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2010 NFL Draft – 5th & 6th Overall Picks

Previously I’ve discussed the first two and second two picks of the draft. My mock draft to this point through 4 picks is:

#1: Ndamukong Suh/DT/St. Louis Rams
#2: Gerald McCoy/DT/Detroit Lions
#3: Russell Okung/OT/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#4: Sam Bradford/QB/Washington Redskins

Pretty garden variety. Maybe a little out of the ordinary in that I don’t have Tampa taking Tennessee safety Eric Berry, but with the franchise resting on the right arm of Josh Freeman, and the team needing help on the O-Line, it only makes sense to go out and get the best available OT in the draft when he’s there for the taking.

Now it’s time to go to picks #5 (KC) and #6 (SEA)

#5 – Kansas City Chiefs

The first AFC team to draft in the 2010 draft, the Chiefs are somewhat like the Redskins in that they weren’t quite as bad as the 4-12 record would indicate. Their “best case” scenario record was 10-6 with two of their losses coming by just 3 points. The Chiefs also made some headline news in their quest to become the New England Patriots of the Midwest. Current GM Scott Pioli used to be the GM of the Patriots. They did pluck former Arizona Cardinals OC Todd Haley to be the HC, but now Pioli signed off on a new OC in Charlie Weis & a new DC in Romeo Crennel. Both coordinators were instrumental pieces on Bill Belichick’s staff when the Patriots won their 3 Super Bowls.

Offensively KC found a diamond in Jamaal Charles. Charles probably should have gotten the starting role a lot sooner over malcontent Larry Johnson, but once Charles finally did get to settle into the starter’s role, he didn’t disappoint. Charles rushed for over 1,100 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. The Chiefs are also set at QB with yet another former Patriot in Matt Cassel.

The big problem for KC is their skill players at receiver. Chris Chambers was their best WR last year and even then he wasn’t spectacular. Chambers will also be 32-years old with his best years behind him. To a man, Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley & Bobby Wade were horrible last season as receivers. Even the TE position was a disaster as promising TE prospect Brad Cottam battled injury while replacements Leonard Pope & Sean Ryan weren’t very good to put it mildly. While the Chiefs do need wideouts it would seem, I’m willing to think Cottam will get back in the mix and be a productive TE making the position an non issue at this point.

The O-Line is tricky for the Chiefs. At LT they have Brandon Albert who wasn’t that good in 2009. On the other hand, Albert was only in his 2nd year playing in the NFL and was a 1st round draft pick of the Chiefs out of Virginia. He’s also missed some time with foot injuries so KC is probably still bent on keeping Albert at LT and letting him develop. At RT this past season the Chiefs have Ryan O’Callaghan who is a former New England Patriot. The Patriots drafted O’Callaghan in the 5th round of the 2006 draft. He’s a beast at 6-7/330lbs, but injuries sort of did him in with the Patriots. He missed 2008 with injuries but after New England put him on waivers, the Chiefs claimed him and made him their starting RT. Like Albert, I think KC might want to see how the guy develops a bit. The Chiefs are OK on the interior line with Mike Goff, Wade Smith & Brian Waters. They aren’t fantastic, but they aren’t horrific either. Center Rudy Niswanger isn’t fantastic either, but he’s a young guy. The O-Line is sort of tweening. In reality they could certainly use upgrades at every position except possibly LG with Waters, but there seems to be more pressing needs.

Defensively the Chiefs are still a work in progress. When Pioli & Haley came in they wanted to go from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 which takes a bit of time. In the last 2 drafts they’ve spent 1st round draft picks on Glenn Dorsey & Tyson Jackson to be their bookend DEs. Those guys aren’t going anywhere despite advanced metrics saying they have been flat out horrible. Ron Edwards is the NT in this 3-4 scheme and he wasn’t the greatest nose in the world.

The Chiefs do have a solid ILB in Derrick Johnson. The other ILB could be Jovan Belcher or even Demorrio Williams. Corey Mays could be an option too, but none of the three will be Johnson’s equal on the interior. The Chiefs got more than solid work out of their OLBs in Tamba Hali and Mike Vrabel. Hali was a 1st round draft pick of the Chiefs back in 2006 so he’s still got a lot of great years in front of him, but Vrabel is going to be 35-years old in 2010. He had a stellar season in KC last year but how long can he keep it going? Hali & Johnson definitely give the Chiefs a dynamic duo at LB. Vrabel can still be solid, but if the Chiefs need anything, it might be another interior linebacker to go along with Johnson.

