NFL Mock Draft 2010: Experts Tab Chiefs for Offensive Tackle, Logic Says No Way
This is a message to all the so-called NFL Draft "experts" out there that continue to make the pitch that the Chiefs must draft a left tackle with the fifth overall selection in this year's draft.
Please analyze the Chiefs' pass-blocking last season before assuming that Scott Pioli feels the team's top need is a new left tackle!
Do a simple analysis of the number of sacks that the Chiefs line allowed when Matt Cassel had a full compliment of play-makers that included Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, and Chris Chambers, and you'd see that during those games the Chiefs pass-protection was above-average when compared to other teams' sack totals over that same span.
When Matt Cassel had a non-pass catching running back (Larry Johnson) and no other viable wide receiver that could get off the line of scrimmage aside from Bowe, he was sacked far more often.
Early in the season, Matt Cassel was often criticized for holding onto the ball too long. However, Cassel simply didn't have many options to work with in an offense where the tight ends dropped everything in sight, and every receiver other than Bowe couldn't get off the line or get separation from defenders.
Simply stated, the lack of offensive weapons for much of last season was the main reason for the Chiefs sack totals in 2009.
As soon as Week 9 arrived, and Chris Chambers entered the fold with Bowe in the lineup, Cassel hit the ground far less often.
The experts also think that because of the quality of tackles in this year's draft, paired with the perception that Brandon Albert is a poor left tackle, that this line could be substantially better next season if Albert moves to right tackle and the Chiefs grab a new left tackle with their top pick.
Many are not just saying the Chiefs will pick an offensive tackle, but they are saying that because of Pioli's relationship with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, that the Chiefs will select left tackle Bryan Bulaga with their top pick.
For Albert, during his entire career he has never played on the right side of the offensive line at either tackle or guard. For people to speculate that he would be a better player on the right side, reversing the footwork that has become virtually innate to him as a blocker on the left side, is ridiculous.
The logic being used by all these so-called "experts" is simply flawed and lazy.
Yes, the left tackle is the team's anchor in pass-protection, but poor play by Albert was not what caused the team's pass protection woes last season.
Matt Light, an eventual All-Pro left tackle in New England, was the only player selected that high, in round two.
Remember, these same experts also said Pioli would hire Ferentz as coach when he arrived in Kansas City, only to be shocked when he hired Haley. Just because two guys are friends doesn't mean he has to hire him as head coach or pick his team's best player.
Just like the selection of Tyson Jackson shocked us all during last year's draft, Pioli and the Chiefs will probably shock us again with their top pick this year.
And while I believe it's almost certain that the Chiefs will take Tennessee safety Eric Berry if he's available, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh would have to be the pick if he's there at No. 5 overall.
No other player in this draft, on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, can single-handedly take over a game like Suh can.
Defensive play-makers and a third wide receiver will be the Chiefs top priorities in this year's draft.
Will the Chiefs take an offensive lineman in this year's draft? The answer is "probably", but I wouldn't put any money on them taking one before the second round.
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