Get ready for an offseason of hearing the same names come up in conversation over and over and over again.
While fans drool over the potential addition of one of these names to a roster, elite college talent doesn’t always translate into NFL success.
There are problems with having a top pick in the draft:
1) Seldom does one of these college athletes dubbed as a “top-5” talent turn a franchise around.
2) Such heavy compensation is due to the early picks of the first round that teams can be crippled financially in their rebuilding because of money locked up for the unproven.
Do not despair!
The key to a good draft is finding value. There’s nothing worse than paying for a top-of-the-line television only to have it break down. The one difference is NFL athletes don’t come with a warranty.
Maximum potential return with a minimum of risk is the name of the game. A top-five pick involves huge risk.
One strategy Chiefs’ General Manager Scott Pioli seems intent on is looking for rarity in physical build, not merely talent.
There was no speculation of Tyson Jackson being a top-five pick until Kansas City grabbed him with the third pick of 2009. Jackson provided the atypical bodily frame that fits the archetypal defensive end of the 3-4 defense.
Assuming Kansas City continues to run the 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, another rare body type is the monstrous, yet athletic, nose tackle.
There are few athletes capable of moving quickly at well over 300 pounds and this is why I have highlighted one college athlete as a potential value pick.
In an article presented to the Alabama Bleacher Report Community, “Terrence Cody: Transition to the NFL ” I asked why the Crimson Tide’s 6’5" 365 plus pound defensive tackle isn’t included in discussions of the “elite” defensive tackles, Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh.
Cody was cited as being nearly impossible to run against, but primarily a situational athlete who could be considered a liability in passing situations. The real knock on Cody is his lack of endurance, but as part of a rotation on the defensive line the Alabama faithful believed him good for 35-40 snaps a game.
Most importantly, and what gives Cody great value is that with only two years at Alabama he appears ready to be coached up. Alabama community member Richard Cotner said, “I think Cody needs to get his weight down and stamina up. He's a beast now but not where he could be with more work?”
Kansas City does need to address the offensive line in this draft, but the 2010 draft class is tackle-heavy. Why pay big bucks (especially if the undisputed number one tackle, Russell Okung is off the board) for similar talent that can be picked up later and cost less?
The Chiefs are well-advised to trade down, accumulate picks, and look for value.
Cody is worth a risky pick as a late first-rounder, or a value pick if he falls into the second round. Brandon Flowers is the perfect example of a second round pick that turns into a cornerstone starter.
More than a handful of starting caliber offensive tackles will be available through multiple rounds. Someone with the body and athleticism of Terrence Cody is a true rarity and the kind of gem that Pioli appears fond of.