You guys really got after it in the comment section these past few days, and the combine is now officially over, so it seemed like a new post was in order. No specific theme, I’m just going to address some relevant players. We goin’ bullet points baby!
- Russel Okung keeps looking better and better. His arms measured 36″ (longer than all but Bruce Campbell’s 36.25″), and he still put up the most bench reps of any of the tackles at the combine. Thats an impressive combo. Throw in his 6’6″ frame and you’ve got a pretty perfect combination of physical attributes. Okung is the clear pick if he’s still available at #5. The problem is, he may not be. The Lions would be fools not to draft Okung. Of course, they are fools, so my guess is they go d-tackle. Would Okung make it past Tampa and Washington? Is used to think so, now I’m not so sure.
- Eric Berry still looks great. His combine numbers, as expected, were excellent. Berry is the Aaron Curry of this draft class: a freakish athlete whose only flaw is that he plays a position not usually drafted at the top of the first round. The advantage Berry has over Curry is that he played in the SEC, whereas Curry played in the ACC. Thus, the learning curve will probably not be as steep for Berry. If we can’t get Okung, Berry would be an excellent consolation prize. There is also a chance he could be picked before us, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
- My boy Brandon Spikes didn’t run the 40, and there is speculation that his time would’ve been bad. I don’t put too much stock in 40 times, but the fact remains Spikes didn’t impress anyone. He’ll most certainly fall to the second round now. Speed could be an issue, but I’d still love to have Spikes at 2b.
- Golden Tate had a pretty good combine, but probably not good enough to distance him from other WRs and push him into the first round. I still see him coming to us at 2a. I’m OK with that, but it might be better to use the 2a pick on a first round talent that slips and then snag a receiver with 2b. This draft is rich in second-round receivers.
- Between his great Senior Bowl and incredible combine, Sean Weatherspoon has played himself into the first round for sure. I think he could probably fit our 3-4, but thats looking more and more like a moot point.
- Terrance Cody weighed in at 354 pounds, about 20 pounds lighter than expected. Given that weight was the primary concern for Cody, he probably helped his stock enough to ensure he doesn’t make it out of the first round. There was some speculation that we’d take Cody at 2a (Pioli personally attended at least one Alabama game this year). That no longer seems like an option. Fans looking for another fat d-tackle to label a beast will have to wait until next year.
- Cody may be out of reach, but the fact remains that we need a NT. The other top option is Tennessee’s Dan Williams, but he’s also projected as a mid-to-late first rounder. So where do we get our NT? A mid-round option I like is North Carolina’s Cam Thomas. He has good size (6’4″, 330 pounds) but isn’t a total lardass. He also shined at the Senior Bowl, and he seems to fit the bill as a true 3-4 NT. I like his attitude, too, from the few quotes I’ve read. Thomas would be a great pickup in the third round. Maybe not a full-time starter right away, but he could platoon with Ron Edwards and improve the rotation at the very least.
- Taylor Mays ran a fast 40 time and generally continued to look great physically. Unfortunately, he also continued to show poor form. Supposedly he really struggles with the backpedal. Somebody will take Mays in the first round, but I have no idea what kind of pro he’ll make. It’d be great to see Al Davis take him eighth. Thats definitely not beyond the realm of possibility. Raider drafts are always good for a laugh.
- Rolondo McClain is a guy I’ve occasionally seen the Chiefs linked to, and I wouldn’t be totally shocked if we picked him. I also wouldn’t be very happy about it. I love drafting linebackers, but taking McClain 5th would be a mistake. Most of the positive noise surrounding him is about his “football smarts” and the fact that he’s a “coach on the field”. Neither of those things mean a lot to me. Sure they’re good in theory, but I’m not taking a player 5th based on intangibles. Scott Pioli, however, very well might. And the fact that McClain is viewed as a prototype 3-4 linebacker means he’s definitely on Pioli’s radar. That scares me a little.
- Bryan Baluga is another guy who definitely looks like a potential Pioli favorite. Baluga played for Pioli’s boy Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. Given what we’ve seen so far in this regime, familiarity is huge. If Ferentz is in Pioli’s ear telling him what a great kid or hard worker Baluga is, that will carry weight. Too much weight, probably. Baluga may be good, but he’s definitely not worth the fifth pick.
- I wouldn’t mind seeing the Chiefs take a late-round flyer on Denario Alexander. Alexander was on crutches at the combine, so not much was made of him. But he showed flashes of greatness at Mizzou, right? What do you Tiger fans think of Alexander?
- OT Bruce Campbell of Maryland put up ridiculous combine numbers, including a sub-5.00 40 time, which is somewhat of a rarity for an offensive tackle. Mays aside, Campbell looks like a classic Raiders pick. You know Al Davis loves 40 times, and I’d be willing to bet this even holds true for offensive linemen. Hell, Davis probably clocks his head coaching candidates. I heard Tom Cable runs a deceptively fast 40.
- On the other side of the coin is Rutgers’ Anthony Davis, who had a piss-poor showing. We won’t be drafting him.
Here’s a good post-combine breakdown by Andrew Crocker at Arrowheadaddict. Crocker has some wild opinions, but he provides a pretty good read from time to time.
Arrowheadpride had more combine posts than I had farts this past week. I can’t believe those guys all have other jobs. Its pretty impressive. Whats not impressive, however, is the conclusion Matt Conner, their man at the combine, reached when it was all said and done. Here’s a quote:
“…I think it all comes down to defensive tackle…..if somehow Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy are available at No. 5 OR if the Chiefs can trade up (gasp!) to get one of these guys, I absolutely believe that is the best move they could possibly make in this draft.”
Trade up to get Suh or McCoy? I don’t care if he was actually at the combine, Conner’s analysis makes no sense. Of course, this is the same guy who wrote an article a while back saying we should pick Tim Tebow, and during the season he said our most glaring weakness was running back. So maybe I should just be thankful for the wealth of coverage and not worry too much about the attempted analysis. Still, how many more top 5 picks do we need at defensive end before Beast Nation is satisfied?