KC’s cornerbacks are ridiculously good. Both Brandon Flowers & Brandon Carr were great CBs this season with Flowers being one of the best in the NFL despite being a bit underrated simply by playing on a team that went 4-12. Flowers was a 2nd round draft pick out of Virginia Tech in 2008 and as you can see, the Chiefs have not been shy at all about drafting defensive players. Carr was also a 2008 draft pick, but went in the 5th round out of Grand Valley St. Obviously Carr was a bit overlooked playing for GVSU, but he’s paying off. Carr also has legit size for CB at 6’0/210lbs. What’s keeping KC from having a dynamite secondary is the play from their safeties. Both Mike Brown & Jon McGraw were the starters and both were terrible.

Overall Needs: WR, OG, C, ILB, S

The Chiefs Will Take: Eric Berry/S/Tennessee

With Berry here at #5, it will be a no-brainer for Scott Pioli and Co. The Chiefs have certainly made it a priority in building up their defense. While grabbing a LB like Rolando McClain would certainly help fill in the LB corps lone weakness, the most pressing need for KC on the defensive side of the ball is an electric playmaker at the safety position. Berry fits that description and then some. It certainly could get interesting if Berry goes #3 to the Bucs and I could definitely see that happening as his talent is certainly worthy of a top-3 pick if not an overall #1 pick to be honest. However, the safety position isn’t thought of as a top-flight pick in the NFL Draft historically.

Berry is the exception which is why he’ll go 5th overall to the Chiefs. This also makes sense simply from a personnel standpoint with KC. Pioli is going to invest in defense because that is what he did in New England. He could go with a big DT here, but with Suh & McCoy off the board there is no reason to spend this high a pick on somebody like Terrance Cody or Jared Odrick. He’s also got Hali, Johnson & Vrabel at LB. KC is hurting a bit at one ILB spot which is why a guy like McCLain would be so attractive here, but again, I think #5 overall is too high for McClain here. The CB positions are set leaving only the safeties which is the real weakpoint of the Chiefs defense. You don’t get a much better safety than Berry in ANY NFL draft so the Chiefs will pluck him at #5.

I think you could easily make an argument for Dez Bryant here given KC’s need for a playmaking WR, but they spent a 1st round draft pick on Dwayne Bowe back in 2007 and I doubt Pioli would draft a WR with this high a pick. Frankly, getting Berry here is probably the best pick of the draft at this point.

#6 – Seattle Seahawks

So much for Jim Mora in Seattle. The Seahawks got rid of Mora after a lackluster 5-11 season. In reality the Seahawks have been a big disappointment for sometime. Seattle has been 9-23 the last two seasons. Before that they were 51-29 over a 5-year span which saw one Super Bowl appearance which they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pete Carroll era begins as Carroll gets out of SoCal and USC just before the hammer hits on the Trojans with the thought of revamping his NFL legacy which he feels doesn’t give him enough credit for the success he had in New England. I guess we are about to find out how good Carroll really is as a head football coach at the professional level.

The Seahawks have gone with the Matt Hasselbeck/Seneca Wallace show for quite awhile now. Hasselbeck was able to stay relatively healthy this season, and while he still can be an effective passer, he’s not longer a front line QB in the NFL. His back is a question mark on almost a weekly basis while his age (He’ll be 35 in 2010) is certainly an issue. Seneca Wallace isn’t a starting NFL caliber QB either so the Seahawks could definitely use a franchise QB to build around. Justin Forsett proved to be a quality RB once the Seahawks got finished screwing around with Julius Jones & Edgerrin James. Forsett’s size (5’8/194lbs) might preclude him from being an every down back, but he showed he can be a weapon as both a rusher & receiver. Seattle would do well to see if he can carry the load for them.

The Seahawks are really hurting at WR. They brought in T.J. Houshmandzadeh to be their #1 receiver after he’d played second fiddle to Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati, but the bright lights didn’t do much good as Houshmandzadeh was terrible. He didn’t get much support either from Nate Burleson, Deion Branch or Deon Butler. Butler was just a rookie, but at 5-10/180lbs, he’s more of a 4th receiver/slot type of guy than an actual #1 or #2 wideout. The Steve Smiths of the world aren’t exactly easy to find. I’d like to say John Carlson was a bright spot, but advanced metrics say he was horrible despite Carlson’s 574 receiving yards & 7TD catches. Carlson was a 2nd round pick and was only in his 2nd year so I don’t think Seattle believes it needs a TE.

