No I’m not a draft expert, nor care to be, but I do trust that the man running the show with three Super Bowl rings - that tends to earn you respect.
To be clear, I’m not a total homer. I do not agree with every move Pioli makes. But in hind sight, I doubt Pioli himself could even say that. But what Pioli does possibly better than any other personnel man in the league is evaluate his teams talent. More specifically, he sees where there is a lack of talent.
The Chiefs had two specific glaring holes coming into this last weekend’s draft: Offensive and Defensive line.
With the selections of Dontari Poe in round one and Jeff Allen in round two Pioli filled both of those needs. Both selections are considered “ready” players that will contribute immediately.
So why all the fuss?
Sure Pioli could have nabbed ‘can’t miss future Hall of Fame guard’, David DeCastro, at the eleventh spot or chosen nose tackle, Alameda Ta'amu, on day three but that’s not who Pioli valued.
The Chiefs had their pick of all but 1 offensive and defensive lineman in this entire draft class (Matt Kalil). The Chiefs didn’t have to draft a nose tackle in round one but the top lineman prospect on the Chiefs board from either side of the ball was sitting there at eleven and Pioli pulled the trigger.
Sure Pioli passed on DeCastro but so did 23 other teams. I do believe he will be a solid NFL player for a long time but if NFL scouts believed what the “Draft Insiders” of the world believed, DeCastro doesn’t last until the 24th pick.
Pioli and staff trusted their scouts, trusted the process, and trusted their board. The Chiefs needed an impact player at both offensive and defensive line in this draft and that’s exactly what they got. In other words, Pioli won.
Will DeCastro prove to be a better overall player 10 years from now? Maybe so but if the Chiefs have a top five defense over the next five years because of Poe's contributions - does it really matter?
So the line in the sand divides two different camps, those who trust Pioli had a heavy hand in New England and his eye for talent helped build one of the most dominant teams in the history of the NFL versus those that don’t believe either statement.
Pioli and company knew this pick of Poe wasn’t going to be a popular one but he made the call anyway. And with the pressure on to build a winner in 2012, that takes some intestinal fortitude.
So for now, I’ll put my faith in Pioli. Because if he is wrong the Chiefs, and their fan base, have a much bigger problem than this year’s draft class.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Did Scott Pioli make the right move for the Chiefs with Dontari Poe?
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