Pioli's Draft Efficient, But Not Exciting

The reputation that preceded Scott Pioli before he came to Kansas City was that of a mad trader. After dealing Tony Gonzalez last week, many thought he'd trade up and down each round during the weekend like a yo-yo. But that never happened, so what did we learn from the 2009 NFL draft?

Either other NFL General Managers decided to boycott Pioli, or he was simply unable to find a trade partner that would enhance KC's draft position.

Before the draft many thought Pioli would trade guard Brian Waters or running back Larry Johnson. Many thought the Chiefs would trade out of the third hole in the first round, but that never happened, either. Some felt, including ESPN, that Glenn Dorsey might be dealt, but it turned out to be a rumor with no backbone.

Instead, Pioli stayed the course at the sacrifice of his own reputation. He laid low and played it safe.

In doing that the Chiefs added seven players who may each find a roster spot. The most interesting aspect of the weekend was KC's first two draft picks, Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee.

In a matter of two days, the Chiefs found two five-technique defensive ends that will forever be linked to the same draft and will likely become starters in their rookie seasons. It signals the end of the 4-3 defense and puts into question all of the choices this organization has made the last five years along the defensive line.

When Pioli came to the Chiefs he knew the defensive line was the key to rebuilding the defense. After reviewing the roster, he had to have a sinking feeling about the status of the line. The Chiefs didn't have four solid starters to play a basic 4-3 and didn't have the personnel to run a 3-4.

So what did they decide to do? Blow it up. I don't even want to add up the amount of money the Chiefs have spent on Turk McBride, Tamba Hali, Tank Tyler, Ron Edwards and Glenn Dorsey. It has to make Chairman of the Board Clark Hunt cringe.

By drafting Jackson and Magee, the Chiefs can now bench, cut, or trade most of those other players. If the season started today, Tyler would likely open at nose tackle, with the two rookies at end.

Hali and Mcbride will likely be moved to outside linebacker, while Dorsey may have to learn a new position. That, of course, presents another problem for the Chiefs. If they are going to run the 3-4, they really only have two players who can play defensive end. Both are rookies. The team will need to sign or trade for another five-technique defensive end with experience in the 3-4.

Head Coach Todd Haley admitted in his post draft interview that the Chiefs needed to draft two starting defensive ends, because they simply didn't have the personnel. He made it clear that Tyler and Edwards would play in the middle, and Dorsey would be moved. Haley implied he wasn't that optimistic that Dorsey could make such a conversion.

This is just one of many difficult changes ahead for Pioli, and perhaps that's why he chose to play it safe this weekend. That's why he resisted trading out of the third spot. Pioli knew better than anyone the value that Jackson would eventually bring to his new defense.

Though many felt Jackson was a reach, Pioli stood his ground and took the one player that he had to have on his roster. Then he came back in the third round and took arguably one of the best defensive ends to come out of the Big Ten this year in Magee.

So for those who are disappointed that the Chiefs added defense with their first three picks before moving on to offense, it was out of necessity and design. It wasn't exciting, but efficiency can go a long way toward rebuilding a defense.

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