years old and will be a backup only. Ryan Lilja was cut by the Colts after failing a physical with them. If anything, these guys were smokescreens, much like Tampa with Byron Leftwich last year.
Pioli has never had to take a lineman high because he's always had a solid line put together. Pioli is big on positional value.
I can't see another defensive lineman - maybe Dan Williams. But they have too much money invested in their 3-4 ends, and I don't think anyone would want to trade for Glenn Dorsey.
Walter isn't too impressed with the recent signings and the only door he left open was for Dan Williams. I think this e-mail, more than anything, exposed my bias for my for team. Lets not forget the only reason we got Lilja is because he was released. I think he will work out, but I don't think Pioli is putting too much stock into these signings and is going to assume that the offensive line is still in shambles and needs to be fixed, early. A light bulb went off in my head yesterday conerning their reported interest in Bulaga. Remember that headline at the combine: the Chiefs LOVE Bryan Bulaga. Have we ever seen that kind of talk concerning Berry or Dan Williams?
Many will say that it is all one big smokescreen. I don't think this is the case. I think they are gradually leaking signs of interest so this pick has a soft landing come April. Meaning, I think they are trying to warm the fanbase up to this pick. Remember last year when we all pretty much knew who the Chiefs were taking. They intentionally gave a wink, wink to the press that they were taking Tyson Jackson. They did this so fans would not be shocked. I think they are doing the same here. Its the same scenario as last year. A building block player versus a sexy pick in Berry. My prediction now is that we will take Buluga at 5, possibly trade up for Cody, and then proceed to give Weiss play makers on offense. The later rounds will be used for defensive projects for Crennel to groom.
Now, I don't think the Chiefs have set this in stone by any stretch. They are probably still open to taking someone else or do what they really want and trade down. However, I think they are laying the ground work for this pick and have already sub consciously convinced themselves that Buluga should be the pick. Or I could be way off base, but we will all know come April.
Like I said, not the sexiest pick in the draft. But, I think he is techniquely sound, is very athletic, and is in the mold of what Pioli looks for in between the ears. Check out Walter's recent post concerning our 5th pick. He rehashes the Peter King analysis and gives his own take.