Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley and GM Scott Pioli made it clear they knew for a while that Tennessee safety Eric Berry was the right fit for their team. But according to the Tacoma News Tribune (via Bob Gretz), offensive line coach Bill Muir wanted the Chiefs to select OT Russell Okung.
The Seattle draft room watched the Chiefs move with some anxiety, especially offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who definitely wanted to put Okung in a Seahawks uniform.
“I was scared to death because I know the line coach there (Chiefs OL coach Bill Muir) very well and he wanted this kid as bad, or worse, than I did,” Gibbs said. “And he didn’t get him. So we quickly texted him and said, ‘Ha, ha,’ and all that good stuff. We’re all in the same community and we all think together so that’s kind of the way it is.”
Seattle has to go down as the gold medal winner in the first round, getting Okung and then adding Texas safety Earl Thomas with the 14th pick. Okung was considered the best offensive lineman in the Class of ‘10, while Thomas was thought by some to be the equal if not better than Berry as a safety. Carroll also went for Thomas rather than his former Southern Cal safety Taylor Mays.
I can’t tell you what I would have given to spend yesterday (or today for that matter) in the Chiefs draft room. Not because I think Muir was in there standing on the table for Okung the way Dick Vermeil once did for Jared Allen, but instead to see the Pioli and Haley work the phones and finally make a decision.
The Seahawks had a great first round and Carroll passing on Mays for Thomas should tell us everything we need to know about his prospects as an NFL safety.