The Kansas City Chiefs have a long history of top shelf running backs and led the league in rushing as recently as 2010. So it's not a surprise that despite the presence of Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs are linked with Trent Richardson in the first round of Todd McShay's latest mock for the 2012 NFL Draft.
McShay writes, "This is a best-athlete-available pick. The Chiefs have bigger holes along the interior offensive line and at nose tackle, but even though running back is a low priority in this scenario they can't pass on the chance to get one of the elite players on the board at No. 11 overall. Should they look elsewhere, Memphis DT Dontari Poe would be an option with his ability to shore up the defensive front."
Charles is coming off of rehab for a torn ACL, so it's impossible to tell exactly how effective he will be until he's able to get on the field in a regular season scenario. Grabbing Richardson would not only provide an elite back to tandem with Charles but it would also anchor the backfield in case of any lingering injury issues.
Still it's hard to see this playing out, because Pioli would have to completely ignore need and only gauge value for Richardson to be the choice here. There are other solid running backs available in later rounds and needs along both lines seem too difficult to ignore for McShay to be right here.