It’s Decision Day … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Will it be a big, burly offensive tackle like Russell Okung or Bryan Bulaga? Is a defensive player like Eric Berry or Rolando McClain about to become the newest member of the Chiefs? Is there a name coming out of the blue, matching what happened last year when Tyson Jackson was Kansas City’s first-round choice.

The question of who will be the Chiefs first-round selection should be answered Thursday evening with the start of the 2010 NFL Draft. Maybe the biggest question is whether Scott Pioli and Todd Haley stay at the fifth choice of the first round, or will they take the bait offered by another team and move down in the order?

When a football team has won just 10 games in the last three NFL seasons there are always a lot of question that must be answered. This three-day selection meeting is hugely important to Pioli/Haley in their attempt to reverse the fortunes of the Chiefs. With eight selections in the first 144 players, they must use those choices to infuse the roster with badly needed talent.

With three of the first 50 picks and four of the first 68 selections, there can be no mistakes by the Chiefs personnel operation. Those four spots must produce help, both long-term and immediately, for the team’s offense, defense and special teams. The remaining four selections – including three choices in the fifth round – must also provide players who can step into various roles with the team.

With a frustrated fan-base that’s staying away and not buying tickets and a possible lock-out ahead in 2011 for the NFL owners and players, there are a lot of logs on the fire that burns under the second-year GM and head coach. There was minimal improvement shown by the ’09 Chiefs and Haley kept reminding everyone that turning around the fortunes of the Hunt family’s crown jewel was “a process.”

For that process to have any sort of forward momentum it’s going to take more than adding two new coordinators (Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel) and one of the better veteran running backs in the league (Thomas Jones.) The process needs a talent transfusion that this team hasn’t enjoyed in some time, maybe back to the 1996 draft class. That year the Chiefs had five of the first 135 selections and drafted Jerome Woods, Reggie Tongue, John Browning, Donnie Edwards and Joe Horn. By the time their careers were over, Woods, Edwards and Horn went to the Pro Bowl, although Edwards and Horn did it wearing uniforms that were not red and gold.

AVAILABLES

That ’96 class is an indication of how special it is that the Chiefs have eight of the first 144 slots. The 2010 draft group is very deep thanks to an influx of underclassmen, some 53 in all with more than half of the top 40 rated players leaving school without using all their eligibility.

The top of this class is heavy with defensive linemen, wide receivers and cornerbacks, and light on linebackers, quarterbacks and interior offensive linemen.

POSITIONS OF NEED

As for what positions the Chiefs will be looking closely at, it’s easier to list those where they won’t be seeking help: punter, kicker and cornerback, with quarterback close behind. With so many of the free agents the team signed coming on the offensive side of the ball, it’s likely the attention this weekend will be on defense.

The Chiefs have five relatively young starters on their defense: Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr at cornerback, Tamba Hali at outside linebacker and Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson at defensive end. Youthful talent is badly needed at nose tackle, inside linebacker and safety.

Offensively, help is needed at wide receiver and tight end, and most assuredly along the offensive line at all three positions. With the exception of third-year man Branden Albert, there’s not a long-term starter at any of the other four positions. Of course, just where Albert may end up playing – left tackle, right tackle or right guard – remains a subject for discussion.

Last year the most consistent and solid part of the Chiefs was the kicking game, and that was done without a solid return threat. Somewhere, somehow Pioli/Haley must find somebody who can tilt the field in their favor on punts and kickoffs.

AHEAD OF THEM

Just who might be available with that fifth choice remained in doubt as Draft Day #1 dawned on Thursday. Here’s where the rumors were floating around the league:

  1. St. Louis – It looks like the Rams have settled on QB Sam Bradford as the No. 1 choice.
  2. Detroit – DTs Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy and OT Russell Okung are associated with the Lions by all the guessers and mock draft types.
  3. Tampa Bay – Either Suh or McCoy will be the choice.
  4. Washington – Okung, OT Trent Williams and QB Jimmy Clausen have been the names mentioned most often.

That brings us to the Chiefs.

