Merlin’s Magic: Walter Football Mock Draft Review Edition

I’ll confess, I have a love/hate feeling about Walter Football. In many ways, they do a very good job in commenting on football teams and the draft class. They have been accused of an anti-Chiefs bias. I think that is overblown and unfair. However, what is fair is that they don’t like Matt Cassel and don’t like the direction the Chiefs are going in. While it does not rise to the level of a bias, I believe it does affect their evaluation of the Chiefs.

Recently, Matt McGuire from Walter Football expanded his mock draft to three rounds. For the Chiefs, that gives us four players. It also gives us a chance to see Matt’s strategy in action. When I comment on mocks, I am not looking at it from the perspective of what I would do. I look at it from the point of view of reasonableness. Do the individual picks make sense? Do the sum total of picks represent a solid strategy for the Chiefs? If both answers are yes, then I give the mock a thumbs up. If not, a thumbs down. Let’s go through Matt’s mock. It highlights some of the problems with some Chief mocks.

Round One

Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
The Kirk Ferentz-Scott Pioli connection is alive and well here for Kansas City. What is also in play is that Pioli puts a huge emphasis on positional value.

While this may not be my pick, it’s a solid reasonable pick. This one gets a thumbs up.
Round Two, first pick

Kansas City Chiefs: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Kansas City could really use a big play threat at the tight end position for Matt Cassel and Gresham is an outstanding value at this point in the second round.

What happened to positional value? Matt has totally flipped and is making a value argument at this point. Is the upgrade at TE that important? I think we can get a decent TE prospect later on in the draft. This one gets a thumbs down. Pioli does put a high emphasis on positional value are there are far too many high positional needs. For example, in his mock, Terrance Cody is still on the board.

Round Two, second pick.

Kansas City Chiefs: Nate Allen, FS, South Florida
The Chiefs need to shore up the safety position, but releasing Bernard Pollard didn’t help anybody.

I may have taken Chad Jones at this point, but this is another solid pick that represents good value at a position of need.

Round Three

Kansas City Chiefs: Dexter McCluster, ATH, Ole Miss
McCluster gives this team a much needed weapon offensively.

Whoa! Now, this is a pick out of left field. I don’t see it happening, but there is a bigger problem. Take a look at the set of picks Matt made. He took an OT, TE, FS and a WR/RB/KR. What is missing? No, zero, not one pick for the defensive front seven. That, Addicts, is the making of an epic fail. With only the signing of one reserve defensive player, Matt would spend three of his first four picks on Offense. From where I sit, this represents a fundamental mistake in Matt’s approach. Specifically, Matt points out that Pioli puts a big emphasis on positional value. That is quite true. What is also true is that Pioli builds from the trenches out. While Bulaga may not be a sexy, exciting pick, it is a solid, trench pick. However, the same is true for the nose tackle position. It is a very important position in the 3-4 defense and right now, it’s still a gaping hole. For Pioli to pass on all the decent NT prospects for three rounds is hard to imagine. For that alone, this draft is not good.

I don’t mean to focus solely on Matt’s draft. You can see this pattern at work with many mock drafts. Fan drafts especially are prone to this. Mockers can get caught up in value and miss the big picture. Plus, many mocks focus too much on the ‘skill’ positions. Sure, they are the sexy picks, but what wins in the NFL is solid play on the offensive line and defensive front seven.

Got a question for AA’s resident draft guru, Merlin? Just want to talk draft? Head over to AA’s “Ask Merlin” forum and get involved. While you are there, also be sure to check out the Addict Posts, Addict Alert!, and Rumors forums. The AA forums are a great way (aside from commenting) for you to get involved in the Chiefs community here at AA.

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