2011 Kansas City Chiefs Mock Draft

There is no debate that the Kansas City Chiefs 2010 draft class might go down as the greatest in team history. But that was last year. With the NFL Lockout in full swing and free agency still on the shelf, General Manager Scott Pioli has his work cut out for him next weekend to add players that can contribute right away.

After scouring draft reports for the last several months, changing my mind at least a dozen times, I've come up with my picks round-by-round that could enhance the Chiefs young core in 2011 and beyond.

Round #1
Michael Pouncey - C Florida

I know he's not the sexiest pick among potential first round targets but I have it on good authority that Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli loves two guys along the offensive line. One Center Mike Pouncey from Florida and mammoth Wisconsin the mammoth tackle, Gabe Carimi.

And as we learned through both of Pioli's first round picks, Tyson Jackson (2009) and Eric Berry (2010), when Pioli locks on a guy he won't budge on drafting him. Both Pouncey and Carimi can become a prototypical center and left tackle for the Chiefs. And with age in abundance at center, guard and uncertainty at right tackle, offensive line appears to be where Kansas City will draft in round one.

If it's Carimi, who stands 6'7" tall becomes a Chief, then left tackle Brandon Albert could move to right tackle or they could put Carimi in that spot and return Barry Richardson to a back-up roll in 2011. That would give them extreme depth at both corners. However clouding this possible selection, the Chiefs really like Florida's Michael Pouncey as a potential starting center. And with Casey Wiegmann still waffling between playing one more season and with his current age nearing forty something, the Chiefs have to get younger along the offensive line.

But at the moment, Pouncey is a late first rounder – or at least some people think he is anyway. So the Chiefs could move down six or eight spots and still likely get their starting center. If the Chiefs stay at #21, Carimi might be the guy the Chiefs select. Even though I believe Pouncey would be a much better long-term choice and serve a far greater need for this football team in 2011. It would appear either way Pioli might go in round one, he's going to add a quality piece to his offensive line.

But if you want my sleeper pick for the Chiefs on Thursday, should both Carimi and Pouncey be off the board as well as Georgia Linebacker Justin Houston (who I believe are the top three players on KC's wish list), don't be shocked if Pioli selects Arkansas Quarterback Ryan Mallett with the 21st overall pick. He's the biggest wild card in this draft and I for one would love to see the Chiefs go this route. It would turn some heads and long term I think Mallet will become the next Philip Rivers.

Round #2
Kendrick Ellis - DT Hampton

Think Shaun Rogers but 22 years old. He has a massive 6'5" frame and at the moment tips the heavyweight scale at 350 pounds. He can make plays behind the line of scrimmage. But it's his wide frame that could really be a huge assist in the middle of the Chiefs defensive line. Right now the Chiefs have no girth in the middle of their 3-4 defensive schemes and Ellis has the skill set to be a power broker along the front line.

But what I like about Ellis is he ran a 1.84 in the 10-yard dash at the NFL combine. That tells me he has enough speed to shoot gaps and make a play and it was based on that workout that the Chiefs brought him into Kansas City for a visit earlier this month. It's that speed that propels Hampton to the head of the class – and should put him of some of the tweener linebackers the Chiefs might be considering with this pick. For my money in the second round, if KC drafted Ellis he would become the Chiefs starting Nose Tackle in 2011.

Round #3
Chris Carter - OLB Fresno State

The 2010 WAC Defensive Player of the year is one of my favorite players in this draft. Sure there are better and faster outside linebackers but in the third round he'd be a steal for the Chiefs. But what I like about his game is not only his ability to get sacks, he had 11 to lead the WAC last season, but he made 17 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

That's ONE per game and who knows how that single stop could change the course of a game for the Chiefs. Plus I like the fact he dominated a good conference and I think he along with last years fifth round pick, Cameron Sheffield, could eventually become bookends at linebacker for the Chiefs.

