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One Reason For Keeping 2011 NFL Draft Plans Wrapped Up

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Whether it's fair or not, Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli has a reputation that he's secretive in his approach to running the team. When it comes to the NFL draft, though, Pioli isn't alone -- nearly every team is secretive about which players they work out, which players are brought in on a visit and the players they're generally interested in.

There are plenty of reasons why a team needs to be or should be secretive about their draft plans. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald provided an interesting nugget involving Bill Parcells and Maurice Carthon that helps explain this.

Parcells apparently would send coaches to work players out two days before the draft so as to limit the amount of media attention if reporters found out about the work out. He must have done this while in Dallas as well because Carthon, now the Chiefs assistant head coach and with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008, used that nugget of information to his advantage with RB Tim Hightower, who was selected by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL draft.

The Dolphins sent running backs coach James Saxon to work out Hightower three days before the draft in April 2008, which gave Carthon an extra day to use this information.

Arizona's running back coach at the time, Maurice Carthon, played for Parcells and worked for Parcells. He knew that Parcells typically sent his RB coach to his targetted running back a couple of days before the draft. When he read media reports that Hightower worked out for [Dolphins running backs coach James] Saxon, he turned the information over to Arizona's personnel department. The fact the Dolphins had met with Hightower one day earlier had allowed the visit to be in the press in time for Arizona to use the info.

The Cardinals then selected Hightower in the fifth round of the draft before the Dolphins, who used their sixth round pick on a running back. That pick has obviously worked out in Arizona's favor.

So there is some value in being secretive around NFL draft time. Some GMs may even throw out a few white lies now and again but it will be with good reason.