Scott Pioli recently did an interview with Clark Judge on CBSSports.com and it was very enlightening. Judge decided to ask Pioli about the process of picking this years draft picks. I am going to provide you with some of the highlights and my own thoughts on what Pioli said. You can see the entire article here.
Props go to reader Spencer who alerted me of this article in the comments to the great “Better Days Ahead” thread, which you should check out. Thanks Spencer.
The article is great as Pioli goes pick by pick. First up, obviously, was Berry. Here is some of what Scott had to say:
We think he’s a dynamic player at a position where, as a staff, we felt that during different times of the year having more speed and tackling at that position would’ve helped our defense. The coaches had done a study about the number of big plays we had given up and how that position was responsible for it. Along with adding what think is a really good football player, we think his makeup is off the charts. He has leadership, confidence and humility. Talk to anyone who’s been around this guy at any level of his life, and they’ll tell you that he is, without a doubt, a special person. I mean, this is a guy who goes down to the equipment room and helps guys clean helmets before the game. There is something different about this kid. When Eric was available, he was the guy we wanted.”
More after the jump.
I love the story about Berry shinning the helmets. That, coupled with my own experience interviewing him at the draft, makes me feel even better about the pick. I only spent a few moments with Berry but he just seemed like a really nice, genuine kid.
There is some real juice when Pioli talks about the 2nd round. Apparently, the Chiefs were interested in trading up for someone but they couldn’t make it happen. Check it out:
“Let’s start with McCluster. With the group of coaches we have here we talked about this at length, and we love the guy’s dynamic playmaking ability — and that’s everyone. Coaches. Scouts. Myself. All of us. First of all, he was one of our top-rated wide receivers, and one of our top-rated running backs. So, with that, we felt here’s a guy who has dynamic playmaking ability, improves our team speed, improves our speed on offense and also gives our coaching staff flexibility to do a number of things. I think coaches will be able to put together a number of different packages where sometimes he’ll be a wide receiver, and sometimes he’ll be a running back. He’s going to be able to do a lot of different things, so we took him. At that point, there were really three players at 36 we were talking about — and we had to make the decision which one had the best chance of getting to 50. So we took Dexter because we thought he had the least likelihood of making it to 50. Afterward I had three calls from different people I know and trust who said he wouldn’t have made it to 50. There was another guy we were considering at 36, but the other two were ahead of him. And what ended up happening was that we tried trading up earlier than 50, weren’t able to get it done and the other player that we wanted went off the board. And then the next guy was Javier (Arenas), so when it came to 50 Javier was our guy.
Interesting stuff. I heard that the Eagles were goign to take McCluster with their pick right after KC at #37. Apparently they were totally shocked when the Chiefs took him and they had to scramble because he was their pick and now he was gone.
The article is really interesting and it helps highlight what Puoli sees in each player. I highly recommend you check out the entire thing.
For now, though, any ideas on who the Chiefs may have wanted to trade up for?