The O-Line wasn’t so hot either. Ray Willis was OK at RT but Sean Locklear wasn’t so hot at LT. Seattle doesn’t have a ton locked up with either player so it’s easy to say that the offensive tackle spot could definitely use an upgrade. Walter Jones isn’t coming back. Rob Simms & Max Unger did a great job at the guard spot. Sims was just in his 3rd year in 2009 while Unger was a center out of Oregon playing in his rookie season. Both players definitely look good and Seattle can at least breath a sigh of relief that their interior line is in good shape. Chris Spencer is also pretty decent under center.

Defensively the line looks pretty solid on the interior. DTs Brandon Mebane & Colin Cole did a good job this season and both are pretty young players. The Seahawks spent a 3rd round draft pick on Mebane in the 2007 draft so Seattle is probably fairly committed to him in the short term. That’s certainly a good think as Mebane has earned it during his early play in his NFL career. Darryl Tapp is a solid 4-3 DE, but he’s at his best as a run stuffer and not a pass rusher. At 6-1/275lbs, Tapp is almost more suited to play a 3-4 DE rather than a 4-3 DE. It puts added pressure on the opposite DE to be the one QB rusher and Patrick Kearney didn’t do a great job with that responsibility in 2009. Kearney had 14.5 sacks in 2007, but tore his labrum in 2008 and this season only had 5 sacks. He’ll be 33 and in his 13th season in the NFL in 2010. The Seahawks could certainly be in the mix for a pass rushing DE.

At linebacker the Seahawks couldn’t find themselves in a better position. They used their 1st round draft pick in 2009 on OLB Aaron Curry and he had a solid season as a rookie. Curry certainly could have been better, but there is obviously a learning curve here and he played a lot of the season without MLB Lofa Tatupu. Curry was great as a pass rushing LB, but could be a lot better in coverage. The other OLB Leroy Hill had a great season so really there are no worries about Seattle’s OLB crew. The best story out of Seattle this year might be the emergence of David Hawthorne. Hawthorne wasn’t even drafted in 2008, but took most of the snaps in 2009 when Tatupu was injured and was one of the best MLB in all of football according to advanced metrics. Where Hawthorne fits in with a healthy Tatupu, Curry & Hill remains to be seen, but you almost wonder if Seattle doesn’t have more personnel suited to play a 3-4 rather than a 4-3 at this point?

Josh Wilson & Kelly Jennings weren’t the starting corners to begin the season, but they were the two best corners, having played better than Marcus Trufant & Ken Lucas. The Seahawks over the years have used high draft picks on their corners so it’s unlikely they go back to that well when there are more pressing needs. Trufant was a 1st rounder, Wilson a 2nd rounder, Lucas a 2nd rounder and Jennings a 1st rounder. Trufant, Wilson & Jennings are still in their 20s so there is definitely no pressing need at corner for the Seahawks. Safety was a real problem area for Seattle. Jordan Babineaux & Deon Grant were terrible and the Seahawks don’t have much depth behind them. That is definitely an area of need.

Overall Needs: QB, WR, OT, DE, S

The Seahawks Will Take: Derrick Morgan/DE/Georgia Tech

I think this is the point where you could go a lot of different ways in the draft. To me this pick comes down to 3 choices: Jason Pierre-Paul/DE/South Florida, Anthony Davis/OT/Rutgers & Derrick Morgan/DE/Georgia Tech. The Seahawks can’t go QB here I think because taking Jimmy Clausen at #6 seems crazy. They also can’t go WR because in a way I Houshmandzadeh, Burleson & Butler are OK at wideout although they weren’t very productive in 2009. A safety isn’t worth a top-6 pick unless his name is Eric Berry and he’s off the board.

That leaves OT & DE as the two possible solutions. We know Pete Carroll is a defensive minded coach so I think he’ll see a 6’4/270lbs speed rushing demon like Derrick Morgan and have to have him. Carroll is a defensive minded coach & walking into the situation in Seattle really isn’t that bad from a defensive perspective. Adding in Morgan makes a lot of sense to solidify the front 7. The Seahawks would do well to grab a safety or two later on along with another receiver and a tackle, but getting Morgan here is a pretty big splash.

I think Seattle is better than their 5-11 record would indicate to some degree and when you look at the roster you sort of see that they aren’t that far away from getting back into playoff contention. Passing on Anthony Davis & Dez Bryant is going to be tough, but I think they go after Morgan.

Up Next: Cleveland at #7 & Oakland at #8

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February 8, 2010 - Posted by | NFL Draft

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