CONSIDERATIONS

There figure to be four or five names that the Chiefs will shuffle through when their turn comes at No. 5: Okung, Bulaga, Berry, McClain and possibly Tennessee DT Dan Williams. Here’s how each one of those players breaks down

  • OKUNG/Reasons for – best offensive lineman in this year’s class … a 10-15 year fixture at left tackle.
  • OKUNG/Reasons against – nothing particular to him, just a desire to fill another position.
  • BULAGA/Reasons for – developed by Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, a good friend and former work-mate with Pioli.
  • BULAGA/Reasons against – considered by most teams as a right tackle, not left tackle.
  • BERRY/Reasons for – top defensive back in the class, with a wealth of skill and knowledge.
  • BERRY/Reasons against – safeties do not get drafted this high in the first round.
  • MCCLAIN/Reasons for – best linebacker in the draft; well schooled, talented and intelligent.
  • MCCLAIN/Reasons against – maybe only a two-down player, coming out in passing situations.
  • WILLIAMS/Reasons for – can play the nose and be disruptive to an offense.
  • WILLIAMS/Reasons against – too many defensive linemen drafted early for Chiefs.

WHAT TO EXPECT

If the Chiefs can’t trade out of their No. 5 spot, I think that group of five gets cut to three: Okung, Berry and McClain. If all three are still there, I think the preference goes in that order, with the tackle, safety and inside linebacker lined up one-two-three.

Any of those three would be immediate starters and great additions to the Chiefs roster.

DOWN THE LINE

With picks No. 36 and 50 in the second round, I think the Chiefs will go after Penn State ILB Sean Lee (if they don’t take McClain) or South Florida S Nate Allen (if they don’t take Berry) and NT Terrence Cody of Alabama.

In the third round, I think they look for a wide receiver, like Minnesota’s Eric Decker or Mardy Gilyard of Cincinnati.

The fourth and fifth rounds I think will bring a tight end, offensive linemen, quarterback and another linebacker.

PERSONNEL FILE FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21

  • BEARS – RFA LB Jamar Williams signed tender offer.
  • BILLS – claimed TE Michael Mathews on waivers (Lions).
  • BUCCANEERS – RFAs LB Barrett Ruud and CB Elbert Mack signed tender offers.
  • JAGUARS – acquired a fifth-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft from the Raiders in a trade.
  • RAIDERS – acquired DE Quentin Groves in a trade with the Jaguars.
  • STEELERS – QB Ben Roethlisberger suspended by NFL for six games for violating the personal conduct policy; agreed to a one-year contract extension with QB Byron Leftwich.
  • TITANS – D Tony Brown agreed to a 3-year contract.
  • VIKINGS – signed CB Lito Sheppard to a 1-year, $2 million deal.

40 Responses to “It’s Decision Day … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • April 22, 2010  - Mark says:

    I hope that we get Okung or Berry at #5 … either one would fill an immediate need. Past the two of them it’s a crap shoot. I don’t see any of the others listed as a #5 talent.


  • April 22, 2010  - Nathan says:

    Can someone explain to me why Okung fills a need? Don’t we have a left tackle?


  • April 22, 2010  - Justin Foote says:

    Nathan,

    Brandon Albert should be a guard. Last year he was slipping at tackle. We could draft a tackle and trade Bryan Waters while he still has some trade value left in him.


  • April 22, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Putting it out there as a sleeper pick: CJ Spiller.

    Why? Playmaker (put fans in the stands)
    Return man (answers a dire need)
    Receiver (out of backfield or slot)
    Insurance at RB and a great 3rd guy

    Laugh away but, I’m feeling it.


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Yes, Albert struggled a bit in the first half of last year. He was playing at a lighter weight, and learning a new blocking scheme. By the end of the year, he was playing much better. I hope they leave him right where he is. He’ll be fine.

    I’m sticking with my original two, Berry or McClain. I would prefer Berry, but would be happy with either. I don’t see Okung there at #5. If Suh should happen to fall (which I doubt), I think he will be our pick. The draft is a funny thing, though. You just never really know until the names are read. Should be fun.

    ThunderChief,

    Interesting “sleeper” pick. My pick on that level would be Dez Bryant. Same as Spiller…likely? No. Possible? Absolutely. Anything’s possible. What’s NOT possible is knowing what Pioli and Co. are thinking right now. But, the waiting is just about over.


  • April 22, 2010  - rexHouser says:

    The choice will be……DAN WILLIAMS!!!!!!


