Most assume that the four draft slots ahead of the Chiefs are generally set at this point. The consensus has Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford to the Rams at number one, with Oklahoma State T Russell Okung, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy and Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh falling in some order over the next three selections.
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli warns not to assume anything.
“We’ve gone through different scenarios,” Pioli said today. “If we’re at five and this player, this player and this player goes, what are we going to do? Alright, if that’s the player that we want, then what if someone else comes in and wants to move up and they are offering us tremendous value if we want to move away?”
Throughout his pre-draft media session on Friday afternoon, Pioli made it clear that the draft is both unpredictable and that the Chiefs are all about building a team and not solely collecting talent. The two have to go have to go hand-in-hand, which is exactly why Pioli isn’t ruling out any scenario at number five.
“In terms of trades, we are open for business,” Pioli stated matter of fact. “The important thing to remember about trades is that may have all the desire in the world to trade up or back, but if you don’t have a trade partner it doesn’t matter. From a preparation standpoint, you have to be ready for something that may or may not happen.”
“If we move away, how far back can we go and still potentially get the player,” Pioli continued to ask hypothetically. “Or what players do we think will be available if we move back a certain distance to where we are still improving the football team at the level we want to improve it and what is the value in collecting additional picks that will help us get more?”
One thing is for sure. If the phone is ringing, Pioli is at least taking the call.
Pioli also specifically addressed a common question revolving around the draft day strategy of the Chiefs. Is Pioli opposed to drafting a safety as high the fifth overall pick?
Chiefs fans riding on the Eric Berry horse, got thrown a bit when Peter King revealed (via Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff) that Pioli may have hesitations in selecting a safety that high.
King wrote the following on March 22nd
Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff calls the safety-at-the-top-of-the-draft debate a conundrum. "It's been on my mind a lot lately," he said, "and I realize I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth here, but Berry's a really good player. It's been on my mind quite a bit recently. You want the good hitter with hip movement, able to turn and run, but then reality sets in. I was talking to [Kansas City GM] Scott Pioli about Berry, and I said, 'Scott, this guy's your pick.' And he said, 'You know how I feel about safeties that early.' And I understand.''
Though not talking specifically about Berry, Pioli revealed that his draft day philosophy doesn’t eliminate particular positions (outside of kicker) at high picks. More goes into the evaluation process than just a player’s particular position. Pioli is more concerned about finding the guy who is right for the organization at that pick.
“It’s a broader question that really comes down to or has something to do with economics and I think that’s what a lot of the discussion is that’s out there whenpeople talk about what positions are acceptable, what positions aren’t acceptable,” Pioli said. “What we’re concerned about at five this year, which is wherewe’re at right now, as we were last year, is finding a good player that’s the right player.
“I think the question you’re asking is “Can you take a certain player at a certain position at that spot,’” Pioli continued. “And there’s the economic question that has to do with what the general salaries are for players at different position, but I think there is also something else that has to be taken into consideration and I will always take into consideration which is that is a position that there will be a great deal of financial resources that are given to the player at that spot. So the type of person and the person that you’re picking at that spot is exceedingly important.”
The national favorite at number five looks like Iowa T Bryan Bulaga. Inside Arrowhead, things could be much different.