Delaware Quarterback Pat Devlin would be an interesting selection for Kansas City in the 4th round.
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Round #4
Pat Devlin - QB Delaware

Anyone remember Joe Flacco? This young signal caller was equally as good the last two seasons at Delaware. And to his credit, he had much less talent to work with than his NFL predecessor. The thought he might last until the fourth round is a bit surprising. But he didn't quite get the publicity of the man he replaced after transferring from Penn State two seasons ago. He reminds me so much of Chiefs Quarterback Matt Cassel. Same size, build, throwing motion but he throws the ball much better and with more accuracy when he's on the run.

And I think long term; Devlin has as high a ceiling as Flacco and could be the heir apparent to Cassel. It's just going to take him two, three or maybe even four years to develop into a playoff caliber quarterback. But to me if he were there somehow in round four and the Chiefs were on the clock, I'd snag him. In fact, I'd go as far to say that if he were there in round three, KC would be wise to pull the trigger on Devlin who ended the 2010 campaign completing 68% of his pass attempts. That was good for fifth best in the nation. I've been told KC's interest in him has escalated in recent weeks.

Round #5
Tim Barnes - C Missouri

Anytime you have a center that is this talented this late in the draft you have to get him on your roster. He has a Rudy Niswanger body, but the kid is a winner. On very few occasions did opposing teams get a bull rush up the middle past the impenetrable Barnes. But at 6'4" and barely tipping the scales at 300 pounds, if he can add ten ponds of bulk, the Chiefs might have stolen Casey Wiegmann's successor late in the draft.

Again size is an issue and I'm not sure he's going to be able to add that much weight and still be effective. But he's certainly worth a shot in the fifth round as was his former Tiger teammate Colin Brown two years ago for the Chiefs. That reclamation project is still on going but it's in Buffalo now not Kansas City. Barnes could give the Chiefs a far different result than his former Missouri teammate did in the next two years.

Round #5
Roy Helu - RB Nebraska

You know I must really like this kid considering my disdain for all things University of Nebraska. Helu finished his Cornhusker career as the teams' fifth leading rusher and his 307 yard, three touchdown, rushing performance against the Missouri Tigers last November makes him the perfect compliment to KC's All-Pro running back, Jamaal Charles.

Helu is an absolute workhorse and has great hands to catch the ball out of the backfield. Plus he's tough enough to lay down a block and I could see him play some fullback for Kansas City. Either way, I absolutely think he'd be a perfect fit for the Chiefs offense.

Nebraska Running Back Roy Helu was the Cornhuskers spark plug a year ago.
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In fact, if the Chiefs nab Helu before Barnes with their first of two fifth round picks next week, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Detroit Lions for their tampering slap on the wrist that forced them to swap their fifth round pick with Kansas City. And the good news is that we didn't even have to trade up in the round to get the man I think is the biggest sleeper in the entire 2011 draft. Thanks Gunther!!!

Round #6
Sam Acho – DE/LB Texas

I've already stated that I'm not a fan of the tweener defensive lineman but Acho has enough upside and under the tutelage of Defensive Line Coach Anthony Pleasant and Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel, Acho could become a solid sleeper pick for the Chiefs this late in the draft.

He was a solid player at Texas and the Chiefs hit gold the last two times they plucked a Longhorn (Derrick Johnson & Jamaal Charles) so why not complete the Hat Trick. The problem though is that, if Acho can add ten or fifteen pounds of bulk, he could be a solid defensive end. However, he's pretty good at backpedaling and dropping into pass coverage so the Chiefs, should they select him, need to quickly identify his role and position.

Round #7
DeAndre Brown - WR Southern Miss

Spent much of the last two years dealing with a variety of leg injuries but he has the type of size that reminds me of New York Giants wide receiver Carl Nicks. He stands 6'6" and has good speed. And at 233 pounds, he has the ability to break tackles in the open field. The question though in regards to Browns is with that size, does he have the hands and concentration to catch balls over the middle in the big leagues.

That aside, NFL scouts are looking at his freshman season when he scored 12 touchdowns, caught 57 passes for an average of 16.7 yards a catch for a mind numbing 1,117 receiving yards. If he hadn't been injury prone in college in both 2008 & 2009, Brown would have easily been a second or third round pick next week.

Should the Chiefs draft offensive line in the first round?

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