With just 11 days and a few hours until the Draft, the Chiefs intentions still remain unclear. The same can not be said for the 4 teams picking in front of them. While anything can happen, it seems very likely the Rams will take Bradford, the Lions draft Suh, the Bucs get McCoy and Washington will pick Okung.
This scenario would leave the Eric Berry, safety out of Tennessee there for the Chiefs to snatch. While Betty is a favorite choice for many around AA and Chiefs Nation in general, there has been much speculation that Scott Pioli will avoid taking a safety as high as #5. If he does indeed pass on Berry, pundits are speculating that KC wil go the “safe route” by taking one of the top offensive tackles.
While OT is a possible pick for the Chiefs in the first round, I keep thinking back to something Scott Pioli said at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Q: Will offensive line be a priority for you in the draft this year as you try and help Cassel?
PIOLI: “I don’t know if it’s a priority but it’s certainly something we need to get better at, there’s no doubt. Everyone saw us play. When you win four games, it’s offensive line and there are some other positions. We’ve got some good players on the offensive line and we need to get more good players on the offensive line – just like we need to get more good players on the defensive line and at linebacker. This is an easy question to answer because unfortunately, when you win four games you’ve got to do a lot of things better. Like I said, I have to do a better job, the coaches have to do a better job and the players have to do a better job.”
After Pioli said this, he added Casey Weigmann to compete at C and Ryan Lilja at G. Lilja will almost certainly be a starter. Taking another lineman in the first round, whether it be a LT or a RT, would in my opinion, be making the offensive line a priority. I think that the Chiefs were encouraged by Branden Albet’s improved play last season in the 2nd half of the year. I also think they were pleased how Ryan O’Callahan settled in as a starter at RT. With Lilja taking a starting G spot and Brian Waters still being Brian Waters, center remains the only serious weakness on the team.
You don’t take a center in the first round.
So was Scott Pioli bluffing? Does he not consider adding 2 to 3 starters along the offensive line making it a priority? Pioli may want to take a safe pick but is he willing to reach for a position he feels is safe, like ILB?
We likely won’t find out until April 22nd. So stay tuned because AA will be there when it happens.