Looking forward to the 2012 NFL Draft, Mel Kiper has come out with a first for him -- a column that projects what it would take for each team to earn an "A" grade overall from him based on the team's first three rounds worth of choices. It's an odd exercise, but an interesting one to see how a team should position themselves from a guy who's the most well-known draft analyst around.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, the lines are the way to build, and that's something Scott Pioli would likely agree with. While he's been labeled a workout warrior and is as risky as anyone in the draft, Kiper likes Dontari Poe in the middle for the Chiefs at No. 11. The Memphis defensive tackle blew everyone away at the NFL Combine with his performance in several categories, but the game tape simply doesn't show the same on the field. In the second and third rounds, Kiper says the Chiefs stay with the lines with Animi Silatolu and Alameda Ta'amu.
"The Chiefs really need a nose tackle, and while Poe is not yet a finished product, and might even be as good or more successful in a 4-3, it's really hard to pass on his potential at this spot on the board," says Kiper. "Guard is a huge need for the Chiefs, and I'm going to take one of my favorite sleepers in the draft with Silatolu here. He'll be able to help them early, and anything the Chiefs can do to invigorate the run game will be key. Ta'amu is a wide body and good insurance piece for the Chiefs at NT. In fact, I can see Poe and him on the field at the same time."
If the Chiefs went this route, many Chiefs fans would be left scratching their heads for a bit, but the defensive line and front seven overall would have more depth, youth and raw ability than at any other point in the last five-plus years. As for Silatolu, he's a fast rising lineman who could take over for Ryan Lilja.
Give Kiper credit not only for an interesting concept or column but also for crafting something new for the Chiefs instead of following the same old formula of everyone else that likely won't come true.