Skip to main content

Around the League

Presented By

Draft fallout: Chiefs got bigger, did they get better?

253 draft picks have transformed the NFL in a matter of days. Around the League will examine the aftershocks by asking one post-draft burning question for all 32 teams.

Are the Chiefs "ugly" enough after focused draft haul?

The Kansas City Chiefs' draft unfolded in predictable fashion under general manager Scott Pioli, who believes in building from the middle out on both sides of the ball with lovely "big uglies." Perhaps not the sexiest draft strategy from a viewer's standpoint, but core to building a tougher team for new head coach Romeo Crennel.

The selection of nose tackle Dontari Poe at No. 11 is a prime example. Poe is classic boom-or-bust material, but the Chiefs are sold on his massive size (6-foot-4, 346 pounds) and ability to play in multiple fronts. This is an upgrade over inexperienced Jerrell Powe, penciled in to start before the draft.

The Chiefs rejected trade offers to nab this defensive centerpiece who will help swallow up the run.

"We felt that (Poe) was the right player for us," Pioli told the team's official web site. "We didn't want to move too far away from him and risk the chance of not being able to get him."

The team's next two selections -- offensive guard Jeff Allen and tackle Donald Stephenson -- bolster the offense. Allen could supplant 30-year-old Ryan Lilja at left guard. Stephenson turned heads with his speed at the combine, and while he's raw material, it's another move to beef up in the trenches.

If you're unsure how you feel about Pioli, I suggest reading Michael Holley's "War Room," which chronicles Bill Belichick's rise and focuses heavily on Pioli's early days in the league. One snapshot of Pioli back in the winter of 1991 -- then an assistant coach at Murray State -- tells of him roaming the nation in a beat-up jalopy searching for players. His battered vehicle barely picked up radio; fuzzy traces of nothingness. He drove for hours/days in silence, obsessed with finding linemen for the Racers. Somewhere on the road, this football-obsessed figure learned our nation had entered the First Gulf War -- days after the fact.

Pioli's run in Kansas City has been an up-and-down affair, but his professional relationship with Romeo Crennel stretches back into the 1990s. They speak the same language and feel good about the giant linemen they acquired in this draft.

*Final thought: *The Chiefs vibe dark horse in the Peyton Manning-obsessed AFC West.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content