From the FanPosts. Bumped up the time to now. -Joel
Well, the 2010 draft is in the books. As usual, there were plenty of surprises. Some of you are excited and some of you are not. I've tried to provide a little perspective for you, in this, your post draft glass of.....
I know the draft has brought AP some new members that may not be familiar with my "Kool Aid" perspective on things. If you are really interested, you can check out my original post The Kool Aid Drinkers Manifesto. I'll summarize the main point as this. I try and focus on the positives when it comes to the Chiefs.
I'm not in denial when it comes to some of our problems, but because I am so obsessed with the Chiefs, I can't focus all my thoughts and energy on what's wrong. I'd go crazy. I think there are logical, well thought out reasons to have hope for the future of our franchise. Many choose to label anyone who looks at these positives as a "Kool Aid Drinker". I got tired of fighting that stereo type so I decided to own it. So in my Kool Aid posts I try to point out some of these positive things for my fellow AP readers who like me live and die by this team.
Alright, let's get on with things. Here is my 2010 draft glass of Kool Aid.
Man, that picture makes me a very happy Porkchop.
For me personally, just drafting Eric Berry makes this draft a "win". However, I know there are some of you who did not like the idea of drafting a safety at number five overall. So let me just make a couple points for you before I move on to the other picks.
First, the number one reason I am so excited we went with Eric Berry is because I am hoping we don't draft in the top five again for a very long time. Let me explain what I mean. We have drafted in the top five picks three years in a row. In the two previous drafts we had three total first round picks. We spent those picks on a DT, OT, and a 3-4 DE. I like all three of those players. Games in the NFL (as many of you like to point out) usually come down to who wins the battle at the line of scrimmage, so we were smart to invest in the trenches. However, teams that win the Super Bowl do more then just control the line of scrimmage. They also have dynamic, game changing, elite talent (AKA - Superstars). Over the last few years our team has had an extreme lack of these kind of players. If we had drafted in the top five three years in a row and not come away with a single one of these players it would of been a missed opportunity. Yes, you can find these players later in the draft, but there are only a few players coming out of college each year that are considered a safe bet to become that type of player.
That leads me to my second point.
Almost everyone thinks Eric Berry is one of those special players. Even the "experts" that didn't like the idea of drafting a safety that high, still thought Berry was as close to a lock as a player coming out of college can be to being "that guy". Even the "experts" that had us picking Bulaga at five thought that Berry was the better player. We didn't reach for a guy that people thought talent wise, was a mid rounder. We picked a guy that was rated in the top 2-4 players on almost every single board out there. You can also make an argument that safety was probably one of our worst positions, talent wise, on our roster. I love this pick.
Now, I could go through each pick in this much detail, but others have already done a pretty good job of this in the last couple days. So instead I'll just give a quick thought on what I like about each pick and then I'll get to the bigger picture.
Dexter McCluster - We've all heard about his crazy play making ability, but for all you that were wanting Terrence Cody with that pick think about this, McCluster is 5'9" and 170 lbs. Cody is listed now as 6'4" and 354 lbs. Let's compare their bench press numbers. Keep in mind the bench press reps are at 225 lbs. That's 55 lbs. more then McCluster weighs and almost 130 lbs less then Cody weighs. McCluster did 20 reps and Cody did 22. Just think about that for a second.
Javier Arenas - Okay, we all like the fact that he is a stud kick returner. The major complaint about this pick people have is that we needed other positions more since we already have Flowers and Carr at CB. One thing that stuck out to me at the post draft press conference that Haley and Pioli did was that they said the nickel corner is on the field for 50-60% of the defensive snaps in today's NFL. Last year we were running out guys like Mike Richardson and Travis Daniels at that spot and they were getting torched. This was a major position of need and the kick return ability is just icing on the cake.
Jon Asamoah - Everyone already loves this pick so its easy to sell. I'll add this, Asamoah is said to have a nasty streak which is great in an offensive linemen. However, it seems like most of the "nasties" tend to be the big mauler types. Asamoah is very agile and scouts across the board said he would be good in a zone blocking scheme. Finding a guard that has size, mobility for zone blocking, and a nasty streak is a steal in the third round.
Tony Moeaki - Is a gamble, I admit it. I understand people being pissed that we gave up a pick for a guy with a lot of injury problems in the past. That's a fair complaint. However, none of these injuries were major ones that will have a lasting effect on his career. If he does stay healthy he will be our starting TE, possibly as soon as week one. That's not too bad for the late third round.
Kendrick Lewis - If this guy just ends up as a dependable back up and a great special teamer then you are getting your money's worth out of a fifth round pick. If he turns into a starter then you just hit a home run.
Cameron Sheffield - We need pass rush help. If Romeo can just coach this guy up enough to come in on third downs and blitz opposite Hali then we're in good shape.
Now let's really get to the big picture and the heart of the draft debate.
Many of us have taken to the mantra "In Pioli We Trust". But should we? Is this guy riding the coat tails of Parcells and Bellichick? Does he know how to build a great team on his own?
I still think so. The question many of you have coming out of this draft is "How could he not draft a.....(fill in position, or positions, of choice from NT, ILB, OLB, and OT)?" Now let me see if I can give you an answer to that key question. I'll use NT for my defense, but you could insert any position of your choosing. I don't think the fact that Pioli didn't draft a NT means he doesn't see it as a vital position, or even that he is content with the current NTs on our roster. I think it means he didn't see a NT on the board that he liked when we made our picks. Remember, Pioli is not going to sacrifice the long term for the short term. We learned last year that he has his eyes set on a long term consistent winner not taking a short cut to a couple more wins right now. So why draft a NT you don't believe in when there are players on the board that you think will be part of the future of this team. If he thought the NTs on the board would just be a temporary fix and he'd have to draft (or sign) another one down the road before that position was up to his standard then the pick sets us back in the long run even if it would help in the short term. If McCluster turns out to be the play maker they think he is, he can be part of the future. Arenas could be our nickel back and kick returner for a long time. Asamoah and Moeaki will have a chance to start for this team. They filled needs with players they liked and believed in for the future. It's not game over for the other positions. It just means they'll keep looking.
We found two starters on the waiver wire last year (Chambers and O'Callaghan). If we can find one or two more this year we will just keep getting better. That is what Pioli and company are trying to do. Fill this roster with better and better players at all the positions. I'm guessing that they know that they have to stop the run better. I'm guessing they know they need to blitz the QB better. I'm guessing they don't want to give up 45 sacks again this season. I don't think they're done trying to improve those areas. But when they looked at their draft board this last weekend the players they really felt good about weren't in those areas. They wouldn't compromise to fill a hole and as a result pass on a guy they believed in.
Here's what I know. The Chiefs thought McCluster would help this offense more then Golden Tate. They have Tate's college coach as the OC and they passed on him to take Run DMC (I love that nickname). That's enough for me. The Chiefs didn't think Cam Thomas could help this team. They had every chance to pick the guy up and didn't want to. I could keep going but you get the idea. They got the guys they thought would help this team the most both this year AND in the long run.
Ultimately, no one knows if this draft was a win or a failure. We won't know in training camp. We may not even know by the end of this coming season. I feel good about things, but me saying this draft was a total success is just as much of a guess as those saying already that it was a disaster. Let's let it play out on the field instead of judging things based on our amateur opinions, "expert" rankings, and just off of what positions were and weren't drafted. Until we know for sure, I plan on focusing on the positives. That's why I'm a "Kool Aid Drinker". I'm really enjoying the 2010 Chiefs Draft Kool Aid (after all it is "Berry" flavored) and I hope you will give it a taste.