Ok. Some of you old vets might be shocked to see a post from me during this part of the season. I usually lay low until the draft is over. Why? Oh, there are several reasons.
For one, I do not watch very much college football, so I usually don't know many of the players pre-combine.
And hopefully I don't offend anyone, but I don't really see the point in the mocks because in the end, the brass is going to do whatever they want. So I normally just wait until after the draft, then I research the players we selected. I personally think Pioli is one of the best (if not the best) at drafting talent in the game. Therefore, I trust any move that they make (hey, what choice do I have anyway?). Yeah, we have had some busts (Alex Magee anyone?), but what he pulled off last year should have impressed even the biggest critics. And if the players reach their potential, that draft could go down as one of the best in Chiefs History. Anyway, I just expect his drafts to continue to improve as he gets more time to put his stamp on everything.
But this year, something is different.
So there has been a lot of speculation on what we will do in the draft, and of course everything at this point is just that, speculation. But here is the thing. I have had a pretty solid idea of where we were going in the draft. Now that doesn't mean that I knew the picks before we made them all, but I haven't really been surprised very often in the first.
Where some people were shocked at Tyson Jackson, I wasn't. I mean really, we were an awful 4-3 team moving to the 3-4. Last year, we needed a receiver, so he picked up Baldwin after moving back in the draft. We needed certain pieces no matter what the position. That is one of the things I really like about Pioli. He get's his man no matter the pick number, yet, he still gets very good value. This is part of the reason why this year is so interesting, but I will get to that a little later.
So I have been looking at all of the potential options that seem to continually pop up, and you know what? This is going to be interesting.
The top 2 picks in the draft are pretty much a done deal, but everything after that is up in the air. Looking at the Chiefs as a team, while we have a really good team, we have lots of positions where we could use some help. And with each position comes a certain player. Let's look at the potential positions and candidates. Then I will break down why the pick is possible and the negatives of the pick.
Let's start with current AP fan favorite David Decastro. Decastro is what seems to be a very complete guard. Not quite "the Best Guard Ever", but definitely a good prospect. Mr Decastro could potentially be a piece to solidify our O-line for years. So what's the problem? Well, honestly, it's the pick spot. An article in the fanshots posted by ryanishere that was written by Pat Kirwan discusses the negatives of Decastro says that "only 4 pure guards have been taken in the first round since 2000". That was really interesting to me. He goes on to say (and I'm paraphrasing here) that the reason is because you usually are passing on Game breaking positions such as cornerback and edge rusher when you use a first round pick on a guard. So the question is who would we be passing on if we take a guard at 11? The short answer is probably a lot of really good players. This leads me to the next position of need.
Cornerback. Now it seems as if we have a plethora of DB's, but we could likely have a shot at 2 really good ones in the draft. Dre Kirkpatrick and Morris Claiborne. So what are the negs? Well, we have a plethora of DB's. On the surface it doesn't seem like a necessary pick. Since we signed Routt and resigned Daniels, we should be ok at CB. The positives of the move really make me think that this pick could happen if one of these 2 players is available. The positive is that Routt is almost 30 years old. He will need a replacement soon even if he is a solid CB for us. And if he isn't, solid, then we would need a taller younger starter. This move would actually make some sense.
Next would be NT. This is where it get interesting. Let me say that I am born and raised in Memphis (still here) and I am not sure about Dontari Poe. Now don't get me wrong, I think that he is a good kid. The negatives, What a risk! He didn't dominate in what I agree is a garbage conference. But his measurables (is that a word?) are off of the charts. Dude is a freak. But he is all potential. I would love to have him, but not at 11. Now having said that, it scares me to death not to pick him. He has the potential to be that type of pick that we regret passing on for years to come. He could be the next great NT. I can just see the Raven's drafting him and turning him into the next Ngata playing along with the real Ngata and a veteran Mt Cody. Wow. And I believe that we have the staff to coach him up. And the one thing I assure you he was missing in my alma mater was good coaching. The U of M football program is a joke. Another very important factor is that Romeo Crennel told the KC Star that this year we have the luxury of choosing the best player available instead of a position of need. This makes everything really interesting. He could solidify our D for years to come at a definite position of need. I would love to have him, but the question is would he be a good pick at 11? I personally don't think so. I would like him later on though.
