Scott Pioli: Master Drafter?


There seems to be a popular belief that Scott Pioli ranks at or somewhere near the top among NFL talent gurus – which seemingly includes an uncanny ability to find hidden talent deep in the draft. Surely one need look no further than Matt Cassell for proof of that, right?

Well, thought I, before I start using that perception as a basis for predicting an emergent Chiefs dynasty and the concomitant doom of the league’s residuum, I thought it probably best to arm myself with a few facts on the subject – you know, the kind of stuff that serves to blow away any and all skeptics.  One never knows where or when this sort of information might come in handy after all. Even better, I figured such an undertaking might provide some useful insight about our new GM’s drafting strategy.

What follows are Patriots’ drafts that Scott Pioli undoubtedly had a hand in – dating back to 2001, starting with the most recent.

2008:

  • Round 1, pick 10 – OLB, Jerod Mayo; AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. So far, so good. A homerun by most people’s standards.
  • Round 2, pick 62 – CB Terrence Wheatley; limited playing time due to injury, expected to start next season.  Looks okay but more data needed.
  • Round 3, pick 78 – OLB Shawn Crable; IR, has yet to play a single down in the NFL. More data needed.
  • Round 3, pick 94 – QB Kevin Connell; no notable accomplishments. Currently back-up to a 7th round selection. More date needed.
  • Round 4, pick 129 – CB Jonathon Wilhite; no notable accomplishments. More data needed.
  • Round 5, pick 153 – WR Matt Slater; no notable accomplishments. More data needed
  • Round 6, pick 197 – LB Bo Ruud; no notable accomplishments. More data needed.

2007:

  • Round 1, pick 24 – DB Brandon Merriweather; jury is out. Possible bust owing to off-field issues.
  • Round 4, pick 127 – DT Kareem Brown; wasted pick.
  • Round 5, pick 171 – T Clint Oldenburg; wasted pick.
  • Round 6, pick 180 – LB Justin Rogers; wasted pick.
  • Round 6; pick 202 – DB Mike Richardson; no notable accomplishments. Member of the practice squad.
  • Round 6; pick 208 – RB Justise Hairston; wasted pick
  • Round 6; pick 209 – OT Corey Hilliard; wasted pick
  • Round 7; pick 211 – LB Oscar Lua; wasted pick
  • Round 7; pick 247 – G Mike Elgin; wasted pick

2006:

  • Round 1, pick 21 – RB Laurence Maroney; solid pick.
  • Round 2, pick 36 – WR Chad Jackson; total bust
  • Round 3. pick 86 – TE David Thomas; nothing spectacular, injury concerns.
  • Round 4, pick 106 – RB Garrett Mills; wasted pick
  • Round 4, pick 118 – K Stephen Gostkowski; excellent pick.
  • Round 5, pick 136 – T Ryan O’Callaghan; no notable accomplishments
  • Round 6; pick 191 – LB Jeremy Mincey; wasted pick
  • Round 6; pick 205 – G Dan Stevenson; wasted pick
  • Round 6; pick 206 – DT Le Kevin Smith; no notable accomplishments
  • Round 7; pick 229 – CB Willie Andrews; out of NFL; major off-field issues.

2005:

  • Round 1, pick 32 – G Logan Mankins; 1 Pro Bowl, 1 All Pro. Home run.
  • Round 3, pick 84 – CB Ellis Hobbs; spotty play early on but improving, very good as return man. For a 3rd rounder, appears to be a pretty solid pick.
  • Round 3, pick 100 – T Nick Kaczur; solid performer so far but substance abuse concerns
  • Round 4, pick 133 – S James Sanders; solid pick.
  • Round 5, pick 170 – LB Ryan Claridge; wasted pick.
  • Round 7, pick 230 – QB Matt Cassell; his string of accomplishments are already the stuff of legend, aren’t they?

