What’s the definition of insanity? Something along the lines of doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results?
After last year’s futile attempt at mocking each of the Chiefs 2010 NFL Draft choices, it’s time to give predicting Kansas City’s 2011 draft class the old college try. The goal is to top last year’s massive goose egg and at least hit on one draft choice. Baby steps…
This year, we decided to do things a bit differently.
Instead of posting the mock draft on KCChiefs.com, I unveiled it to fan feedback during last week’s episode of Chiefs LIVE! Included below, in this year’s mock draft, are some of the comments received from our live viewers after each pick was announced. We also provided a live poll asking fans if they agreed with the pick. Those results are included below as well.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t gotten that much-anticipated invite to review film with the Chiefs scouting department. This mock draft is based solely off my experience as a one-dimensional small-college linebacker, SportsCenter highlights and other mock drafts from across the country.
My mock draft is purely conjecture like everyone else (unfortunately, last year’s results highlight that fact).
Here we go…
Round 1 (21st overall)
OLB Justin Houston, Georgia
Big, strong and productive, Houston is one of the few collegiate defensive ends to have already undergone conversion into a 3-4 outside linebacker. When Georgia switched to a 3-4 scheme in 2010, Houston made the switch and the results were impressive.
After producing 58 tackles with 10.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in two seasons as a defensive end, Houston tallied 67 tackles, 10.0 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss as a junior outside linebacker.
Also Considered: T Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin; DT Phil Taylor, Baylor; OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
Fan Feedback: 51% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
GaryinIL: Great pick Josh! We need to continue to bolster front seven.
Dawn: Don’t we need a nose tackle more? Is Phil Taylor good enough for #21?
Dan: Taylor, Paea or Torrey Smith! Or trade down and maybe still have a shot at Houston!
OhioChief: I think it’s likely if we trade back…he would not be at the top of the board at 21.
MikeN: I think we should trade down for more picks and then take best available NT with first pick. That would improve the play of any LB we choose in the later rounds.
Round 2 (55th overall)
NT Kenrick Ellis, Hampton
Few 340-pounders move as well as Ellis. Maybe it’s from his upbringing as a soccer player in Jamaica. After leaving South Carolina (violation of team rules), Ellis single-handedly changed the way Hampton played defense. As Ellis matured on and off the field, so did Hampton’s FCS ranking.
Many draft pundits believe that, in the right environment and with the right coaching, Ellis can become a force in the middle for many years to come. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper recently said he doesn’t think Ellis will make it out of the second round.
Also Considered: WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
Fan Feedback: 77% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
Derrick: Romeo would turn him into a real pro.
Twan: I like that pick A LOT!!
GaryinIL: If you do not get Ellis in rd 2 we will not get him
Round 3 (86th overall)
WR Greg Little, North Carolina
Little was one of three Tarheels ruled ineligible for the 2010 season after receiving improper benefits from an agent. His 4.51 40-yard time made him a combine riser.
Also Considered: NT Jerrell Powe, Ole Miss
Fan Feedback: 92% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
Dennis: Bowe on one side, Little on the other…I like it
Kcnation: Pioli wants good character guys and team captains
Round 4 (118th overall)
G/C John Moffitt, Wisconsin
A smart player, Moffitt was flagged only twice during his collegiate career. He’s also versatile, having started at right guard (5 games), center (15 games) and left guard (26 games) at Wisconsin. Finally, “Moff” is durable having started all but three games during his Badgers playing career.
Regarded as one of the top interior offensive linemen in the country, Moffitt’s availability at No. 118 may be a bit optimistic. He’s projected to go somewhere in the third or fourth round in the majority of mock drafts.
Also Considered: TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas
Fan Feedback: 89% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
GaryinIL: I love Moffitt, reminds me of Tim Grunhard with his mauling style of play
Jeff: Is he versatile enough for zone blocking too?
Round 5, (135th overall)
FB/LB Owen Marecic, Stanford
It’s true, two-way players still exist. In many ways, Marecic is a blast from the past with his physical play and status as both a fullback and inside linebacker. Against Notre Dame, Marecic scored on both sides of the ball within 13 seconds – once as a short-yardage fullback and again off an interception return.
The All-American choice was a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society in high school.
Former Stanford head coach and current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh once described Marecic as “the perfectly engineered football player.
At the NFL level, Marecic projects as a fullback, but he can likely serve as a two-for-one on a 45-man roster playing fullback and special teams in addition to dressing as an emergency linebacker.
Also Considered: RB Bilal Powell, Louisville
Fan Feedback: 58% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
Derrick: Rookie free agent Josh, you fell off with that one buddy!
MikesKC: Sounds like a “tough, smart, physical football player” – Haley likes versatility on 45-man active gameday roster
Round 5 (140th overall)
LB Mark Herzlich, Boston College
A cancer survivor, Herzlich’s story is as inspiring as it is incredible. The 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year missed 87 weeks (612 days) of football while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments for Ewing’s Sarcoma. The cancer was discovered in Herzlich’s thigh.
Herzlich’s path to the NFL is rivaled by few. His character chart is through the roof. Most believe Herzlich fits as an inside linebacker with a team that employs a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Also Considered: LB Nate Irving, North Carolina State
Fan Feedback: 61% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
KCfaninAR: Are we thin at LB to take 2 in the draft?
Dennis: LBs…Our D was getting beat by short screens
Janet: Mark’s story is amazing. He would be a great member of the Kansas City community.
Round 6 (199th overall)
QB T.J. Yates, North Carolina
This is the “Tom Brady pick”, so we’re going with a quarterback based on the potential for lightening to strike twice. The Chiefs appear to be in position to develop a young QB with an incumbent starter in place and the addition of QBs coach Jim Zorn.
Despite missing a trio of talented contributors because of NCAA violations, including his top receiver, Yates still managed to set career-highs across the board in 2010. He led UNC on and off the field and also played in a pro-style offense under Butch Davis.
Also Considered: QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa; QB Greg McElroy, Alabama
Fan Feedback: 71% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
Mitchell: I would have liked a QB a little earlier, but this will work
JasonfromNC: T.J. was a great representative for the Tarheels during a tough year
Round 7 (223rd overall)
TE Lee Smith, Marshall
A Scott Pioli draft typically isn’t complete without a tight end included in the mix. In Pioli’s 11 drafts with the Chiefs and Patriots, only twice has the weekend ended without the selection of a tight end.
At 6-6, 270, Smith developed into an effective blocking tight end who also served as a security blanket in the receiving game at Marshall. Think Jason Dunn – a sixth offensive lineman that can contribute as a receiver when needed.
Smith is married with two children and was voted team captain at Marshall two years in a row.
Also Considered: TE Charlie Gantt, Michigan State
Fan Feedback: 85% approval rating in Chiefs LIVE! Poll
ChiefsSB2k12: This guy looks like an offensive lineman!
88GonzoFan: Smith is to Moeaki as Dunn was to Gonzo