More Senior Bowl Week Thoughts


More thoughts concerning what I’ve seen and what I’ve read about Senior Bowl week:

  • We’ve talked before about how Pioli’s first Draft with the Chiefs last year was particularly heavy on project players. That’s not for no reason — Pioli diligently values physical ability over most other things. He’s not going to Draft in the mid-to-late rounds somebody who may have all the experience and statistics in the world but simply doesn’t have the size or speed to play. That’s why we end up with project players like Donald Washington, Colin Brown, or Javaris Williams. Because while they will all require work, they have the sheer physical abilities necessary to make it in this league. Washington is a physical freak athlete, Brown is massive and very strong, Williams is a brilliant size/speed combo — and Pioli thinks he has a better chance hitting on athletes that he has to teach than readymade players who have lesser physical ability. That means that Pioli’s drafts will have a natural tendency to lean towards projects who have upside. It’s risky, but Pioli figures it’s even riskier to try known quantities that will only be so good.
  • I share this observation because we have a new player in the running, it seems, for late-round Pioli project player: OLB Koa Misi, Utah. This guy is why you have Senior Bowl week; he would have been struggling to get drafted without showing this week that he is every bit as athletic as any other rushbacker a 3-4 teams like the Chiefs could use. Reports have been glowing about what he is able to do, and he seems like the perfect project for Pioli in a rushbacker-deep Draft.
  • Don’t believe the hype: no matter how much people dog S Taylor Mays (USC), he will be a first round pick. Talk about him being a second round pick is nothing short of ludicris for a guy that is fast enough to take away half the field and that offers some amazing athletic possibilities. If there is ANY chance that Mays falls to the second round, the Chiefs absolutely have no choice but to take him. I don’t care. They have to take him. It doesn’t even matter to me if they take Eric Berry in the first. Mays is Top 10 talent. You take the best player available, and he’s it if he makes it to the second.
  • For all those nose tackle fans out there, DT Cam Thomas (North Carolina) is getting some great buzz as a pure nose. He’s a midround prospect by most people’s measure. Getting him at the top of the 3rd would almost certainly be a reach. If you’re as high on the importance of a great nose tackle as most Chiefs fans are, it may be worth the reach. I remain agnostic; I’ve seen him do a few things and I’m not quite sold.
  • This doesn’t have anything to do with Senior Bowl, but why hasn’t anybody been talking about the duo of nose tackles coming out of East Carolina? Put together they are almost 13 feet tall and 700 lbs, and they’re both tentatively graded as midrounders but virtually nothing serious has been written about them. DT CJ Wilson (East Carolina) is a brick house of a man, God spare the two men who have to double him.
  • Allow me to continue to RB Ben Tate (Auburn) Campaign. He is the real deal. Now there’s a third rounder you’re not reaching for.
  • CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State) also continues to be a guy who rises to these kinds of occasions. He had a great game against TCU, and this week he has just had a blast making every other corner — even those graded higher than him — look like low-rounders. Wilson has a realistic shot of actually playing himself into first round consideration. And this cat returns kicks. That’s right Chiefs fans. I can see your ears perk up…
  • Normally I’d take this opportunity to say that WR/KR Jacoby Ford (Clemson) is just a trap for a draft pick, but I know he’s the kind of fixer-upper athlete Pioli takes interest in. He is one of the most amazing sprinters you’ll see on a football field. But he is so hot and cold, I think he’s made all his plays in college by being a phenomenal athlete, but I’m not entirely sold on his hands, his route running, or his ability to field the football.  But when he gets space, he’s gone, and his potential as a field-stretcher/kick returner if he drops to the fifth could be too much for Pioli to pass on. If he means so much to you, just pick up CJ Spiller.
  • WHO IS WR ANDRE ROBERTS (The Citadel)??? Good lord, this guy is just something else for a dude coming out of nowhere. Make no mistake, he’s a project. But how many projects do you have from a small school sport his hands and route-running? As long as he times out okay at his Pro Day, he has an amazing amount of potential for an early-round pick. Now, that said, I wouldn’t expect Pioli to spend a pick on him — Pioli only prefers small school prospects in the latest of rounds. He’s a big school homer. But boy oh boy, what a week this kid’s had. I want to see more.
  • To my absolute non-surprise, C JD Walton (Baylor) has consistently looked great this week. I’m telling you, we could spent one of our second rounders on something a lot worse than an ultra-competitive center who brings it every play.