When April’s NFL Draft rolls around, the Kansas City Chiefs will have three of the top 50 selections thanks to their 4-12 record and last year’s trade of Tony Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons. With the first big scouting event of the season — The Senior Bowl — about to wrap up, The Star’s Adam Teicher got a rundown on the talent available to the Chiefs thanks to the quality of underclassmen.
“What that means is that the top of the draft is going to be unbelievable as far as value,” said Shawn Zobel at www.draftheadquarters.com. “There are going to be players that get drafted in the middle of the second round that would have been first-round picks in other years. Look back to last year. (Safety) Louis Delmas was the first pick of the second round. He had a great rookie year for Detroit. But a player like that is going to last into the third or fourth round this year because there are so many good players at the top of the draft.”
The Chiefs have an extra second-round pick this year because of the trade that sent tight end Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta. That gives the Chiefs a first-round pick, the fifth overall, plus the 36th and 50th selections, both in the second round.
They also have the good fortune to have needs at some of the draft’s deepest positions.
“If you look at safety, wide receiver and offensive tackle, there are a lot of players who normally we would have as first-round players but they keep getting pushed down,” said Matt Miller, who runs the draft Web site www.newerascouting.com. “I think this will be one of the most talented second rounds that we’ve had in years.”
The safest choice might be Tennessee safety Eric Berry, if he hasn’t been selected by any of the four teams choosing ahead of them.
“It’s pretty simple if Eric Berry is still available to them,” Zobel said. “Kansas City hasn’t had a play-making safety for quite a few years now. That’s an easy position to see where they need an upgrade. Berry might be the best safety in the draft in the past 10 years.
“Eric Berry is the type of guy the Chiefs absolutely can’t pass on.”
If Kansas City can walk away with Ndamukong Suh or Eric Berry, Scott Pioli would be playing with house money the rest of the weekend. I’m not trying to diminish the value of any picks, but you can take a lot more chances when you lock up playmakers like Suh or Berry early on.
I’ve made not secret that my choice after those two would be Florida CB Joe Haden, but a tackle is much more likely to be next on Pioli’s draft board.
After last year with the Chiefs drafting in the top 3 and then sitting on their hands until the third round, it will be crazy to see the players available to Kansas City in the first 50 picks. No matter what position Pioli and Todd Haley decide to go after, they need to walk away with three starters in the first two rounds.