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If Chiefs Go Safety, Some Say Earl Thomas Should Be The Pick

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If the Kansas City Chiefs are thinking about drafting a safety with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, most folks will tell you the pick has to be Tennessee S Eric Berry. He's definitely the fan and media favorite at this point.

However, there are a few folks that will argue that Berry isn't even the best player at his position.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock -- generally regarded as one of the better analysts in the media -- has Texas S Earl Thomas rated as the No. 1 safety on his board.

We've got one more name to add to the Thomas-over-Berry camp: Former NFL scout and draft guru Russ Lande.

Lande joined 610 Sports this morning and talked about the Chiefs draft. His choice for the fifth pick comes down to Thomas and Alabama LB Rolando McClain.

After the jump, a few thoughts from Mr. Lande.

On selecting Rolando McClain at five:

I don't think that's their preference but I think they like him enough and I think they realize he's not going to be there when their pick is up in the second round.

I think it's going to be either Thomas or McClain because they need a lot of help on their defense.The inside linebackers they played with last year, guys like Demorrio Williams, they're just not big enough to play the system they want to run.

On Earl Thomas:

When you look at Earl Thomas, he's a guy who's a safety, who can also come down and cover the slot receiver as a corner.

I know that when Scott Pioli was in New England, they always valued versatility and I think something like that would make Thomas a guy that would really fit what they want to do.

On Eric Berry:

I think he's a guy that's in the discussion but I think they prefer Thomas over Berry, and I do too. I think he's a much better football player and I think he'll be a much better NFL football player and that's why I think Thomas will get chosen over Berry.

More on Earl Thomas:


He has the versatility to be a good starting safety who can be very good against the run, very good in pass coverage and a guy who can come down and cover the slot receiver.

Concerns with Berry:

Whereas I think with Berry, you have a guy who's very good in man-to-man coverage, as a safety he's very inconsistent, he's a poor tackler, not aggressive when he comes up in run support and he's inconsistent in deep coverage.

I don't think he's an elite prospect.