Some drafts are hard to figure. Let's face it, the average fan doesn't have a clue as to who their team will select, that is unless you're a Kansas City Chief fan.
In 2010 Scott Pioli laid down a blueprint of what types of traits he values in a player and it was never more evident than in this past draft. Height, weight and 40 yard dash numbers were replaced by intangibles.
Where most teams would evaluate talent and then make notes on character, Scott Pioli knows the true value of a player is measured by heart, intelligence, desire and leadership ability. Lets not forget production as well, both on and off the field.
It was more than a coincidence that 87 percent of all of last years draft picks were team captains in college. Don't expect that to change in 2011. The message is simple. Pioli wants winners on his team, ones that are versitle and unselfish. Keepng this in mind, I will present to you a mock draft of players who may find themselves wearing Red next season. Last year I picked three.
For starters, KC traded former Second round bust, Alex Magee, to Tampa Bay with a sixth round pick in exchange for TB's fifth. Also, KC will be getting a sixth from New England for Safety Jarred Page.
What also broke this week that Detroit has to swap picks in Round five with Kansas City and give Kansas City a 7th rounder as well do to improper conduct by Guenther Cunningham in a tampering scheme.
So at this point, KC will have 2 picks in Round 5
As a frame of reference I am using NFLDraftScout.com which predicts at what spot players should be available.
Round One-Ryan Kerrigan (OLB) Purdue- 6'4", 255 pounds Ryan Kerrigan reminds many as a young Mike Vrabel. He was second in the NCAA with 13 sacks and 29 tackles behind the line despite being doubled teamed. Kerrigan is a terror off the edge and has a non stop motor, and has all the intangibles to make him a Pioli guy. He is tough, relentless, and a Team Captain. Also an Academic All American
By putting him at Vrabel's spot ,with Hali on the other side, KC would have one of the better pass rushing tandems in the league. This will allow their Corners to play more zone.
Consideration: Anthony Costanzo- OT / Boston College
Round Two-Randall Cobb (WR) Kentucky- 5'11", 190 pounds Pioli will absolutely fall in love with this guy. He is a Team Captain, has great leadership ability, Is a student of the game, and Is also a leader on the field and gives outstanding effort. He was also voted as an inspirational leader who majors in Leadership Development. An academic All American to boot. One of the great "clutch" players in College football. His 4.46 ranked amongst the best at this months NFL Combine
As a player he is versatile. He broke in as a Quarterback and moved to WR in his second year. He also runs, returns kickoffs and punts and plays gunner. As a WR, he caught 87 passes for well over 1,000 yards. To me he is a young Deon Branch, only with better hands and more power to break tackles. Unlike McCluster, he is a natural WR who explodes out of his cuts, which is what this team needs, a WR that can get open quickly with three step drops, something Cassel has not seen since his New England days. He'll be their No. 2 WR. Can you imagine Cobb, McCluster, and Charles in the "Wildcat".
Consideration SAM ACHO-LB/ TEXAS
Round Three-Clint Boling (OL) Georgia- 6'5", 310 pounds Quite a steal when considering Pro Football Weekly projects him in Round one. Boling has the versatility the Chiefs seek and can play both RG as well as RT and even help out at Center if needed. Bright kid, unselfish team player, very high football IQ, and will be the first to arrive at practice. He has a real passion for the game. Played in a pro style offense and excels as a pulling Guard. Plays beyond his ability.Gives gound a little against the bull rush but that will improve. Excellent technique and adjustments make him special. Team Captain.
Consideration: Lance Kendricks (TE)- Wisconsin
Round Four-Marcus Gilbert (OT) Florida-6'6", 330 pounds Gilbert may just be a gem in this draft. Spent two years protecting Tim Tebow's blindside at Florida. He proved that he could not only pass protect but that he could become a devastating Run Blocker as well. He is durable, reliable, is considered the Offensive Leader, is very mature and is always studying the playbook, looking to improve. Very well liked by coaches and teamates. He has only scratched the surface. What most impresses me is he makes all the line calls. That's unheard of, its almost always the Center. He communicates really well with his teamates at the line of scrimmage. You can't measure that CONSIDERATION-CECIL SHORTS-WR/ MT UNION
Round Five-Ricky Stanzi (QB) Iowa- 6'4, 223- Getting a young QB like Stanzi would certainly help Kansas City as a QB to groom for the future. He is probably the most advanced and Nfl ready QB in the draft and this kid is a winner. His leadership ability is off the charts, Team Captain, team leadership awards in both 2009 and 2010. Stanzi needs to improve his decsion making and accuracy, but his problems are correctable. Consideration here also for ANDY DALTON-QB/ Texas Tech
Round Five-Brandon Fusco (C)-Slippery Rock- 6'4, 305- This kid is a sleeper, but not amongst NFL scouts who are more than aware of him by now. He has great intangibles, Team Captain, Leadership ability, and a high football IQ. He has tremendous upside and could easily be groomed to start at Center in 2012 without looking back. His game is power and quickness
Round Six- Chris Neild (NT)-West Virginia-6'2, 320- OK I hear you. "When are you going to draft a Nose Tackle" Well this is your answer. For one thing he is the only NT who fits Pioli's criteria in this draft. Built low to the ground, he is a 2 down run plugger in the tradition of Kelly Gregg of the Ravens. He was West Virginia's "unsung hero" in their 3-3-5 defensive scheme. He did the dirty work and pushed the pocket. Team Captain. Academic student awards, leadership awards, etc.
Round Seven- Kris Adams (WR)-UTEP- 6'3, 205-4.45 speed. Respected player who made big plays. In fact, averaged more yards per catch than any NCAA reciever in college football at over 23.0 yards per catch. He is a sleeper. He also runs routes well and is an academic phenom.
Now, how about some players not expected to be drafted? I'm allowing myself 9. "Pioli's guys" continue....
Corbin Bryant (NT) Northwestern-6'4, 320-What an amazing story and this gives KC 2 NT
Damien Berry (RB)-Miami- Workhorse this year. Great instincts and toughness. great special teams play
Patrick Dimarco (FB) South Carolina- Has served as Team Captain for 2 years, and has the versatility to open holes at FB, but also be used at H-B and Tight End.
Kyle Adams (TE) Purdue-6'5, 250- Vocal leader, smart, tough, and brings inspiration to a team.
Justin Trattou (OLB) Florida- 6'4, 255- Could convert as a rush linebacker. This kid is relentless, tough as nails, has an unreal work ethic and is a true leader. He will make it and then some.
Derrell Smith (ILB) Syracuse- 6'0, 230- 114 tackles last year, has good instincts, and is well loved by teamates and the coaching staff. He will start in this league given time.
Alex Wujciak (ILB) Maryland- 6'4, 250- Tackling machine with 133. He is the ultimate 2 down run stuffer who was also Team Captain. Super intense. Big Hitter.
Ryan Jones (CB) Northwest Missouri State-5'11, 190- Not your ideal leader but who cares. He has everything you look for in a Corner, and he's a local product who also is well known by Pioli's scouts.
There you have it. If Scott Pioli sticks to his formula as last year, expect some of these names to be playing for Kansas City in 2011.
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