  • April 22, 2010  - Tim R says:

    Sleeper Dez Bryant…because draft is deep at S, LB & DL. They could target a S & NT in round 2, LB in 3.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I agree with the CJ thought. If we hadn’t sign Jones and it was a greater need right now I would be on that bandwagon. But with this team right now CJ would be a luxury pick. A luxury that we can’t afford.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I also agree with Dez Bryant and think he has a better chance to become a Chief based on the needs of the team.

    Albert is getting better at LT, true. Will he ever be a Pro-Bowl LT? Doubtful. Could he be a Pro-Bowl Right Guard? Very likely he could be. Could Okung be a future Pro-Bowl LT? Could be. Everybody that thinks we would be a better team with a Pro-Bowl studded OL please raise your hand. My hand is up, in fact I am the little kid in the back of the classroom waving my hand barely able to stay in my seat.


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I’m all for a better O-line. No arguement there. But the problem is (still)…until our Defense can stop the opposing team from running all over us, we’re not going to be a good team.

    It just depends on what Crennel thinks he can do with what we already have. His evaluations of current players and needs at different positions? Well, they might be different than ours. So, it’s really hard to say.


  • April 22, 2010  - St. Paul 1 says:

    Let’s face it, a solid pick for any spot other than those named by Bob would be an improvement. That said, no team has a hope of winning if the QB is flat on his back and the RBs are running into a brick wall. Also, until Cassel gets some protection, we aren’t going to know if he is the answer or if we need to start looking elsewhere. No doubt they have made some improvements to the line already, but I’d be very satisfied if the Chiefs would continue to do so in the draft, starting with the first pick. But I have no idea if it should be Okung, Bulaga, or someone else.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I agree that to have a high scoring offense and a terrible defense is not going to get us to the Super Bowl. But IMO the quickest way to get there is with a great and experienced OL first and then work on the other parts. I just believe that the OL and DL need to be great and in place first before you can work on the other parts. Think of this, it is always the OL or DL that make the skill players look great. I have never heard of a team that had such good skill players that they made the Lines look great.


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    True Red & Gold,

    Point taken. It just all goes back to the same old problem…with so many “holes” and needs, it’s nearly impossible to fill them all at once. And that’s where we’re at. Still.

    I’m just anxious to see how Pioli & Co. view our needs (via the draft)…and how what they think matches up with what some of us think.


  • April 22, 2010  - jimbo says:

    This day has been a long time coming. The Mocks & who we might pick, should pick or need to pick is driving me crazy albeit a fun crazy. Bob makes a good point, Pioli probably does have his 1,2,3 choices set in stone depending on who falls to us at #5. Pioli probably also has his picks lined up should we get an offer to trade down. I know I am preaching to the choir here & we all know this is not his first rodeo.
    Whoever our first pick is, especially if it’s at #5 & that pick shocks us all. We will never know why he picked that player. Sure… a year or two down the road maybe. Only if that player turns out to be a rock star. But,if that player does not pan out, we will never know what Pioli was thinking. Thus, his ship will spring a leak, his armor will start to tarnish & we in Chiefs Nation will never forgive the man who thumbed his nose at our own personal favorite.
    Whatever the outcome of the next few days. Many of us, including myself will be on a emotional roller coaster from joy to dismay, judging the decisions made by our scouts, coaches and ultimately our GM. We will be Monday morning quarterbacking every decision or pick they make, starting with the first & working our way down to the 8th one. The good news is… that for the next few weeks, we will all have something to talk (gripe) about. Is this a great country or what.
    Go Chiefs.


  • April 22, 2010  - Jim Lloyd + says:

    Focus on the downfield part,the part of your defence and get to shut down level , that’s where you have to shut it down and make them loose to ball control– If someone can throw deep on you , your dead ….


  • April 22, 2010  - Jim Lloyd + says:

    Focus on the downfield part,the part of your defence and get to shut down level , that’s where you have to shut it down and make them loose to ball control– If someone can throw deep on you , your dead ….
    Berry along with Folwers a the Key’s .


  • April 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    True Red & Gold,

    An example of a team that fits that format and inproved from there, last years NY Jets. and look where they ended up. You have to have a strong nucleus, or you will never survive!!


