We’re down to the final hours before the 2012 NFL draft, and if you read through the opinion of mainstream media experts, most notably ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., you would have to believe that the Kansas City Chiefs will end up with either Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro or Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly. Either would represent a solid choice for Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli.
DeCastro is a product of a Stanford offensive line that was much more physical then it was generally given credit for. In fact, another product of that line, Jonathan Martin, is an even better prospect. I recommended him for the Chiefs in the Rant Sports Mock Draft here earlier this month, but it’s also quite reasonable to adjust for positional need and determine that DeCastro is close enough to Martin to merit a selection with the 11th pick.
Kuechly is a solid steady inside linebacker. The downside to taking him is that you can reasonably argue that the 11th pick in the draft should produce someone with a little more star potential. But while I see the logic, the reality is that so many first-rounders flameout that if you can get a guy who can start for your team for the next 8-10 years, by all means just grab him and worry about Pro Bowl potential later. Kuechly fits that mold.
Either of the conventional choices would be a step in the right direction for Kansas City. Here are a few random thoughts on some other players…
*I’ve opined before that Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon is the one player worth trading up for, so long as he slips past the top five. If Kansas City doesn’t want to—and there’s no evidence they do—then just wait until the second round before looking at the receiver spot.
*On a similar vein, avoid Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, the second-most overrated player in the draft.
*If Ryan Tannehill, the Texas A&M quarterback who is THE most overhyped player in the draft is chosen, then there should be a fan boycott.
*If Kansas City opts for Dontari Poe, the Memphis defensive tackle, I won’t criticize it, but I will scratch my head. I’m going to wonder why it took a scouting combine workout in February, after his college career was over, to turn him into a good prospect. I suppose it’s not the kid’s fault if the entire scouting industry was behind the curve on him, but it does make you wonder what the hell these people do while the players are competing in actual game situations.
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