“It starts with scouts identifying players with talent and the makeup that can meet the demands of our organization. It also takes a talented coaching staff that is willing to invest the time that it takes to help a player mature physically and mentally. However, it ultimately comes down to the player doing what it takes to be a pro.”
Bair’s inclusion on last year’s Opening Day roster continued the streak of an undrafted rookie making the team out of training camp each season since Scott Pioli arrived as general manager in 2009.
“Kansas City called me during the draft and told me to be ready when the draft was over,’’ Kinnie said. “I was still hoping to go late-round. When it was over, I got calls from Oakland, New Orleans, New England, Washington, But my agent said Kansas City was really pressing, that they really wanted me and then they called me to say the same thing. So I took their opportunity, and I’m ready to make the best of it.”
This one is on coach Romeo Crennel as much as Pioli, though, because Romeo’s background is coaching the defensive line and Poe is a raw nose tackle with an enormous gap between what he is now and what he may someday become.
The more I think about the pick, the more I like it, actually, because nose tackle was — by FAR — the team’s biggest need and the best chance the Chiefs have of playing top-shelf defense is with a big strong guy taking up two blockers in the middle.
General manager Scott Pioli’s emphasis on building through both lines was crystal clear in this draft, with the Chiefs utilizing their first three picks on players who operate in the trenches. The plan began with the selection of the polarizing Poe, an athletic freak with a massive frame and superior strength who’s remarkably light on his feet, to presumably anchor the middle of the defensive front. Scouts have wondered whether his short- armed build is best suited for a two-gap plugger, however, and his failure to dominate at a lower FCS level has raised questions as well.
“The biggest thing for me is I get to go down and watch the guys in the offseason program,” Crennel said. “I haven’t been able to do that for two weeks even though they’ve been here. I get to go down and watch them lift, see how they’re working and then our coaches can go on the field with them and do individual drills.
“I was excited when the guys came back into the building. Now I’m excited about being able to see them on the field and work with them on the field before those rookies get here.”