Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day Three

On the third and final day of the 2011 NFL draft, the Chiefs got their day started my drafting Jalil Brown, corner back out of Colorado.

The Chiefs missed Casey Matthews, an ILB out of Oregon and Clay Matthews' younger brother, by two spots. But corner back is more of a need for the Chiefs since we lacked depth in that department last season.

For our first pick in round five, the Chiefs picked up a developmental quarterback in Ricky Stanzi out of Iowa. A lot of analysts like this pick and so do I.

And then for our second pick in the fifth round, we take Gabe Miller, a DE/OLB out of Oregon St. I don't understand this pick, especially since we grabbed Houston and Bailey yesterday.

For our compensatory pick in the 6th round, at the infamous 199 (when Tom Brady was drafted), the Chiefs took nose tackle Jerrell Powe from Ole Miss. Many thought he was a 3rd to 4th round value, but he fell to the Chiefs in the sixth and we were more than happy to pick him up. And unlike Phil Taylor, who many fans wanted in the first, the bones in his feet aren't growing together.

And for the final pick in the draft, the Chiefs went Ivy League with Shane Bannon, a running back/full back out of Yale. Both Tim Castille and Mike Cox, who shuffled time as our starting fullbacks last season, are free agents. Shane Bannon is really an unknown guy, and I really thought that we would address running back instead of full back, but with seventh round picks, you kind of just hope for the best.

Welcome to the Chiefs!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Third Round Part 2

To finish up Friday night, the Chiefs took Allen Bailey, a defensive end out of the University of Miami (Florida).

This pick didn't set well with me.

Does the Bailey pick mean that Pioli doesn't have as much faith in Tyson Jackson as he has let on publicly? Does this mean Wallace Gilberry won't be coming back?

I can understand taking best player available, but at defensive end? We won't need him as a converted OLB because we grabbed Justin Houston for that reason.

Did the Ravens move up to take the player the Chiefs wanted, offensive tackle Jah Reid out of UCF?

With the 118th pick tomorrow, and Ricky Stanzi and Jerrell Powe still on the board, I really thought that is where the Chiefs were going to go to close out today. Instead, Pioli picks Bailey and leaves a weird taste in my mouth on an otherwise great day of drafting.

Third Round Part 1

Pioli rolled the dice and came up lucky.

Justin Houston, an outside linebacker from Georgia, fell to the Chiefs at pick number 70.

Houston was projected as a late first round pick by many analysts, but plummeted to the third round (possibly because he tested positive for marijuana at the combine), and the Chiefs were there with open arms.

Houston played in a 3-4 defense at Georgia, so the learning curve will be less than with most.

I can't believe that Houston fell this far, but I'm happy he did.

We have one more pick in the third, so let's see what position we go after now.

Second Round

And with their second round pick (and after not moving up to grab somebody earlier), the Kansas City Chiefs selected Rodney Hudson, an offensive lineman (most likely center), from Florida State.

Hudson is the most decorated offensive lineman in ACC Football history. He is clearly the center of the future, and will either learn from or replace Casey Wiegmann next season.

With Justin Houston still on the board and the Chiefs not taking him, Pioli is doing two things: 1) not picking nearly like I thought he would and 2) showing a lot of faith in Andy Studebaker at OLB.

Let's see what happens next.

Now It's Time For Defense

With the Chiefs selecting (in my opinion, reaching for) a wide receiver in the first round, and with no top offensive line prospects left on the board, I think the Chiefs have to immediately address defense in the second round.

And not only can they address defense in the second round, but they can get first round value out of their second round pick.

Names such as Da'Quan Bowers, Brooks Reed, Justin Houston, and Akeem Ayers are still on the board. Many analysts thought that these players would go in the first round (especially Bowers), but, whether it be the rush on quarterbacks the draft experienced last night or not, these players have found themselves fallen to the second round. These players also play positions that would translate well to a 3-4 OLB, a position of need (since the Chiefs are seemingly addressing needs early in this years draft).

The Chiefs pick at #55 in the second round today; so will any of these players be available for the Chiefs to take? Who knows, but in case it looks like there won't be, I think the Chiefs should trade up and get one of those players. Whether it be trading away the extra 3rd round pick we got last night or a later round pick, I think it will definitely be worth it to grab one of these players in the second round before they are off the board.

To grab a first round talent in the second round would make me feel better about seemingly grabbing a second round talent in the first round.

Do you think Pioli will do it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And the Pick Is In

And in the first round, picking at number 26 (because of a Baltimore mistake), the Kansas City Chiefs took . . .

Jon Baldwin, wide receiver, from Pitt.

Most people had Baldwin as a second round value at best. With Da'Quan Bowers, Gabe Carimi, and Akeem Ayers still on the board, we made wide receiver our number one priority.

I don't like it.

