Greetings, Internet friends. It’s been a while since we chatted here. I’ve been busy lately with regular life stuff I won’t bore you with, but our newest draft class has never been far from my mind. And since I’ve gotten a couple emails from readers (friends and relatives) wanting to know my thoughts on the draft, I thought I’d put pen to paper, as it were*.
*Note: I don’t write on Mondays when Paddy and I do AA Radio Sunday. It’s an either/or. Trust me, you people don’t want to be seeing me more than once a week.
I’m still a Poe boy; nothing has changed there. But from what I can tell, my reasons for being a Poe Boy differ from some of yours.
“He’s a Chief, let’s get behind him!” is a nice sentiment, but shouldn’t factor into objective analysis. “Gotta trust Romeo” is something I’ve said, about this pick even, but the truth is that although our defense is on the rise, Crennel hasn’t delivered a top-10 unit yet. And in any case, I’m not in the habit of bestowing unconditional trust on men who run sports teams. You know, because I’m from Kansas City?
There are two reasons I really like this pick. The first is that it’s further proof we don’t have Scott Pioli pegged. I like that. My fear with him was always that he was too safe, or risk-averse, or, for lack of a better word, lame. Homerun swings are definitely not lame. Chicks dig the long ball, after all.
But really, I just find this to be a fascinating experiment. I have no idea how it will end. Bust? Maybe. There are concerns. Valid ones. For one thing, I always raise an eyebrow at the concept of “coaching up.” Not that coaches are unimportant, far from it. It’s just that the people already in the industry have a vested interest in the “coaching up” concept, because it assigns credit for success to them, not the players. Because of the high turnover rate among coaches and GMs in professional sports, these guys have to constantly defend their own work. “We’re gonna coach ‘im up.” Sure. Herm Edwards used to say it, for Christ’s sake.
Still, what happens when you give a defensive coach the best athlete in the draft to fill his last remaining position of need? We’re about to find out. Poe is also a really interesting data point in the widely held belief that the Combine is overrated. Fail or succeed, and we learn a lesson.
I can understand not wanting another D-tackle. Lord knows the Chiefs have whiffed there a time or two. But Poe really isn’t that similar to Ryan Sims, or Tyson Jackson. I like to think of him as more of an Eric Downing 2.0 type.
Kidding. I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but I have this feeling Poe will make Tin Man and Dorsey look like they’re moving through water. I also think he’ll have more sacks than either, even as a rookie. The Chiefs are already referring to him as a three-down lineman. Can you imagine such a thing? A lineman picked high in the first round who doesn’t have to come out on the most important downs? It’s like we just drafted a mythical creature.
Poe excites me. I can’t say the same about the rest of the class. Cyrus Gray and DeQuan Menzie both get an early thumbs up, but it’s tough to expect too much from late-round picks before we’ve even seen them.
Jeff Allen seems like a decent pick, but I can’t help but wonder if Pioli is overvaluing Allen’s supposed versatility. The Chiefs think he can play guard, too. Couldn’t basically any tackle play guard? I mean, failed tackles move to guard all the time. Remember John Welbourn?
Crennel says they just want to play the best five linemen. I applaud that mentality. But if you draft specifically for versatility, you’re not really being flexible, are you? It seems to me most good linemen would be capable of playing a few positions well. I’d prefer to see them pick the best players, and then find a spot for them. Maybe that’s what they’re doing with Allen. But the immediate talk of versatility makes me wonder.
In the end, Allen is a solid lineman, and you can never have too many of those. We do need at least one guy who can step in and do a decent job in case of injury. This was probably a solid pick, but it didn’t wow me.
Donald Stephenson appears likely to follow in the footsteps of Donald Washington. And what I mean by that is I think they’re going to convert him to safety. I know he’s 300 pounds, but I’ve got a feeling.
Even if drafting a potential replacement for Branden Albert is sound planning, I don’t particularly like what it says. I fear Albert may be the next good player to hit the old dusty trail. But perhaps a more likely scenario is that Stephenson simply never becomes a starter.
Devon Wylie makes me wonder how many receivers we’ll carry this season. I’m going to assume D-Bowe is playing for us this year. Baldwin and Breaston are locks. Is McCluster a receiver? Does Terry Copper somehow make this team again? Are Wylie and Junior “Steinbeck” Hemingway in competition for a roster spot? Questions. Questions that need answering. I say we bring in Quinten Lawrence to mentor the whole lot of ‘em. Sure he’s a defensive back for the Dolphins now, but he’s also a former member of Todd Haley’s Core (THC). Methinks a future first-round pick could pry him away and get him back where he belongs.
Last year’s draft class is still my favorite, but to me Poe is unquestionably Pioli’s boldest first-round pick. Fortune favors the bold. I think it was Jimmy Raye who first said that?
Poe Boys Unite