Representing the Kansas City Chiefs, halfbreed with the 11th pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft.
David DeCastro is gone. Nearly every mock draft in the nation has had the Jaguars taking Quinton Coples, defensive end from North Carolina, in an attempt to address their team's anemic pass rush. Things went a bit differently in the AP mock, where they instead chose David DeCastro, offensive guard from Stanford, with pick number seven. It is safe to say that, with this selection, the jaws of Kansas City Chiefs fans everywhere dropped in unison.
After a collective "awwwww Schiltz!" the Chiefs must now re-focus and make sure that their choice in the first round of the 2012 draft is the best fit for them out of the players who are still available. Two names that have been kicked around on a lot of mocks, and who are still available, are Dontari Poe, the defensive tackle from Memphis who had a great Combine, and Luke Kuechly, the DJ clone/linebacker from Boston College. However, neither of these players will be the Chiefs choice at pick No. 11.
I know, I know, call me Lucy, I "got some splaining to do".
People should not be surprised with the cold shoulder given to Poe as he is easily this year's best candidate for the title of the NFL Combine's "Workout Warrior". It's been widely noted that, while he certainly made a good showing at the Combine, he neglected to make any appearances of note on the field during the entire season prior to the Combine. It's been said that "Gholston's Ghost" still haunts Radio City Music Hall, and I cannot, on my watch, allow the Chiefs to be the ones who replace it with "Poe's Poltergiest"
The loudest protests will no doubt come from those in the Kuechly Kamp, this despite the great lessons provided of late on AP Fanshots and AP Talk Radio, detailing the difference between the role of a Strong Side Inside Linebacker (SSILB) and that of a Weak Side Inside Linebacker (WSILB). Put very simply, the two positions differ in much the same way as the positions held by Shane Bannon and Jamaal Charles on the offensive side of the ball. The SSILB and Fullback positions are what you call "thumpers." They each enjoy the respective glory of making the tackle or carrying the ball from time to time, but their main job is to intercept and deflect while the other guy gets the big plays that make Mitch Holthus sing like Adam Lambert. It's been suggested that Kuechly can fill the role of the thumper, but I have it on good authority that no one has actually seen him fill that role effectively. Until I see actual evidence of Kuechly blowing up blockers to allow a teammate to slide in and get the tackle, I would propose that those who say "Oh, he can do that too!" may simply be caught up in the all too common trap of attributing to their favorite draft candidate more skills than he actually possesses.
So, where does that leave us? Excluding Poe and Kuechly, the positions of the players remaining within reasonable reach on most big boards are; a pair of offensive tackles, two defensive linemen, a cornerback, and a wide receiver. Thanks to the signing of Eric Winston in free agency, the Chiefs are set at offensive tackle and, with the Killer B's in the house, they are also set at wide receiver. Some might argue for the selection of Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback from Alabama, but I don't see that happening due to a seemingly unrelated factor, Glenn Dorsey's contract.
AP poster, Wait and See, recently gave us a great analysis of Scott Pioli's draft tendencies where three of his eight first round picks with the Patriots were spent on the defensive line. This gives one the impression that he feels the D Line is a position of high value in the NFL. Glenn Dorsey, a starter on the Chiefs defensive front will be a free agent after this year and could very well be looking around for a defensive scheme that better suits his talents. Factor in the well known, and often repeated, chestnut, "it takes D-Line players a year or two to adjust to the pro game", and it certainly appears that it would be a good idea to grab someone now who can step into Dorsey's slot should he leave after next year, and who is versatile enough to fill in elsewhere if he doesn't.
Of the two defensive linemen within reach on the board, the aforementioned Coples from North Carolina, recently weighed in at 278 lbs at his pro day, making him more of a "tweener", perhaps better suited for an OLB spot in the NFL, and one who would be woefully overmatched were he asked to play on the interior line.
Therefore, I feel comfortable that Pioli would select Michael Brockers from LSU with the 11th pick. At 322 lbs, (giving him over forty pounds on Coples), with a frame that can add even more weight, Brockers would fit productively into any role along the variety of defensive fronts that the Chiefs present during a game. He gives the Chiefs a replacement/bargaining chip for the upcoming Dorsey negotiations, and he gives Pioli a chance for a bit of a "do-over" for the much debated Tyson Jackson selection from two years ago.
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)