We always welcome input from readers. Sometimes those posts catch our attention and they turn up here on the site. Here are the thoughts of Douglas Wymore. Enjoy.
Maybe the best way to analyze the Chief’s draft is look from the top down, instead of the bottom up, which is the more traditional method of building a team.
I think that is what Todd Haley wanted, and he got his way.
The traditional NFL model provides a hierarchy for draft picks that puts a premium on QB, LT, DE, CB, etc. Teams say that they build from the inside out, depending upon talent available. Good teams have traditionally found players through the draft, free agency, trades, and UFA’s.
The success of the last few Super Bowl winners and changes in the passing game show that there may be ways to accelerate the run to the championship, and a dominating play-making safety may be as necessary as a pass rushing defensive end.
The past few Super Bowl winners all had high-caliber, play-making safeties: Darren Sharper, Troy Polamalu and Bob Sanders. The only exception was the Giants, who had a tremendous pass rush. Arizona made the Super Bowl largely because of Adrian Wilson and Ed Reed anchored Baltimore’s secondary. Houston’s defensive play improved immensely once Bernard Pollard arrived from Kansas City. Brian Dawkins made quite a difference in Denver, until he began to wear down toward the end of the season. All of these teams had other good players, but in each case the safety was a major difference maker. On the other end of the spectrum, the teams with the worst records typically had safeties that underperformed, such as Kansas City, Washington, St. Louis and Oakland.
Losing a high impact safety caused teams to lose toughness, such as the Redskins with Sean Taylor dying, Dawkins and Sharper changing addresses, and Sanders and Polamalu being injured.
Second-round pick Dexter McCluster provides the quick-strike capability and flexibility that may allow Kansas City to develop an inside-out attack that helped New Orleans with Reggie Bush, New England with Wes Welker, Philadelphia with DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook and Pittsburgh with Santonio Holmes. KC had some success with Dante Hall, and Cleveland uses Joshua Cribbs. Just as they needed a playmaker that could create space from the line quickly, they also needed someone to stop teams from picking up third downs through quick throws, so they drafted Javier Arenas in the second round, who may also serve as a kick returner.
With their credibility being questioned and Pioli’s recent low impact drafts and high number of outright busts, they needed instant impact. As Bill Parcells once advised a coach who was explaining how injuries derailed his team from achieving its high expectations, the cure is: “Just win, son.”
With a poor record for the past few years, declining fan base, management changes, abrasive management style and underperforming 2009 draft, they needed instant impact to avoid the job jeopardy that another disappointing season would bring.
Let’s hope they get the impact they expect.