Last month, ESPN’s two draft guru’s — Mel Kiper and Todd McShay — got together for a head-to-head mock draft and they were agreed that the Kansas City Chiefs would select Tennessee safety Eric Berry with the No. 5 pick. The two put their heads together again, but this time are split on which way Scott Pioli is leaning.
Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Any question marks about Berry’s physical skills were answered impressively during the testing phase, which is all he needed to maintain his standing as the premier safety of not just this draft, but as perhaps one of the best we’ve seen in a while. I can see the Chiefs being tempted by other players here, but Berry is a top talent and fills a need. I’ll say it again: the Ed Reed comparisons are legit.
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Berry is the best player remaining on the board but positional value trends say that spending top-five money on a safety doesn’t make fiscal sense. Oklahoma’s Trent Williams is a superior talent to Bulaga but we don’t expect Scott Pioli & Co. to take a risk on a player whose commitment to the game is in question. Bulaga may top out as a very good starting right tackle but that’s just fine opposite current LT Branden Albert.
I don’t agree with McShay’s selection, but at least someone is finally making sense when talking about the Chiefs options along the offensive line. If they add a left tackle in the draft and move Albert, then for all intents and purposes you have to view the Chiefs line as working with two rookies.
The issue I will take with the Bulaga at right tackle argument (besides that I think it’s the wrong pick) is the same one McShay is taking with Berry. While drafting a safety that high doesn’t make fiscal sense, neither does investing that kind of cash in a right tackle. I don’t think any of that should be a deciding factor no matter who you are drafting, but you can’t push aside one player for a reason and then prop up another that comes with the same “issue”.
To make a long story longer, the Chiefs should be looking at the offensive line, but later in the draft on the right side of the line. Unless, of course, Pioli is absolutely convinced one of these young tackles is so can’t-miss that it’s worth messing with Albert’s progress on the left side.