It didn’t qualify for headlines the size of “War Ends in Europe” but Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli did throw out a bit of a shocker when he met with the media on Friday:
“I know some of my limitations as an evaluator and some of the mistakes that I have made in the past.”
Pioli is pretty good about not drinking the Kool-Aid passed about concerning his prowess in selecting players in the NFL Draft. He’s always been willing to admit that the Patriots drafting of Tom Brady with choice No. 199 back in the 2000 Draft was more luck than skill.
Anybody making personnel decisions in the NFL is not going to come through the process with a perfect record. There are too many players that must be evaluated and they are humans with all their faults and foibles. Some football pundits and fans have been quick to confer genius status on Pioli for the Chiefs class of players from last year’s draft β Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Tony Moeaki and Kendrick Lewis have kick-started the group with strong contributions in their rookie seasons.
“I think the jury’s still out on the 2010 Draft; we don’t know where that is going to end up,” Pioli said. “Sure, we had a number of good young players that came in and contributed as players. You need to have consistency. We don’t know where the 2010 group’s going to end up yet.
“The greater contribution that group of players made was from a make-up standpoint, how they helped us on that continuum of changing the culture and buying into and believing, buying into the way the head coach wants to do things, the way he’s doing things, and the way we are organizationally doing things.”
There’s one more season of evidence for evaluating Pioli’s class from the 2009 Draft and it is not a pretty picture. First-round choice DE Tyson Jackson has been a disappointment. The second-round pick was traded for QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel, a move that worked out pretty well. In the seventh round, on the last pick of the draft, they got K Ryan Succop.
But the rest of the draft class was not productive and cannot be sold as such in any manner. Third-round pick DE Alex Magee is gone. Fifth-round choice OL Colin Brown is gone. Seventh-round RB Javarris Williams is gone.
Fourth-round DB Donald Washington, sixth-round WR Quinten Lawrence and seventh-round TE Jake O’Connell remain, but have contributed little in minor roles on the offense, defense and special teams.
“I think the jury’s still out on that draft and time will tell, but I think looking at it in its entirety is important to do,” Pioli said. “I think looking at drafts through a very, very narrow scope of things can be damaging.
“What I would say is your perception of it is that it’s not a productive draft, but I look back to that draft and think we do have a good player in Tyson Jackson. I know the jury is still out; we all need to see that. Everyone in our organization is pretty confident still that Tyson is going to be a good player.”
Jackson has played in 28 games over two seasons, producing 62 tackles and one sack. Would Pioli draft Jackson again?
“I’d take the same player again,” Pioli said. “Absolutely. Absolutely.”