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NFL Draft 2011: Pressure's On Chiefs GM Scott Pioli

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This is a big day for Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. The 2011 NFL draft is here and this is where he makes his money. The largest among many reasons Pioli was hired by Chiefs owner Clark Hunt was for these days.

What we know about Pioli in Kansas City is that he can come up with a draft that doesn't produce much immediately, like the 2009 class. And he can come up with a terrific draft, like the 2010 class.

We'll consider this the rubber match.

Another solid draft from Pioli, as his large group of scouts and personnel team have been in place for two years, will confirm that the Chiefs are on the right path. A 2009-like draft and we would have to at least question which way the Chiefs are headed.

In some ways, the immediate impact of the 2010 class puts some pressure on Pioli.

We'll want to see that again. We want to see draft picks that are smart, stay out of trouble and, most importantly, perform well on the field.

And we'll want to see them do that all in year one.

The expectations have been raised in Kansas City not just because of the 2010 draft but because of the division championship and playoff appearance last year. It's hard to transition a bad team into a good team but it may be ever harder to remain a good team.

If the Chiefs are to accomplish their goal of championships (yes, that's plural), then they need to hit on this draft.

This is Scott Pioli's day. How will he handle the pressure?