Chiefs Won't Tip Their Hand

Early on in Friday's pre-draft press conference, Herm Edwards, Carl Peterson and Bill Kuharich made it pretty clear that each 2007 draft pick needs to count if the Chiefs are to improve upon their 9-7 record from a year ago.

The NFL Draft is anything but an exact science. To have a successful class, it takes luck. Not only do you have to pick the right guy in each round, but you almost certainly need to pick him in the correct spot.

"A lot depends on if you have a run at that particular position," said Kuharich of the balanced approach that's necessary when a team drafts.

He, along with Edwards and Peterson, didn't really say anything that hinted towards which direction the Chiefs might venture in the first round next weekend.

What is far more important for the Chiefs is getting true value with their first pick. In other words, they need a player who can get on the field and play the opening weekend in Houston.

The 2006 draft was fruitful for the Chiefs. Six of the seven picks could be starters - if not in 2007, certainly by 2008.

Tamba Hali, Bernard Pollard, Brodie Croyle, Jeff Webb and Jarrad Page will probably line up and start for the Chiefs this season. Guard Tre Stallings is probably a year away and cornerback Marcus Maxey might never see the NFL field, but if the top five I mentioned earn starting jobs this season, last year's class will continue to get high grades.

As Herm would say, at the end of the day, that's all that really matters. You have to find players who can contribute to your football team.

But it doesn't always work out that way. The Chiefs have had some great selections over the years and some horrible ones.

The 2004 selection of Junior Siavii was a horrible pick. In 2002, the Chiefs picked Ryan Sims, which also turned out to be a disaster.

"I don't really care to get into the reasons why that wasn't a good pick," said Peterson of Sims.

Hopefully, the Chiefs won't see a repeat of the Sims fiasco anytime soon. Last season they made some changes in how they scout and evaluate talent. When Kuharich took over he didn't rely on the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combines or the Pro Days. Instead he went back to game film.

"If we were undecided about a player," said Kuharich, "I'd take the two guys next to me (Peterson and Edwards) and we'd go back and watch the film."

For Kuharich, film doesn't lie. Last year the Chiefs weren't worried about how fast a guy ran at the NFL combines. They didn't care if a coach worked out a player at his Pro Day and fell in love with him.

Last year Hali fell to the 20th spot because he had a poor Pro Day at Penn State. His 4.8 forty-yard dash scared some scouts away. But that didn't bother the Chiefs, who went back to the film and saw what he did when lined up against college football's best offensive linemen.

"That worked to our benefit," said Edwards. "If (Hali) hadn't run slow he never would have made it to us."

Next weekend the Chiefs will attempt to duplicate the process that made the 2006 draft one of the best in team history. But enough analysis. Who will they take?

Here are my top five players that might be available when the Chiefs pick at #23.

1. Ben Grubbs (Guard) Auburn
2. Ted Ginn, Jr. (Wide Receiver) Ohio State
3. Chris Houston (Cornerback) Arkansasa
4. Justin Harrell (Defensive Tackle) Tennessee
5. Brady Quinn (Quarterback) Notre Dame

On Monday I'll begin breaking down the reasons why the Chiefs should select one of these players and how they'll impact the roster this season and next.

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