2004:

  • Round 1, pick 21 – NT Vince Wilfork; 1 Pro Bowl, 1 All Pro. Widely viewed as dirty player, arguably a homerun.
  • Round 1, pick 32 – TE Benjamin Watson; great speed, but not an elite TE. Arguably a bust.
  • Round 2, pick 63 – DE Marquise Hill; arguably a bust based on two season’s work, untimely death notwithstanding.
  • Round 3, pick 95 – S Guss Scott; bust.
  • Round 4, pick 113 – S Dexter Reid; wasted pick/bust.
  • Round 4, pick 128 – RB Cedric Hobbs; wasted pick/bust
  • Round 5, pick 164 – WR P.K. Sam; wasted pick
  • Round 7; pick 233 – CB Christian Morton; wasted pick

2003:

  • Round 1, pick 13 – DE Ty Warren; solid performer but not elite. Questionable pick.
  • Round 2, pick 36 – FS Eugene Wilson; major bust
  • Round 2, pick 45 – WR Bethel Johnson; major bust
  • Round 4, pick 117 – DT/LB/FB Dan Klecko; like taking Boomer Grigsby in the 4th round – very weak pick.
  • Round 4, pick 120 – CB Asante Samuel; 2 Pro Bowls, 1 All Pro. Outstanding pick but perhaps one might question the reasoning behind selecting Klecko before Samuel.
  • Round 5, pick 164 – C Dan Koppen; 1 Pro Bowl, 1 All Pro. Outstanding get.
  • Round 6, pick 201 – Kliff Kingsbury; wasted pick
  • Round 7, pick 234 – TE Spencer Nead; who?
  • Round 7, pick 239 – LB Tully Banta-Cain; wasted pick
  • Round 7, pick 243 – NT Ethan Kelly; no notable accomplishments, currently with Cleveland

2002:

  • Round 1, pick 21 – TE Daniel Graham; major bust
  • Round 2, pick 65 – WR Deion Branch; SB MVP, left NE d/t contract dispute.
  • Round 4, pick 117 – QB Rohan Davey; returned to Middle Earth presumably.
  • Round 4, pick 126 – DE Jarvis Green; backup to Seymour and Warren. Decent 4th rounder.
  • Round 7, pick 237 – RB Antwoine Womack; wasted pick.
  • Round 7, pick 253 – WR David Givens; injury prone, currently FA

2001:

  • Round 1, pick 6 – DT/DE Richard Seymour; 5 Pro Bowls, 4 All Pros; Clearly a homerun.
  • Round 2, pick 48 – T Matt Light; 2 Pro Bowls, 1 All Pro; another homerun.
  • Round 3, pick 86 – CB Brock Williams; bust
  • Round 4, pick 96 – T Kenyatta Jones; wasted pick / bust
  • Round 4, pick 119 – TE Jarbari Holloway; wasted pick
  • Round 5, pick 163 – DB Hakim Akbar; injury prone, off-field issues
  • Round 6, pick 180 – TE Arther Love; wasted pick
  • Round 6, pick 200 – CB Leornard Myers; no notable accomplishments; no longer in NFL, sold his Super Bowl ring on E-Bay.
  • Round 7, pick 216 – K Owen Pochman; wasted pick
  • Round 7, pick 239  – LB T.J. Turner; wasted pick

The first thing that stands out to me is the fact that, other than perhaps Maroney, there simply are no “sexy” 1st round picks. Not a single WR or QB in the bunch. The preference, if there is one, seems to be for defensive players.

Next, for the sake of comparison, I recommend that everyone re-familiarize themselve with the results of the three most recent Chiefs’ drafts. Can it be fairly claimed that Pioli’s draft history presents a compelling case of accomplishment? Because we’re still in the honeymoon period and all, let’s be charitable and acknowledge that there are some huge success stories to be found in this portfolio. As for the rest, claiming a bounty of positives, much less consistent success, especially with Pioli’s mid-to-late round selections seems a bit of a stretch.

So Addicts, what’s the verdict? Ready to hop on the Piolar Draft Express as it pulls out of Edwards-Kuharich Station? ALL ABOARD!!!

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Tags: Chiefs 2009 Draft; Patriots Draft History Kansas City Chiefs Matt Cassel NFL Draft Scott Pioli