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    It doesn’t matter how good your DBs are, if the QB has all day to throw they will look bad. The best way to eliminate the down field threat is to not give the QB time to find it. That is basic football and everybody knows that (at least everybody here should)


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I will go on record right now and say that I will be greatly disappointed in Pioli if he picks Berry with #5 when our OL & DL are not where they need to be. He may have reached last year with Jackson but at least he had the sense to know that he has to solidify our trenches first. McClain would be a much better pick for this team right now than Berry. Page, Flowers, & Carr are all solid DBs that we can win with and none of them were selected in the first round.


  • April 22, 2010  - Nathan says:

    I guess Pioli doesn’t agree that Albert needs to play guard. He said pretty emphatically the other day that Albert is the Chief’s left tackle.
    Does anyone know why Albert play guard in college? Virginia’s coaching staff did whatever it took to get the five best lineman on the field. That meant Eugene Monroe at LT and Albert at LG. Otherwise, Albert would’ve played LT at Virginia.
    That’s cool though. Moving Albert guard will give us another great excuse to moan about how many 1st round picks the Chiefs have wasted.


  • April 22, 2010  - MenInRed says:

    Pioli will take:
    His “Safe Pick” @ 5 in a LT(insert anyname here) or ILB McClain
    then pick NT Mt Cody in the 2nd @ 36 and a CB/S (insert anyname here) @ 50.
    or
    Suprise us all again and take another DE @ 5 and move Dorsey inside at NT.

    Boy this is going tobe a long day….
    Go Chiefs Draft!!!


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Boy…that’s a tough one, TR&G. Berry is widely considered the best Safety prospect in a decade. That’s hard to pass up. He may or may not be the pick…but I don’t know how anybody could be disappointed with it if he was. The lines can be addressed with later picks.

    McClain would be a good pick, too…as I’ve said. But, passing on a guy (Berry) that many “experts” say will likely be as good or better than Polamalu or Reed? That’s not going to be easy.


  • April 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    TR&G

    I wouldnt be upset if they drafted Berry, or anyone projected in the top 5 or 6. I know its never a sure thing and the verdict is still out on Jackson, but we cant afford to reach for a player this year. Just get ANY IMPACT STARTER and I will be happy!!


  • April 22, 2010  - Jim Lloyd + says:

    Talking about Berry , not Jackson , 2 different people .
    I’ll say it once— there’s a lot of people on teams that are not playing to help win all their games ( Donte Hall changed when his mother told to stop running sideways )
    The once in 10 year window to get a real live shut down corner- safety and with all these teams killing the Chiefs . There’s only about 6 of these true difference makers around , put him with Flowers and if you throw the ball over 12-15 yards on this team , it would be very risky !


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    Nathan I don’t know how a Pro-Bowl Guard can be considered a wasted pick at any round.


  • April 22, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Interesting conversation on Berry but I actually think the Skins will take him, then use one or a combo of their roster players like Haynesworth, Landry or DHall to entice their way back into the mid-late/mid 1st round to get their LT.

    If that plays out and the Chiefs are okay with Albert and there’s no tradedown partner, then it might be a shock & awe pick sent up to the comish.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    If Berry is such a good pick and best safety prospect of the decade then he won’t be there at 5. I think he would be a great pick if our team was in a position to take him I just don’t think we are. IMO to build a team thru the draft you use early round picks to get elite guys for the trenches and work on the rest of team with later rounds, especially this year with a deep DB class.

    Also as far as what Pioli said in a press conference, I am only believing a fraction of.


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    True Red & Gold says:
    “If Berry is such a good pick and best safety prospect of the decade then he won’t be there at 5.”

    Rams-Bradford
    Detroit-Suh or McCoy (possibly Okung)
    Bucs-Whichever DE Detroit doesn’t pick
    Redskins-Okung or Williams

    Berry will be there at #5. Whether or not we take him is another matter. You are right, though. It is a deep class at DB…so that could definitely be a factor in the decision to pick Berry, or not.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I keep waiting to here that the Rams signed Bradford. Is there any news that they are even communicating with him and his agent? It would be the first time in a while that the first pick wasn’t signed before the draft.


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Last I heard, Bradford said he wouldn’t sign before the draft. But, that was awhile back.

