As we approach the annual slug-fest that is the NFL draft, the KC Chiefs appear to be sitting pretty with the number five pick.
Would that it were so easy.
For months I've been willing the Chiefs to draft the top line-backer available at number five. None of the the professional scenarios are with me on that one.
Thomas Jones, Casey Wiegmann and Ryan Lilja all arrived on the offensive side of the ball in free agency. This is a departure from usual Chief's tactics and has pleased the fans no end. But, with the offence being strengthened will the folks who are supposed to know (Coach and GM) then go for a defensive player in Round One?
Early in the process it was mooted that Eric Berry – Safety from Tennessee was a sure fire pick for the Chiefs at five. Now, nobody is quite sure. Apparently the draft is deep and some very good players (including safeties) might be still on the board in round two. Chiefs might pass on making a rookie safety a number one pick. With only four linebackers in the top 32 picks it may be that the Chiefs will not go with my choice for that reason alone.
Where else might they go on offense? Tackles? With two in the frame to go in the first few picks there may be none available.
Then again, on defense have the Chiefs given up on the Tackles they have, specifically Glenn Dorsey? If so, and there is quality still on the board when the five pick rolls around the pick may go that way.
All the mock drafts highlight one immutable dilemma.
Do you pick the top player left on your team draft board – or go for the top player at the position you are most in need of? I expect the latter.
Why? Some area are already sown up. Matt Cassell will be the QB in 2010. Scott Pioli has a record of grabbing good QB's in the late rounds. He won't hesitate to do the same this time if the opportunity presents itself. RB's look full with the addition of Jones. O-line has already been strengthened – but youth might tempt Scott at center, guard or tackle. D-line may need improvement, but at what cost? You can't have too many good CB's but the Chiefs look strong here.
That only leaves Wide Receivers. How I would love it if the management grabbed the top receiver at five! Problem is Des Bryant, Oklahoma State is the top mock prospect – but he has personal issues! After losing WR Dwayne Bowe to a bout of “inappropriate activity” and finally getting rid of Larry Johnson, the Chiefs are unlikely to take a flyer on Bryant. Next up is Arrelious Benn from Illinois and they are the only two in the top 32 mock picks. Despite my efforts to upgrade the receivers it looks like real talent is lacking in round one.
My final take. It's most important for the Chiefs not to make a mistake at number five. They may well try to trade out of this high pick. If they have to choose, I expect them to take the top player, whatever the position, at number five. My gut feeling is it will be Berry – but one of the top quality offensive tackles, if available, might just trump him.