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Chiefs 2010 Draft Surprise #2: Bookend Confidence

Branden Albert
Branden Albert

Yesterday, we began a series that will take a look at the various surprises from the last exhilarating weekend known as the 2010 NFL draft. First up, we examined the idea that new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis wasn't nearly as involved in the draft selection process as what some originally believed would be the case. Today, we take a closer look not at the positions that we were addressed, but what specifically wasn't addressed.

Surprise No. 2 - How much confidence Chiefs personnel have in their offensive tackles.
Scott Pioli and Todd Haley are the only ones who haven't moved Branden Albert away from the left tackle position this off-season. And yet those opinions are the only ones that mattered. The Chiefs had every opportunity to address the bookends of the offensive line, and most pundits and fans seemed to believe that at least some upgrading was necessary to at least one side.

That line of thinking had its merit. After all, the Patriots simply released offensive tackle Ryan O'Callaghan last September and the Chiefs claimed him on waivers the following day. The former fifth-rounder has only started 19 out of a total of 40 games played, so any thoughts of having the position locked down for the long-term might be seen as silly.

The same might be said of Branden Albert, an immensely talented first-round choice who's manned the left tackle position for the last two years. The knocks against Albert are well-documented on this site: early season troubles against the pass rush, his collegiate position (and, therefore, experience) being left guard, and the fact that he's a product of the former regime. This means that Pioli can basically do what he wants with Albert and hardly anyone would blame him, as new personnel heads are always given permission to clean house (i.e. Josh McDaniels playing Jenga with a fantastic Broncos offense).

So some had O'Callaghan heading to the bench to provide a good back-up in case of emergency. And Albert was supposed to head toward the interior part of the line or be forced to learn the mirror position on the opposite side. Yet both men, at least at the time of this writing, are entrenched as the starters after the free agency opening period and the NFL draft. Instead, the Chiefs turned their attention to the other three positions on the line, bringing in free-agent starters and drafting promising OG Jon Asamoah.

This means that the men-in-charge hold a high level of confidence in perhaps the most important positions on the offensive line. While we also acquired a blocking tight end who will help in Tony Moeaki, the Chiefs apparently feel that O'Callaghan's best days are ahead of him and that Albert is best left alone at left tackle. And the confidence of the higher-ups should bleed over into some confidence for the fans as well.

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