Every Monday, I will be posting a hypothetical scenario involving the Chiefs’ eight draft picks in the 2010 Draft.
1st round: S Eric Berry, Tennessee
I will be going through many mocks over the upcoming offseason, but let it be no surprise that I believe Eric Berry is the best game-changer this team can acquire with its 5th overall selection. This year is simply not the year to trade down; there are a handful of players available at the top of this draft that could serve to be elite regulars on the annual All Pro list. Of those players, Eric Berry helps the Chiefs in the place where they need it most: pass defense.
Our safeties were our Achilles heel all season simply because their coverage was poor, their speed was awful, and their playmaking ability was precisely zero. I like Jon McGraw and Mike Brown as much as the next guy, but starting safeties, they aren’t. Their lack of speed translated to the corners being forced to play their receivers soft, and allowed even the woeful Kyle Orton without his three best receivers to rack up 400 yards in a game we won.
Berry changes all that. His tangibles are great (speed, ball skills, coverage, run support) but what makes him great are the intangibles. He is a quarterback of a defense, a true Ed Reed in waiting. He can lead a defense, force offenses to be less ambitious, and punish them when they aren’t.
2nd round: OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
Expect a ton of 3-4 OLBs to go in the first round this year. Jerry Hughes, Eric Norwood, Sergio Kindle. Pass-rushing is becoming a lost art for many of the teams in this league and pass rushers will go high and often. The most likely edge-rushing demon to fall to the Chiefs will be Von Miller, most likely due to his size. But it’s the size of the fight in the dog, my friends. Miller beat top-prospect left tackle Russell Okung more than his fair share of times.
Von Miller is a pass-rushing specialist. That’s essentially all he does; he’s not going to swallow up blockers in run defense. But I’d spend a high 2nd on Elvis Dumervil, and I think that’s who Von Miller shapes up to be.
2nd round: WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame
The acquisition of Monster Head Weis as offensive coordinator means two things for the Draft: (1.) a ton of Notre Dame talent will be declaring (Tate already has), and (2.) we are far more likely to target them. Weis knows exactly what to do with Golden Tate, and this offense desperately needs the kid’s hands. Tate is a smaller receiver who could nicely compliment the abilities of Dwayne Bowe. With Chambers on board, Tate may be a decent slot receiver, finally laying the ax on Bobby Wade or Lance Long.
3rd round: OT Kyle Calloway, Iowa
This offensive line has a few holes, but one of them is the limited upside of right tackle O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan performed admirably in the final parts of the season, but he’s going to be a liability in pass protection as long as we keep him out there. Calloway provides better pass protection, and he’s a good deal better in the run game as well. Calloway is unlikely to be a potential left tackle fill-in, however, and that may be what this team needs the most.
4th round: C Eric Olson, Notre Dame
I honestly don’t mean to continue harping on the idea of importing Notre Dame’s offense to Kansas City, but with this franchise’s current track record of nepotism, who’d be surprised? Olson is nevertheless good midround talent, a smart player to man the middle and make blocking assignments, as well as able in the run game. More important than bringing Olson in, I believe, is kicking Rudy Niswanger out, who was our team’s biggest liability in the starting lineup all season.
5th round: CB Alterraun Verner, UCLA
I’ve discussed how unusual Pioli’s first draft for the Chiefs, in that he selected almost an entire class of project players with potential upside rather than players who could be immediately ready to contribute. This year, I would imagine Pioli would be focused on more NFL-ready players, and Verner fits the bill while Donald Washington continues to slowly progress.
5th round: NT Kade Weston, Georgia
In my opinion, this is a reach for Weston, but this is the three-down NT that Pioli and Haley want (not the two-down NT that many fans assume Terrance Cody could be for the Chiefs–my guess is that Pioli couldn’t be less interested). In addition to the stout nose Weston could provide this team, he also has the ability to get into the backfield, which of course could be a welcome development for this defense. Pressure up the middle is a must.
5th round: ILB Ryan D’Imperio, Rutgers
D’Imperio is a project as Rutgers didn’t ask him to drop into coverage as much as the Chiefs will, but he has been a solid MLB for Rutgers due to his block-shedding ability. This ability, not his subpar speed, is why I believe that D’Imperio might the much-needed ability to get into the backfield, something the Chiefs’ inside linebackers were lackluster at all season.
Potential depth chart after the jump.
Any picks that you like? Any picks that you hate?
QB: Cassel, Croyle, Gutierrez
RB: Charles, Williams, Smith
WR: Bowe, Chambers, Tate, Wade, Lawrence
TE: Pope, Cottam, O’Connell
LT: Albert, Ndukwe
LG: Waters, Harris
C: Olson, Smith
RG: Brown, Smith
RT: Calloway, O’Callaghan
DE: Dorsey, Magee
NT: Weston, Edwards
DE: Jackson, Gilberry
OLB: Hali, Miller
ILB: Williams, Belcher
ILB: Johnson, D’Imperio
OLB: Vrabel, Studebaker
CB: Flowers, Carr, Vernor, Washington, Leggett
S: Berry, Morgan, Page, McGraw