I know I stated earlier in part 2 that I was going to take a shot at picking who the Chiefs might target on the third day of the draft, rounds 4-7, but the way things had been going it probably would have been a waste of time. So instead, let us take a couple minutes and review who these nine newest Chiefs are.
With the 21st overall pick heading into the 2011 draft, instead of selecting a player at that slot, the Chiefs traded with Cleveland for the 27th overall pick that they received in a trade with Atlanta. Then Baltimore missed their pick by botching a trade with Chicago, so the Chiefs actually ended up picking 26th overall. With that selection they chose Jon Baldwin, wide receiver out of Pittsburgh. It came as a surprise to many Chiefs fans, but now that we’ve had time to reflect, I think it was a great pick.
Baldwin will come in right away and provide that other threat opposite Dwayne Bowe. What was a bit surprising was that I had Baldwin in part 2 as a possible target with our second round pick, but obviously he would not have been there at 55. As I said earlier in the evaluation of Baldwin, I saw a lot of his play at Pitt and every time they needed a big play or first down, the ball went in his direction. It would be generous to say that in college his quarterback was below average, so we really didn’t even see how good of a player he could be with a QB that can actually get him the ball. He has the height of a tight end and the speed of a wide out, which should make him an excellent target down in the red zone – a place where the Chiefs definitely needed to improve. You have to think that this had Haley all over this pick. And being a Pittsburgh guy after all, he did have some pretty good success with the last big Pitt receiver. If you don’t know much about Baldwin, my best comparison has to be Plaxico Burress, but hopefully doesn’t share the same thoughts on gun safety.
After addressing our need at wide out in round one, the other glaring weakness had to be depth and youthfulness on the offensive line. So with the 55th overall pick the Chiefs selected guard/center, Rodney Hudson from Florida State University. I have to be honest here, I didn’t know much about Hudson until after the pick, but everything I’ve learned so far has been nothing short of fantastic. They got back to Pioli’s draft style here with a high character, hard working, and high football IQ guy. He was All-ACC lineman all four years he started at FSU – which is unheard of – not to mention first team 3 years.
Hudson was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy that goes to the best lineman. He might possibly be the most decorated lineman to ever come out of the ACC, and that is saying something. Hudson should probably come in and start from day 1 if Casey Weigman decides to hang it up, but if Weigman comes back, it provides great competition and depth on the interior of the Chiefs O-line.
With trading down 6 slots in the first round the Chiefs picked up an extra pick in the third round, 70th overall and selected LB Justin Houston, who I had pegged as a target for the Chiefs first round pick until a positive test for marijuana at the combine. So basically, when it all comes down to it, the Chiefs picked up a first round talent in the third. Obviously, teams were a little weary about this guy if that talent is their but the attitude and decision making aren’t, but if you polled every player in this draft if they’ve at least tried marijuana at one point in their life, the numbers would be staggeringly high. Was it bad timing on his part? Yes, but this is America and I do believe he is deserving of a chance to right the ship and come in right away and contribute, possibly start.
With the Chiefs original third round pick, 86th overall, they picked up another guy that had graded out as first round talent by some in defensive end Allen Bailey. With the development of Tyson Jackson not going as some had hoped, Bailey will at the very least provide quality competition at that spot and also might be an interesting developmental project at linebacker in the 3-4 set. Watching the tape, I see a little bit bigger Terrell Suggs. Obviously not with the speed, but a guy who might surprise some people and in a couple years end up with double digit sacks.
With the 118th overall pick the Chiefs went with a DB, Jalil Brown from Colorado. I think this pick may have surprised some Chiefs fans, because the secondary is kind of a strong point for the Chiefs. They have a lot of young talent in that department, but what some fans haven’t realized is that Brandon Carr is a free agent and Brandon Flowers is only under contract for next year. Again, Brown was a player I did not know all that much about. Besides seeing him pick off a couple balls against my beloved Jayhawks, he hadn’t really made it on my radar when we selected him here.
Brown has good size for a corner at 6-1 and just over two bills. If their is anything to know about Brown it is that he was tested mightily in his career at Colorado playing opposite first round pick Jimmy Smith and clearly was good enough to pass that test getting picked in the fourth round. I see his biggest contributions for the Chiefs coming on special teams and in nickel packages this year, but it would not surprise me to see him starting two to three years from now.
Round 5 was probably the most interesting round of day 3 for the Chiefs, because we saw the first QB drafted since Brodie Croyle in 2006, Ricky Stanzi. Stanzi was a great value pick to get in the fifth round. I feel he finally makes Chiefs fans not have to agonize about the frail, overrated Croyle in the back-up role anymore. A lot of scouts were very high on this QB out of Iowa and it was not a surprise if you consider the relationship between Pioli and Kirk Ferentz, his college coach. After all, we have all seen what one injury – especially at quarterback – can do to a team’s season. I think this pick provides us decent depth at the most critical position.
The other pick in the fifth round was five picks later at 140th overall, the Chiefs selected DE/LB Gabe Miller out of Oregon State. You were probably scratching your head as I was, saying who is that? That’s probably because Miller was not invited to the combine and was not projected to be selected in the draft. But a stellar pro day apparently was enough for him to go in the fifth round. This pick is nothing more than a purely developmental project and special team’s contributor. I have to be honest; I don’t like that pick and stopped doing any more research on the guy after I read an interview that came out that his favorite pro team is the Denver Broncos. So that being said, this is the one guy I hope does not make the roster. Is it petty of me not to like the guy because of that? Yes, but my hatred for Denver runs very deep and this dug him a pretty big hole in my book to get out of.
With the 199th overall pick, I thought the Chiefs hit the home run of day 3 with NT Jerrell Powe out of Ole Miss. Powe was projected on many boards to be long gone come pick 199, but the Chiefs were able to get him here and add what ESPN described him as having “Incredible bulk,” for the defensive line. I don’t think he will come in and blow guys away from day one, but if he is coached up right with his size at over 330, he can be a force in plugging up the middle.
At this point on Saturday I was probably a little over served and didn’t perform my due diligence on researching our newest member of the Chiefs back field, RB Shane Bannon from Yale. I assume he is best suited for the fullback spot and as a special teams contributor. I would have rather seen John Clay, but I’ll trust the guys that get paid to make the right decision. Coming from Yale you know you are getting a smart player, who hopefully can come in, work hard and try and be that next diamond in the rough that Pioli has a knack for finding.
Overall I think we gained 4 potential starters, and anytime you can do that in the draft, it was a pretty successful one. My grade is B+. Now it’s time to wait and see what happens with the lockout.