Is Tennessee safety Eric Berry worth the fifth pick in the draft? It’s been a non-stop discussion over the past couple of months, but the Chiefs are just a couple of days away from finally being forced to make a decision.
“You hear this all the time: ‘You can’t take a safety that high,’ ” said Chris Landry, a former NFL scout who’s now a personnel consultant for 11 pro teams. “But some people get caught up in these sayings, and they don’t know why that’s the case. Eric Berry can line up in a number of schemes. … Would I consider taking him at 5? Yeah, I would.”
“It’s harder and harder to find the well-rounded safety,” ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden said. “But I’ve seen a couple in this year’s draft that certainly fit my bill.”
The Chiefs could have their eyes on South Florida’s Nate Allen, Georgia Tech’s Morgan Burnett, Georgia’s Reshad Jones or Kansas’ Darrell Stuckey. All will be later-round choices; all could be terrific values for a team that likes a good bargain and could address needs at linebacker, wide receiver and nose tackle before plucking that mid- to late-round safety.
So the players aren’t the only ones with a bulging menu of options. Yes, the Chiefs have a tough decision ahead. Who could blame Berry for trying to sway a team into deciding on him?
“At the end of the day,” he said, “it’s on the GMs and the guys that make the decisions. I really do feel that I’m supposed to be up there with those guys.
“If you want a complete defensive back, a complete player as far as special teams — I played on kick return, kickoff, punt, punt return, all of those things. I definitely played free safety, strong safety, nickel corner, left and right corner. The list goes on. … So many things you could keep saying. I really want to sell myself.”
He’s certainly sold me, but the question between now and when the Chiefs are on the clock Thursday is if Scott Pioli will be willing to buy.
No matter what they do with the top pick, the total lack of depth at safety should still push Kansas City to draft two safeties. Allen and Stuckey would be solid additions and so would a name that Babb doesn’t mention: Myron Rolle. But the fact of the matter is that none of those players will make the Chiefs forget about Eric Berry.
Now put any of those names next to Berry’s and we might not have to talk about the safety position around draft time for quite a while.