I'm not quite ready to give my final prediction on the Kansas City Chiefs first round pick in the 2011 NFL draft but I will say that I think I'm starting to lean towards an offensive tackle.
That position in the first round is generally a little safer than others and the game in San Diego last year should have shown the Chiefs the importance of keeping QB Matt Cassel healthy and on the field.
There are likely going to be a few options at offensive tackle when the 21st pick comes and I'm not sure the Chiefs can go wrong on any of them. I try to look for the guys that are safe and consistent at what they do. Those words can mean a lot of different things to different people but I think that's generally what the Chiefs are looking for.
I'm not an NFL scout and I'm not going to lie to you and say that I sat down and watched a ton of Big Ten football but Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi is getting a lot of high marks for his college performance. Greg Cosell of NFL Films watches tape all day, every day and here's his quick summary on Carimi:
Carimi is not a top athlete, but rather a workmanlike left tackle that may transition to right tackle in the NFL. He has no glaring flaws in his game, and is consistent play after play. With each game I watched I thought his movement was better.
Safe and consistent would be the words to describe him after reading Cosell's scouting report.
Another offensive tackle that's been on my mind when thinking of who the Chiefs might draft is Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod. He's being considered in the mid-20s to mid-30s range in the NFL draft and I found this quote from Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo to say a lot about who Sherrod is.
"You are not going to get any dirt on Sherrod when you look for it. I always say we are in the dirt business. That's what we're trying to do first, make sure what's underneath that hood. He's impeccable in terms of his citizenship, his work ethic, very intelligent."
Obviously there's a lot more that goes into picking a player than one scouting report or a couple of quotes but I think these show that, if the Chiefs are thinking about offensive tackle, Carimi or Sherrod may be in the picture.
What do you think? Do we put too much emphasis on the "good citizen" part of all this? Are the Chiefs willing to go with a riskier pick that has a higher upside?