Note: This article is being written with the idea that the first four picks will be Sam Bradford, Russell Okung, Ndamukong Suh, and Trent Williams, and there have been no trades up to this point.
For the Chiefs' pick, there are five consensus choices: Bryan Bulaga, Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Rolando McClain, and Dan Williams. Let's breakdown what those choices would do:
What would happen if the Chiefs took Eric Berry or Earl Thomas?
It would be an immediate upgrade over anyone currently on the roster. Berry makes more sense to me than Thomas, because Berry is more of a SS, while Thomas is more of a FS, and the Chiefs have a better FS in Jarrad Page, who is good enough to start another year if we need him.
However, I don't think either will be the pick, as Pioli's MO is positional value. Safety is probably one of the five least important positions. You could win a SB with iffy safeties and a great front seven.
What about Bryan Bulaga (or Trent Williams if he's available)?
This is the most likely pick according to the "experts." If we took Bulaga, we could move Branden Albert inside to LG, and move Waters to C, theoretically improving three positions at once.
However, I don't believe Bulaga or Williams are top-10 prospects and are not worth this pick. If we could trade down to 10 or 12, then I could see Bulaga, but not at five. Plus, Albert played well at LT at the end of the year. Don't believe me? Ask Jamaal Charles.
Ok, then how about Rolando McClain?
He would be an immediate upgrade over Corey Mays, and would make a nice tandem with Derrick Johnson.
However, like Bulaga, McClain isn't a top-five prospect, and like Berry and Thomas, ILB isn't a position of super importance.
Of the consensus picks, this one is my favorite. He's a top 10 prospect at a position of super importance.
However, this pick is the least likely, because for some reason, he's not considered a top-10 player by a lot of scouts.
All these picks are picks I would be OK with. However, the best pick for the Chiefs would be...
Yes, Jimmy Clausen.
Think about it, he's already got Weis' offense down, and, except for Matt Stafford, he's the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning. As long as we could find some interior linemen help later in the draft, and get a young target, he'd be in a place for success.
But What About Matt Cassel?
Cassel is owed a $7 million bonus at the end of next season. Clausen could sit behind Cassel this year, and then Cassel could be cut and Clausen could take over. Or Cassel could restructure his deal so it's front-loaded, so he can still get his money, and his later contracts could be more backup-friendly.