NFL Combine Mid-Late Round Prospects To Keep An Eye On

As draft aware fans are well aware, the Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the NFL teams have descended upon Indianapolis for the annual dog and pony show known as the NFL Combine. Unemployed draft nuts will be sitting in front of the TV with their beer and wings to watch the proceedings on the NFL network. The even more insane draft fans will be recording the proceedings to view later. So far, the Merlin DVR does not have a recording scheduled…. but I may succumb later.

At best, the Combine might produce a fun moment. The Terrence Cody man boobs weigh in and the Tom Brady ‘who knocked me down and took my lunch money’ shots are priceless. Despite the fun and ‘watching the fieldturf grow’ excitement, there is some value in the underwear olympics. This is an opportunity for players to measure themselves against other players in controlled drills and other measureables. For the elite prospects, this is of limited value. However, for mid-later round prospects, especially prospects from non-elite schools, this event can make the difference of a round or three of draft position. A friend of mine (shoutout, GB!!!) called my attention to a recent article recalling a 2007 interview with Scott Pioli talking about the Combine when he was with the Patriots. I would assume his comments would be highly applicable to today’s Chiefs. With all that in mind, let’s talk about a few mid-late round prospects the Chiefs may be interested in whose draft ranking could be affected by the Combine.

Cecil Shorts III, WR Mount Union

Coming from a Division 3 school, Cecil has a ton to prove. Players at that level rarely succeed at the NFL level. So, Cecil will have to show that he has the athleticism to compete at the highest level of football. He tore up D3 football as a three time All-American. He is a do-it-all type, playing WR, QB, RB as well as returning kicks and punts. In college, his athletic ability was enough to dominate. At the Combine, he must show he has the strength and agility to get off press coverage. Currently, he is carrying a 6th round grade. With a good combine performance, he could rise to a round four grade or fall to an undrafted ranking.

Ricki Stanzi QB Iowa

I have had my eye on Stanzi all year long. He seems to be the kind of QB Scott Pioli is looking for. Stanzi is a smart, game manager type with good leadership qualities. His arm is average and he tends to be erratic. Having a good QB coach will be critical in his development wherever he lands. Stanzi currently carries a round four grade and I hope it doesn’t move higher. The earliest I want to spend a draft pick on a development QB is round five. Sometimes, you are not rooting for success. Do us a favor Ricki, sail a pass or ten for us. You would look good in red and gold.

Demarcus Love, OT, Arkansas

At 6′ 5”, 318 lbs, Love has the body you want in a tackle, plus he has played four years in the tough SEC conference. Loyal Chief fans know the love that Pioli has for the SEC. Love has a positives. He is a good run blocker with a mean streak. Personally, I want offensive lineman to have a mean streak. He has versatility, playing three positions on the line. Right now, he carries a 5th round grade. If he shows that his balance and leverage issues can be corrected, he could make a fine right tackle.

Sione Fua, NT Stanford

Fua is a 4th round NT prospect. In college, he was an excellent run stuffer with good lateral movement. However, at 307 lbs, he appears undersized for that role in the NFL. Fua is very strong and that will help. However, the medical examination will be key here. Do teams think he can carry an additional 15+ lbs well? If so, he could be a nice NT.

Tim Barnes, C/G Missouri

Barnes is the type of center the Chiefs could look at in the mid-rounds. Barnes is a very smart, quick center who needs a decent amount of work on his footwork and overall technique. He is best suited for a zone blocking scheme. Currently, he is rated as a 4th round prospect. Keep an eye on this player, Addicts. He is the kind of guy I can see Pioli trading up for, if needed. He could follow the Jon Asamoah route and sit and learn for a year or so. However, he has tons of long term potential for the the right team and the Chiefs are the right kind of team for him.

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scott Pioli

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