With a full three days of picks and trades finally in the books, the 2011 NFL Draft comes is officially over. Yet just as soon as the final name is called, the frenzy of instant grades begins. We'll keep you posted through this next week as various sportswriters declare their winners and losers or reveal their scores.
There's no better place to start than ESPN NFL Draft analyst/icon Mel Kiper, Jr. After loving the Kansas City draft last year, he's a bit more hesitant this season. That's to be expected given some of the off-the-field issues for some of the Chiefs draft class:
Scott Pioli certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt after the way he got such early dividends from last year's class. This year he again went after guys I think the Chiefs want to see on the field really early. I had wide receiver as a big need, and Baldwin is a big target for Matt Cassel. Problem is, he was a reach on my board.
The Chiefs also need a center and Hudson is a good one who can step in there. Houston fell on off-the-field concerns but his talent level is far higher than his draft slot, and Bailey is an intriguing player because he has a lot of talent, but had a poor senior year in terms of production and could have been picked much later. Stanzi is a decent value in Round 5. Solid draft in terms of addressing needs, average in terms of value. Powe was a really solid late value at nose tackle.
That's pretty much on par with what a lot of Chiefs fans were responding with over at Arrowhead Pride, and this might become the common template for what most prognosticators will describe. We'll keep you posted as more information comes in.