Poe needs to be Romeo Crennel’s version of Vince Wilfork to justify a draft that looks more toward the future. Allen and Stephenson provide valuable depth and youth in the offensive line, especially if the club can’t keep Branden Albert after 2012. Wylie has durability issues and history of fumbles. Menzie is a capable backup at safety or nickel back.
Second-round offensive lineman Jeff Allen likely will be a backup swing blocker in his first season, but he could give the Chiefs options if veteran guard Ryan Lilja, 30, begins to hit the wall. Fourth-round receiver Devon Wylie adds a new weapon alongside — or in place of — Dexter McCluster, and sixth-round running back Cyrus Gray could give the team an additional rusher alongside Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis.
“We put ourselves into a situation where we could look for the best athlete available,” coach Romeo Crennel said Saturday. “In the later rounds, you can reach a little bit today and not feel as bad about it.”
“This was a challenging preparation overall with Phil Emery leaving us,” Pioli said, referring to the team’s former Director of College Scouting that was recently named Chicago’s general manager. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of the guys in the scouting department and the coaches.
“This is as interesting and as energizing collaboration between a large group of people that I’ve been involved with in a long time.”
The Chiefs chose the shifty, undersized wide receiver out of Fresno State with their fourth-round pick Saturday, adding a potential target over the middle for quarterback Matt Cassel.
“People consider me to be an undersized slot receiver, and that’s fine if that’s the way they want to look at it. I take it as a compliment,” Wylie said. “Wes Welker has shown to be an amazing receiver — one of the most productive season-in and season-out. So that’s fine with me.”
By the time the draft rolled around, it seemed as though Poe could fall into the 20s. But the Chiefs took him because of his ability and the fact he fills their greatest need. Poe was the best talent at No. 11 and the fact he filled a major need makes this a logical pick.
But if Poe doesn’t develop, the Chiefs will get heat for not following the general consensus. The team has failed to hit a home run with recent picks on the defensive line, so the Chiefs have to make this work. Kansas City thinks Poe will excel under coach Romeo Crennel because he will concentrate on one position as opposed to having to play several spots as he did in college. If the Chiefs are right, this will be a big score. If not, they’ll be forever reminded of it.