Baldwin was a good player, but to be picked in the first round? What was all that talk I heard from Scott Pioli about picking the best player available instead of filling a need?

This has need pick written all over it.

I liked how we traded down from 21, and I liked how we were supposedly trying to trade down again for more picks. But to rush up to the podium to beat Baltimore for a pick, and then have Goodell announce Baldwin's name just blew my mind. Why not try to trade the position? They wasted about seven minutes of opportunity to find a trade partner by rushing up to the podium.

Jonathan Baldwin is a 6'4" 228 lb wide receiver. He has the height and prototypical size for a wide receiver. But wasn't wide receiver an area that most people thought we could address in free agency when it came around?

In Pioli we trust?

Well, tonight, I question.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mock Draft

 As I sit here watching a Royals game on television, I remember a promise I made. I said that I would do a mock draft.

This year has been exceptionally tough in trying to script what the Chiefs are going to do with their draft picks. No free agency, and no top ten pick.

So, forgive me when none of these draft picks turn out to be right, but I gave it my best shot.

Here it goes.

On Thursday evening, the Chiefs TRADE DOWN to a later selection in the first round and pick up offensive tackle NATE SOLDER from Colorado. They also receive an additional 4th round selection. Solder is a best available player at this position and can make it possible to move Branden Albert to right tackle now and turn Barry Richardson into a very decent guard for the future if the Chiefs choose to bring him back.

Friday, the Chiefs take wide receiver TITUS YOUNG from Boise State in the second round. This is a need pick but it's also a smart pick. Young is a beast and can immediately step into the number two receiver role for a team that desperately needs one.

Third round the Chiefs surprise a lot of people and take CASEY MATTHEWS from Oregon. The potential is undeniable and although he played a middle linebacker in college, a lot of analysts think he can make the transition to outside linebacker pretty easily. We have time to develop Matthews too because of Andy Studebaker's presence. I kind of question if Matthews will still be there in the third, but I believe if Ryan Mallett (who is, in my opinion, the best QB in the draft) can fall to the second round, then Matthews can definitely still be available when the Chiefs pick in the third.

For the first of the Chiefs two fourth round picks, they select guard/center JOHN MOFFITT from Wisconsin. His position would be center, and he'll most likely have a season to learn the ways of the position from current Chiefs center Casey Wiegmann.

For their second fourth round pick, the Chiefs select running back BILAL POWELL out of Louisville. He is a big back and will be the likely replacement for Thomas Jones (many fans believe Jones is done already). Powell will provide a good complement to the speed of Jamaal Charles and even Dexter McCluster. We were the number one running team in the NFL last season; there is no reason not to try to tool up for the future.

For the Chiefs first pick in the fifth round, we take nose tackle SIONE FUA out of Stanford. Fua is only about 310 lbs, but he is a good nose tackle and played in a 3-4 defense in college. Once again, questions come up on whether Fua will be available in the fifth, but if he is, look for the Chiefs to address nose tackle here.

For the second of the Chiefs two fifth rounders, look for quarterback GREG MCELROY from Alabama at this pick. McElroy is a very, very smart player, and though he doesn't have the strongest arm when throwing, he can manage games and comes with a winning mentality. With McElroy having time to learn from Matt Cassel and Jim Zorn, I am confident he can become our future starter. Ricky Stanzi was also a possible pick for QB, but I think McElroy is the better QB now and will be in the future. And so, a former Alabama QB replaces another former Alabama QB (Brodie Croyle).

In the sixth round, the Chiefs take wide receiver ARMON BINNS from Cincinnati. The Chiefs don't have much depth in the wide receiver department, so why not try to find a diamond in the rough? He's 6'3" and 210 lbs, so his size is good. Question is if he can be an NFL wide receiver.

Finally, with the Chiefs last pick in the 2011 draft, we take linebacker ALEX WUJCIAK from Maryland. This one was mainly based on Adam Teicher's pick from the KC Star. Seventh round selections are crap shoots and most don't turn out. But Wujciak seems like a hard enough worker to make the team and do well on special teams. Linebacker is a stacked position for the Chiefs, especially since I have them taking Casey Matthews, but competition is always good for an organization.

So what do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Primetime is Chiefstime

Well, I guess the National Football League doesn't want the fans to overlook what the Kansas City Chiefs accomplished last season. But what the Chiefs got even surprised me.

Four primetime games next season!


The Chiefs open up the preseason in the national spotlight against the Bucs. The other three primetime games are against the Chargers, at the Patriots, and then at home against the Steelers. For the full schedule, here it is.

Seeing the Chiefs rewarded to this extent makes me proud. There are few prouder moments for a fan then seeing their team play in the national spotlight. Plus, the teams we are playing in the regular season are meaningful. A rematch against the Chargers on Halloween; playing the Patriots for the first time since we took out Tom Brady and landed Matt Cassel; and the Steelers, our marquee and most exciting win of the 2009 season.