Then there is Luke Kuechly and the ILB position. The negs start with the mixed reviews. Now don't get me wrong, The mixed reviews aren't about his ability, they are about whether or not he can play in our system. Some seem to think he can, and others think he can't. I personally don't know what to believe. What could be worse than taking another good player and putting him is a position that he can't play in? Talk about a wasted pick. Is he fast enough to play in the middle? But what if he can play the position? If you listen to his supporters, he is a sure future pro-bowler. Now what if Belcher continues to improve? If he continues at the same rate, he will be a pro-bowler anyway. But he Belcher) is a liability in coverage. Then there is Brandon Siler. He could be the answer at that position and he is already in house. Kuechly is a player that I don't see us picking at 11, but I wouldn't be mad if we did.
The only positions I don't think we look at in the first at all are WR, RB, and TE. Oh yeah, and kickers. There seem to be some good WR's in the draft, but we are pretty much set at the 1-3 positions and that's not even including McCluster. Tackle and running back probably wont be an issue either. Matt Khalil is the only tackle that is worth 11, and it is not likely at all that he will make it to 11. Then there is Trent Richardson. He will likely be the only RB taken in the first. I don't think he will make it to 11, but things could get interesting if he is there. Hillis could decide that he doesn't want to play, or he could get hurt. Richardson would be some good long term insurance.
But now on to the most interesting Mock of all. Ryan Tannehill to the Chiefs at 11. I like many others was shocked when I heard this. I mean he has only played a few games, and he used to be a WR? We have Cassel who is an above average QB, but not elite. Then we picked up Brady Quinn. There have been posts dedicated to giving Quinn a shot. At worst he should be a solid back-up. And what about Stanzi? He showed some flashes while running for his life against the 3rd string, but he was a 5th round pick. I don't really get into the pick numbers, but when a QB slips to the 5th, that means that alot of people didn't think the QB was ready. Stanzi not getting any time last year spoke volumes to me, even if it was Haley's doing. So we have a starter, a backup, and a project. Where does that leave Tannehill?
Disclaimer: For those who don't like Tannehill as the pick, you will not like this section because Tannehill actually makes a lot of sense.
First of all, everyone seems to think that he has the skill set. I will reference this article by Mel Kiper (Yeah I know. Mel is not my top guy either.). Mel was actually not very positive when it came to drafting Tannehill before the middle of the first round, but he had this to say about him: "He has the size, the arm, the athleticism. He gets the ball out quickly, has a very good sense in the pocket, throws very accurately on the run to both sides. The only thing he's missing, in my opinion right now, is more experience and understanding game decisions." Again, I know this is Mel Kiper Jr, but if he is right, that means that Tannehill has the skillset. Cassel had the heart, but he doesn't have the arm.
Quinn likely is not starting material, and who knows anything about Stanzi. The thing is we haven't used a high pick on any of our QB's, so it's not like we would be cancelling out one of our own picks if we had to get rid of one of them. The only advantage that the current QB's have over Tannehill is experience, but this season that advantage is not as significant.
You know why? Daboli. We have a new coordinator likely bringing in new terminology, a new scheme, and new wrinkles. Everyone will be learning, not just Tannehill. And he specializes in putting players in the best position possible to be successful. I made a comment a few weeks ago that unless the QB is able to start, I don't want us to draft a QB in the first. But as I look at the situation, he would have as good of a chance starting this season in KC as he could get anywhere that's not Miami. Miami is also the reason we would have to trade up if we wanted him.
If he has the skill set Kiper listed, then I would not mind us pulling the trigger. But do we want to trade up for him? I don't think so, but I'm not sure. If he could be our legit QB of the future, then we almost have to do it. We have 2 major needs right now: QB and NT. Now don't get me wrong, I think Cassel is going to be more than serviceable this year, but he seems like he is still learning as well. I don't think that there is a NT worth taking that high, so unless we trade down, I have to believe that Tannehill will be our pick unless he is off of the board. We don't have a major need to fill, so if we go luxury, why not on a QB who has all of the skills? As far as my personal pick, I don't have one. As I stated above, I trust the front office, but I think it will be Tannehill. There is my prediction.
What are your thoughts?