For the past several years, the first pick of the draft was as predictable as a sunrise in the morning.
Sometimes a team with the top pick will even work out a contract with a player before he is named at the podium.
At least to this point, that's not the case this year.
Everyone in our Kansas City community has been expressing his or her preferences on the Chiefs draft choices, but with the combine now under way, let’s examine who might still be available.
Why Eric Berry Will Be the Pick
Will the St. Louis Rams automatically go with one of the “sure thing” defensive tackles?
But St. Louis needs a quarterbacK—and every quarterback needs a marquee left tackle to stay upright in the NFL.
As Sam Bradford separates himself from Jimmy Clausen with his character during the combine interview process, do the Rams see the face of their franchise? With the opportunity there, the Rams may lunge for a franchise quarterback.
It’s generally assumed that the Detroit Lions will take either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy to help their porous defense.
However, the Buccaneers will be eager to grab either of the defensive tackles should they still be on the board.
If Tampa Bay selects Suh or McCoy, that removes the primary hurdle for Eric Berry still being on the board when Kansas City selects fifth.
The Washington Redskins, similar to the Rams, are looking for a new quarterback and left tackle to be groomed under new Head Coach Mike Shanahan.
If Bradford is gone, Shanahan must ask if Clausen can be his guy—or if it’s time to take a left tackle. This means Russell Okung is likely off the board.
Chiefs’ pick: Eric Berry.
Why Russell Okung Will Be the Pick
Assuming picks No. 1 and 2 go for the “sure thing” defensive tackles, the Buccaneers may well take Berry third.
Furthermore, Shanahan will have his pick at quarterback—a franchise quarterback at a little bit smaller contract picked at the four spot instead of No. 1 overall.
This leaves all the left tackles available for Kansas City.
Okung recently measured his arm length at a monstrous 36”—and despite those long arms, he notched a second best among linemen with 38 reps at the combine bench press.
Chiefs’ pick: Russell Okung.
Why Rolando McClain Will Be the Pick
The Alabama inside linebacker is unlikely to be targeted by any of the other teams in the top five.
Should the Buccaneers take Berry at three, and the Redskins take a left tackle at four, expect the Chiefs to go the “need” route as they address the shoddy tackling of the linebacker corps with an immediate upgrade.
Chiefs’ pick: Rolando McClain
All of this is likely moot should either of the two defensive tackles fall to five. As unlikely as it may seem, no one expected Glenn Dorsey to fall to five in 2008.
Beware, however, as neither McCoy nor Suh, while amazing players, are ideal candidates for the nose tackle spot in a 3-4 defense.
The draft is quickly approaching, and as fans find any number of players to drool over at the combine, keep the three scenarios above in mind. Trades are unlikely, and should the order stay concrete, the Chiefs may land any of the three players mentioned above.