I've had nearly a day to digest the moves Pioli and Haley made on draft day and while my initial reaction was that of disappointment, I think I'm beginning to understand what really happened from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon. In one draft, the Kansas City Chiefs changed the entire tone of this football team.
The Chiefs looked helpless at times last season and seemed to be overachieving in each of their wins (except for maybe the complete dismantling of the Denver Broncos to end the season). When you look at the 2009 season, you see a team that was absolutely overwhelmed by the competition in the majority of their games. It took the emergence of Jammal Charles to give even the biggest homer a feeling that the Chiefs could score points on any given defense.
That changed this weekend. The 2010 Chiefs will be on the warpath. This will be an attacking team in all 3 phases of the game.
By loading up on playmakers in the secondary, the Chiefs now have the ability to blitz at will. The addition of Eric Berry gives the Chiefs a presence in the secondary that will have an immediate impact versus the run and pass. The same could be said with Javier Arenas, who was considered the best blitzing DB in all of college football. Arenas is a good tackler who will also help against the run.
On offense, the Chiefs added an absolute terror in Dexter McCluster. Go to YouTube right now and watch highlight reels on this kid! Can you imagine the stress that opposing D-Coordinators will be going through trying to figure out how to account for Charles AND McCluster on the field together?? Something tells me Dewayne Bowe is going to have a great year. Tony Moeaki, if anything, has sure hands and is a good blocker. He's an instant upgrade to our TE group. While not a very good comparison, I can't help but remember how much Jason Dunn helped our running game. Moeaki can contribute in BOTH phases of offense. Jon Asamoah was a steal. He recorded 267 pancake blocks at Illinois. How many pancake blocks did any of the Chiefs O-linemen deliver in 2009?
With Arenas, the Chiefs added the best kick/punt returner in all of college football. This is a no-brainer pick that will obviously improve our secondary, but consider our 5th round additions. Kendrick Lewis helps our special teams in a couple of different ways. At best, he wins a starting safety spot allowing Jon McGraw to focus exclusively on special teams. At worst, Lewis can help our kick return coverage. The same could be said for Cameron Sheffield. While he may eventually find his way on the field on passing downs as a pass rusher, Sheffield could see a lot of time on kick return coverage.
Perhaps more important than what each player brings to his position is the character of each and every one of these picks. Whenever you can draft a player that not only has the talent to succeed in the NFL, but also possesses the work ethic to maximize his potential, consider it a HUGE win. Each player in the Chiefs 2010 draft is a solid character guy. This is a group of rookies that will come in and instantly become leaders in the locker room setting examples with their work ethic and accountability. Eric Berry was penalized one time in college. ONE TIME!! It was a pass interference call when he was a freshmen. He vowed never to hurt his team like that again. That is accountability! The majority of these guys were voted team captains. That says a lot about how their teammates viewed their leadership.
Whether you liked this draft or hated it, you are going to see a different Chiefs team in 2010. This is not going to be a team that gets run over on a regular basis. This is not going to be a team that overachieves just to stay in the game. This is a team that will be coming after the opponent on each and every play. Does that mean the Chiefs will win the division? Does that mean the Chiefs are a Super Bowl contender? Not necessarily, we'll have to see when the season is over. But make no mistake, there is a different mindset at Arrowhead this year. They've spent the last few seasons taking punishment. In 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs will be dishing it out!
Dexter Mccluster short career Highlight Vid (via GHANABLACKSTARS1232)