Now that the Chiefs have reached the halfway point, it’s time to take a look at the most recent draft class. So for, Scott Pioli has had an erratic draft record. His first draft class, the 2009 class, is basically a ‘D’ to an ‘F’ draft. His 2010 draft class looks like an ‘A’ or an ‘A+’ draft. Where does the 2011 class rate so far? Let’s go through the picks and see how each pick looks to date.
Round One: Jonathan Baldwin WR
- Thanks to a locker room altercation, it took a few games for Baldwin to make it onto the playing field. When he made it on the field, he showed the athletic skills and hands to be a very effective receiver in the NFL. Time will tell as he learns better route running and develops a rapport with Matt Cassel. However, he could be a big part of a very dangerous receiving corps with Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Tony Moeaki.
Round Two: Rodney Hudson C/G
- Like Jon Asamoah before him, Hudson has been pretty invisible his rookie year. The word on the inside is that the Chiefs like him, but we will not be able to tell until probably next year.
- Houston surprised me early, but entering the starting lineup right away. However, recently he has lost playing time to Andy Studebaker. Houston has the talent to play in the NFL, but he has a lot to learn, especially in pass coverage. Bailey has seen limited playing time. Houston has the athletic ability to play in the NFL. Time will tell if he can learn the position and round out his game enough to be a good OLB. Bailey has not earned enough playing time to justify his third round pick status. He has time to turn it around, but he seems like more of a project at this point.
Round Four: Jalil Brown CB
- Six games played and two tackles doesn’t give anyone the warm and fuzzies about him. Given the way the Chiefs secondary has been hurt by injury, Brown appears to be a disappointment so far.
Round Six: Jerrell Powe NT
- Powe is the biggest enigma of the draft. Many Chiefs fans, including myself, were thrilled when he was picked in round six. The Chiefs need a backup NT with starter potential. However, Powe has been inactive for every game the Chiefs have played so far. There must be something there (conditioning perhaps?) that is keeping him off the field. Unless we see him on the field in the second half of the season, NT might move up higher on the 2012 Chiefs draft needs list.
Round Seven: Shane Bannon FB
- The signing of Le’Ron McClain almost ruined his chances of making the team. Right now, Bannon is on the Practice Squad/Injured list. Most seventh round picks never have much of a career. Bannon will get a chance to show what he can do another day.
Right now, this draft class is looking average. Balwin could be a stud, and Houston could be a steal in round three. The success of this draft will hinge on how well Hudson, Stanzi and Powe develop. It’s too early to tell with any of those players. That’s the way this class breaks down to me. What do you think?