    Was reading about the Redskins taking Berry thing that ThunderChief alluded to. Draft-time BS, imo. They have a gaping hole in their O-line…and they’re going to want to protect their new QB. I just don’t see them taking Berry at all.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    My shock pick of the draft is at #4 with Washington taking Tim Tebow!


  • April 22, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    Its time for Pioli 2 show and prove…nomore excuses this year. Everything is in place from the scouting department 2 coachs. Time 2 show every1 that it was u and not Belichick behind the drafting in NE…and what beter way to do so than drafting the great Eric Berry. Screw safe picks we need playmakers…………….


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Alex,

    Nobody in their right mind thinks Pioli was “behind the drafting in NE”. He was a part of it, of course. But, Belichick had the final say. The only time Pioli has had the final word was last year.

    Boy, the rumors and bullsh*t are flying now! I can’t take anymore. I think I’ll just check in tonight to see what REALLY happens.

    TR&G,

    How about this? The Chiefs take Tebow. He’s like the only player we’ve met with three times. A) Attended Pro Day. B) Met with at the Combine. & C) Had in for a private workout.


  • April 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    Like someone said anything can happen. If we are looking at Tebow it is with our 1st 2nd round pick not our #5 pick. I would be tickled if Tebow fell to us at the 36th pick, but he won’t.

    Sorry Alex Pioli is too smart to pick Berry just so you can be happy. Besides the only way to prove he even contributed (I agree with Mad Chief) to the Patriot way is to pick safe which he will do this year just like he did last year.

    Something is up with Tebow for sure. His agent claims that they know where he is going to be drafted. Of course that could be a decoy trying to scare a team into drafting him earlier than they want to. But they are also reporting that Shanny hasn’t been honest about anything since he took the job in Washington.


  • April 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Wow, Tebow at #4????? really??? it take my chances with Mccoy more than tebow.

    people (media) will say anything to try and hype up a program for ratings/money/ect


  • April 22, 2010  - jimbo says:

    I think effective today at 3:00 pm. Scott Pioli will officially stop reading KC Chiefs blogs & make his decision based on all of our opinions & wish lists & come up with our #5 pick based on those opinions. lol
    I have secured copies of Rick Gosselin’s top 100 prospect list for the draft and AP’s list of 80 players the Chiefs are interested in.
    I’ll be home by 5:00 pm. Heat up leftover pot roast in the microwave, pour a glass of Jim Beam with a splash of Diet Coke. Head to the dual recliner & start watching the pre draft festivities.
    I’m looking forward to giving a toast to Scott Pioli for whoever he picks tonight.
    Go Chiefs.


  • April 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    good scenario jimbo,

    I will be at a near drinking establishment near my residence and watch it with some friends and relatives, I also have it recording at home on my dish receiver in case I miss anything good or memorable.

    I will be drinking some good old cold brews and some good ole bar food (like i need it)

    GOOD LUCK TO US, FOR OUT CHIEFS, AND GO PIOLI!!!


  • April 22, 2010  - E says:

    I don’t see the Chiefs taking a LT. They have Albert who while not great, it is unlikely any of these LT are going to step up and be an upgrade as a rookie. This would also create an issue of where do you put Albert. The Chiefs are secure at both guard positions for at least another year or two. He would not appear to be a natural right tackle.

    Berry may or may not be there at number 5. Even if he is, picking a safety at #5 is boom or bust. Safety is a very injury prone position. Excellent safety prospects are to be had in the second round as well. It is too deep to take this risk.

    I think the Chiefs will move down. Some team will want to pull the trigger on Clausen at #5 before Seattle gets the chance to take him.

    I predict the Chiefs take the highest WR on their board with their first selection no matter where they pick from.


  • April 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    You think that someone may move up to get clausen at #5, but espn radio, mel or someone on mike and mike, said they can see him dropping the 30th pick or so, who the F$%^$ knows huh!!!


  • April 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I highly doubt anyone is going to trade with us to get at Clausen. Seattle just traded picks for Whitehurst, and gave him something like $5 mil a year. I just don’t see them going after a QB high in the draft now. If anyone is that high on Clausen, I see them trading with Seattle to get ahead of Cleveland (who won’t take him either, imo).

    It’s almost time, gentlemen.




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