Also, the schedule, which is much tougher than last season, starts off on a good note with the Bills and the Lions to start off the regular season. We know what momentum can do for a team at the beginning of the season (like last season), so two winnable games can start a season off well. But the season does get tough on November 21st, when we have a tough stretch of games in a row: Patriots, Steelers, Bears, Jets, Packers. All five made the playoffs, four of those teams played in their divisions championship game, two played in the Super Bowl, and one has the Super Bowl MVP.

After seeing the schedule, ready for a prediction?

Chiefs go 10-6.

I predicted 11-5 for the Chiefs last season and was only one game off. Let's hope I'm close on this prediction.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bittersweet Loss and Other Happenings

Well, Jamaal Charles is out of the running to be on the cover of Madden 12. I thought he would have flown by Peyton Hillis, but instead, he suffered a 60% to 40% defeat.

I think Charles is far and away the better player and better candidate to be on the cover of Madden 12. But the fans spoke. I didn't want Charles to suffer the Madden Curse, so I didn't want him to win the whole thing; but a loss to Hillis is disappointing to say the least.

Oh well.

The final four candidates are: Aaron Rodgers (1 seed), Peyton Hillis (10 seed), Michael Vick (3 seed and shouldn't he have learned his lesson about the Madden Curse by now), and Adrian Peterson (9 seed). If you wish to vote, here's the link.

So has everybody gotten their share of mock draft madness over the last couple of months? It seems like everybody and their dog has put out a mock draft (even the Kansas City Star is delving into it, although their selections are a little curious).

Well, I hope you have room for one more mock draft. I will be presenting a mock draft here soon before the draft (duh). I will only present one because I find it irritating how much one person can switch up their mock draft from week to week (I'm looking at you McShay and Kiper).

In other news surrounding the draft, the Chiefs are hosting a draft party on April 28th, the first night of the NFL draft. I think this is a cool idea and an awesome incentive to watch the draft with a bunch of other Chiefs fans. If interested, here's the link.

The NFL has released their preseason schedule and the Chiefs open up with a nationally televised game against the Tampa Bay Bucs. These two up-and-coming teams who surprised a lot of people last year will battle it out in Kansas City on Friday, August 12th. This is, of course, depending on if there is actually football going on in August. If there is, I strongly suggest going to that game.

Before I leave you I must say one thing: I MISS FREE AGENCY!!!

That is all.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Crisis Brewing

Please don't let it happen.

Jamaal Charles CANNOT be on the cover of Madden 12.

Jamaal Charles is an electrifying player. He is a difference maker and one of the key reasons the Chiefs were relevant again in 2010. He finished second in the league in rushing and second in history for yards per carry average. He is an up-and-coming star and according to his chat with ESPN, Charles would be "real proud" to be on the cover of the next Madden.

And it's for all those reasons that Charles should not be on the cover of Madden 12.

I am a believer in the Madden Curse, and I'm going to bet that a lot of you superstitious Chiefs fans out there are too.

The Madden Curse has destroyed too many players, crushed too many dreams, for me not to believe in it. And now EA Games is doing a bracket challenge where the fans get to vote for the next player to be on the cover of the most popular football video game series of all time; they get to vote for the next recipient of the Madden Curse.

Charles was paired up with Tim Tebow in the first round, one of the most popular players in college history, a first-round draft pick, and the most popular selling jersey of 2010. I had hope that Charles's journey to the cover of Madden would end there, even though Tebow has done almost nothing to deserve a chance on the cover of Madden.

My hopes were dashed when Charles blew out Tebow 64% to 36%.

Then in the next round, Charles was up against Maurice Jones-Drew, a more established and probably more well known running back. Charles had the better year, but I still held out hope that this popularity-style bracket challenge would bring Charles up on the short end of the stick.

Although it looked promising for part of the week, Charles pulled out the 51% to 49% win.

And now, for this week, he's going against Peyton Hillis, the running back for the Cleveland Browns. A not-very-well-known running back from a small market shouldn't stand a chance against Charles this week. It almost seems like Charles is destined to be on the cover.

Now, I have a confession.

I have been voting for Charles in this bracket challenge.

It would be nice to see a Chief on the cover of Madden, so I voted for Charles. Not just once, but multiple times in both rounds. I am partly to blame for Charles making it so far. And no matter how much I don't want Charles to fall victim to this Madden Curse, I'm too big of a Chiefs fan not to vote for him.

So, fellow Chiefs fans, I implure you. If you want to vote for Charles, vote for him, but do so once. That way you are showing your support for the Chiefs while not stuffing the ballot box for the potential downfall of the Chiefs 2011 season.

You have been warned.