I've been thinking lately on, not who I'd pick at 5, but who would Scott Pioli draft. Eric Berry is the fan favourite around here, but would Pioli pick him? Will he stubornly reach in the draft again for a player like Terrence Cody? Will he like Rolando McClain's leadership qualities so much that he picks him, despite his low positional value? Question's that require us to enter into the realm of genius known as Scott Pioli. (Sorry to whoever has that as their sig, I had to say it)
Firstly, to understand who Pioli will pick, it would be smart to look at his his first round picks while he was with the New England Patriots.
2001 6) Richard Seymour DE
2002 21) Daniel Graham TE
2003 13) Ty Warren DE
2004 21) Vince Wilfork NT
2005 32) Logan Mankins OG
2006 21) Laurence Maroney RB
2007 24) Brandon Merriweather DB
2008 10) Jerod Mayo LB
Now, does any of that matter? Maybe. Maybe not. His first selection for the chiefs suggests he may be going the same as with the patriots. Will he select a TE? Almost definetly not. So of the 7 positions he has selected in the first round before, 4 could be considered needs. TE, NT, DB, and LB. Conventional wisdom suggests Pioli will not select a TE at 5. But it also suggests that picking DB and ILB at 5 wouldn't be appropriate. But we know Pioli wont necessarily follow conventional wisdom. Just ask Tyson Jackson.
Then there is the LT pick that many "experts" seem fond of. Now the chiefs already have a first round pick invested in the LT position in Brandon Albert. Many are labeling Albert a probable bust. While LT isn't an attractive position, it is an important one. Todd Haley has said that Albert is part of their future, so it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Brian Waters has said it would be "ridiculous" to move Albert to another position. So will the opinion of the head coach and the most experienced player on the chiefs OL sway Pioli? Surely, he would take that into consideration. Considering this, the fact Pioli has never drafted a LT in the first round, and the fact he has shown strong interest in a tackle like Vladimeer Ducasse who is a clear second round pick, the fact Pioli hasn't shown serious interest in any of the LT prospects in the first round. All that and it becomes clear Pioli has no interest in drafting a LT in the first.
Now onto another popular pick, Eric Berry. The chiefs have not adressed the S position through FA. This suggests Pioli plans to solve that problem through the draft. Pioli has said he doesn't the idea of drafting safeties in the top 5 picks. If he doesn't it seems strange he had Romeo Crennel, the teams defensive coordinator, run Berry's drills at his pro day. Even stranger is that the chiefs top CB, Brandon Flowers, has been personally training with Eric Berry. What about Pioli bringing in Berry for a private workout. Clearly Pioli has some interest in Berry. Is it enough for him to draft him with the 5th pick?
The other possibility at number 5 is Rolando McClain, the best ILB in the draft. McClain possesses great leadership qualities on the field. He's an ILB from the NCAA football champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide. No one denies his leadership qualities. What some people have questioned is:
1) His Crohn's Disease (I personally see no problem)
2) He has a tendency to tackle high. Not the best way to tackle
3) His ability to get to the QB without a big space eater like NT Terrence Cody
Could Pioli try get the double-whammy and draft both McClain and Cody? He has shown interest in both. Does Pioli think he can perform without Cody?
But will Pioli again reach in the draft like he did last year with Tyson Jackson? NT is arguably the most important position in a 3-4 defence and the biggest draft need for the chiefs. Unfortunatly, there is no NT that fits the bill at number 5. Or is there? Could Pioli see great potential in Terrence Cody. Roughly there are around 5 teams in the first round that would be interested in drafting a NT. Those are Arizona, Baltimore, San Diego, Denver, and Kansas City. Unfortunately, there are only 2 first round NTs, Cody and Dan Williams. Pioli has shown no interest in Williams, but seems to like Cody. chiefs fans know that Todd Haley doesn't like fat, unfit players. Last year he didn't like the fitness level of players like Brandon Albert and Brian Waters, and made them get fit. Will Cody be able to get the Todd Haley tick of approval? Or will Haley have to put Cody through the "Todd Haley Conditioning Program"?
With those things in mind I present you with the player Scott Pioli will pick at 5...
Pioli has to be intent on drafting him when he brings him in for a private workout, has the team's defensive coordinator run his pro day drills, has his number 1 CB privately training with him, and has not re-signed one of his starting safeties, Mike Brown.
Failing Berry being there at number 5, expect Pioli to pick Rolando McClain. All other players will get consideration, but ultimately it comes down Berry and McClain. Pioli chooses Berry over McClain because...
1) Berry is overall the better player
2) The chiefs have no good players at the safety position
3) Demorrio Williams and Derrick Johnson are serviceable at ILB
Well there you go AP. Thoughts?