A quick look at any of the draft threads will make it readily apparent who is the clear fan favorite is this year. Decastro mania is rampant. David Decastro is a great prospect one of the best interior lineman to come out in recent years, he seems to be as close to a sure thing as it gets. In the wake of Decastro mania though, many are overlooking another prospect who has many of the same credentials. The fact is there are two elite interior O-lineman in this years draft, two prospects who are head and shoulders above the rest. The fact is there isn't as big of a gap between these two as many like to imply.
Let look at a scouting report for each prospect:
Prospect 1: (6'5" 213lbs) One of the most dominant OG prospect we’ve ever had the pleasure of scouting…plays with that nasty mentality that you just have to love in an offensive line prospect…looks to finish his blocks on every play…very athletic and is the lead blocker on almost every outside run or screen pass Stanford ran this year…locates well on the move and looks to just destroy his target once he locates them…very strong at the point of attack…anchors well and does not give up any ground…stays balanced with good footwork and does not give over extended…does a good job passing off rushers to his OC and OT…head on a constant swivel when blocking in space always looking for next player to hit…unreal awareness for sensing the delay blitz and picking it up.
Prospect 2: (6'4" 315 lbs) Elite size and bulk for a center – Fantastic blocker when on the move, finds his targets quickly – Moves exceptionally well for his size – Very effective in combo blocks – Resets well after initial punch – Excels on the second level, picking off linebackers – Runs the screen play very well.
Prospect 1 is David Decastro, Prospect 2 is Peter Konz. Many have, wrongly, pigeonholed Konz as strictly a center. Konz played center at Wisconsin but is just as good of a guard prospect as he is at center.
Now let's look at Scott Pioli and his draft tendencies. Two things stand out when we think about Scott Pioli and the draft: first is that draft picks are highly valued and trading back for extra picks is always stressed, second versatility is key.
First lets look at versatility. It's no secret that Pioli likes versatile players. When it comes to interior linemen this same trend holds true. The first O-lineman drafted during the Pioli era was a guard from Illinois by the name of Jon Asamoah. Asamoah was a guard in college but was widely reported to be capable of playing center in the league as well. In his first year he got practice reps at center in addition to his time at guard. The second interior lineman of the Pioli era was Rodney Hudson a guard out of Florida State, touted as being a great center prospect in addition to guard. Next there is Mike Pouncey the center from Florida Pioli attempted to trade up for. Pouncey was often described as better guard prospect than center. All three of these players have one thing in common, the ability to play both center and guard. This trait seems to be something Pioli values.
Next lets look at Pioli and preference for trading back and stockpiling picks, this has been Pioli's MO since the patriot years. This year the 11th or 12th pick will be prime realestate for trades. there will likely be a top rated RB and a couple of top rated pass rushers on the board that teams covet. Pioli would likely be able to work a trade that had the Chiefs drop a few spots, pick up an extra 2nd this year or even better a first next year, and be in prime position for Konz. This strategy would allow the Chiefs to fill their remaining holes this year and have an extra first next year for ammunition to trade up for a QB of their choosing. That QB would be walking into a ideal situation with a strong supporting cast giving them the best odds for success.
To me Konz seems to be the more logical Pioli pick. Honestly, I would be ecstatic with either Decastro or Konz. Both would solidify the Chiefs entire line for years. Both bring the size, agility, intelligence, and nastiness the Chiefs so desperately need. This post is mainly to raise awareness that it's hardly Decastro or bust, in fact, a trade back and Konz may be better for the Chiefs in the long run.