If you are one of the many fans, like myself, that didn't believe taking a safety with the #5 pick was smart without having already established other important parts of the defense, like a strong pass rush and/or run defense, then maybe I'm just saying what we are all thinking.
It's fairly understood that Pioli and Co. believed our defense lacked speed in the secondary, having seen passing teams like Philadelphia and Dallas put on aerial clinics against us. It's also fairly understood that passing on an exceptional talent like Eric Berry at #5 (and eventually making him the highest paid safety in NFL history) wasn't something that Pioli and Co. could let happen. Adding him to a secondary that already includes an up-and-comer like Brandon Flowers could be a potent mix of talent in arguably the weakest part of our defense last season.
However, as we've seen over the last two seasons, in the midst of setting the all-time record for least amount of sacks in a season in 2008 and being in the bottom 3 teams in rush defense in both '08 and '09, our secondary may be in a situation that will not allow them to reach their maximum potential, none more so than Eric Berry as a safety.
In viewing comparisons of Eric Berry to other NFL players, the two most commonly made are Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, due to Berry's playmaking ability and tackling/run support talent respectively. One thing that is not brought up very often is that both these players in their prime were a part of very solid all-around defenses that were top 10 perennially in run defense and sacks. It will be very difficult for Berry to realize either of these comparisons in skill if he's asked to do too much because of a lack of the rest of the defense able to pull their weight. I know we all want to see Berry become a dynamic, all time player at his position, but what we all want even more than that is for him to be apart of a great, championship-caliber defense, and at the rate that some of these great safeties suffer injuries, Berry may not last long enough for the Chiefs to establish those other aspects of our defense.
I'm happy he's a Kansas City Chief, but for the money they are paying him now, the Chiefs MUST improve in our pass rush and run stopping much sooner than later, or Berry may just be another wasted top 5 pick that didn't contribute to the overall improvement for his team.