The Chiefs, Browns, Lions, and Rams look like they're gonna be fighting it out for the top 4 spots. You might even throw the Raiders in there to round out the top 5.
The Chiefs are 0-4 and have been outscored 112-64 by opponents with a combined record of 10-5. Third toughest schedule thus far out of these 5. Chiefs have 3 winnable games left with the Redskins, Raiders, and Browns left to play. Realistically, I think they'll lose two of those three. I just haven't seen enough offense to think they could compete with the Redskins and Browns. They MIGHT be able to repeat their performance against the Raiders and actually WIN this time... the problem is that its IN Oakland. Final record of 1-15.
The Browns are 0-4 have been outscored 118-49 by opponents with a combined record of 13-2. Toughest schedule thus far out of these 5. The Browns have 3 winnable games left with the Chiefs, Raiders, and Lions left to play. I think they'll win 2 of those 3. They don't have enough to beat the Lions. Final record of 2-14.
The Rams are 0-4 and have been outscored 108-24 by opponents with a combined record of 8-7. Tied for easiest schedule thus far of these 5. The Rams have 3 winnable games left on their schedule against the Lions, Seahawks, and 49ers. I honestly can't see the Rams winning any of these games. They're going to upset somebody to win at least one game this year. Final record of 1-15.
The Lions are 1-3 and have been outscored 134-83 by opponents with a combined record of 12-3. 2nd toughest schedule thus far out of these 5. The Lions have 4 winnable games left on their schedule against the Rams, Seahawks, Browns, and 49ers. I think they'll win 3 of those 4. They fall to the 49ers. Final record of 4-12.
The Raiders are 1-3 and have been outscored 86-42 by opponents with a combined record of 8-7. Tied for easiest schedule thus far of these 5. The Raiders have 3 winnable games left on their roster against the Chiefs, Redskins, and Browns. I think they'll lose 2 of those three and finish 2-14.
Rams (easier schedule)
So, there we are. Sitting at #2. Here's my first group of players to look at for the first 3 rounds. (Players available according to Scout.com)
Russell Okung- OT, Ok. St. If we're going to build this team around Matt Cassel, we need to protect him. Bottomline. Drafting Branden Albert was a good start, but lets continue. Draft and sign as many great OL players as possible, then figure out where to put those players and in what combination they work best. (will be available due to the Rams' drafting of Jason Smith in 09.
Taylor Mays- S, USC- Widely considered the best defensive player in the country and the best safety to come out since Sean Taylor. There's reason for and against this pick. Both sides are pretty obvious. Still, he's a defensive play-maker that we just don't have right now.
NT- There are three interchangeable NTs available in this draft. Gerald McCoy of OU, Terrance Cody of Alabama, and Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska. I think Tank is doing fine at NT, but he's no Casey Hampton.
Germaine Gresham- TE, OU The best TE in this draft will be coming off a senior season in which he did not participate due to injury. He will probably still be on the board after the first round. This offense utilized the TE and it's essential to have a great one... not a Leonard Pope. Scout has him in the first, but he's gonna fall due to injury.
2nd pick round 2-
Sergio Kendell-OLB/DE, Texas (See Eric Norwood)
George Selvie-OLB/DE, South FL. (See Eric Norwood)
Mike Johnson-G, Alabama
Mitch Petrus-G, Arkansas
Kyle Calloway-OT, Iowa
Bruce Campbell-OT, Maryland
Ciron Black-OT, LSU he Chiefs continue to build their O-line and protect their Cassel investment.
Matt Tenant-C, BC (see above)
Jon Jerry-G, Ole Miss (see above)
Of course, without knowing what we do during this impending un-capped free agency this winter, my four round mock TODAY is:
1 (2)- Russell Okung, OT- This is a tough decision because we've made Albert lose a ton of weight and have made him focus on technique instead of just going out and playing on his raw ability like he did his rookie season. He's had to adjust to his loss of weight and is basically going through a second rookie season and 3rd offensive system in less than one full year. So, it's hard to say if he's a true franchise LT. But, like I said above, we've invested a lot in Matt Cassel and need to give him the best chance to succeed. That "best chance" involves moving the versatile Albert inside to play guard while taking the best value in a TRUE franchise LT at #2.
2 (34)- Germaine Gresham, TE- Again, continue building the OL and giving Matt Cassel the best chance to succeed by giving him a great TE who can block and give him a great go-to target on 3rd down and in the red-zone.
2 (50's)- Bruce Campbell, OT- This pick is assuming O'Callghan doesn't claim the RT job during the remainder of the season. Other wise, this pick would be the best WR available, which we'll say is going to be Arrelious Benn from Illinois for the sake of putting a name to it.
3 (66)- Eric Norwood, OLB/DE- A nasty-fast pass rusher that would be our version of Shawn Merriman in the 3-4. He would allow Hali or Vrabel to move inside and thus completing the LB corp for 2010 or at least until Vrabel becomes obsolete.
4 (97)- Myron Rolle, SS- Probably the smartest player in the draft. Awarded the Rhodes scholarship, he's not playing in 2009 due to his attendance at Oxford. He announced in Jan. that he'd be entering the draft in 2010. Pioli wants smart players...
4 (112) The Tyler Thigpen trade becomes a boon for the Chiefs as he delivers in a big way in Miami and nets the Chiefs a 5th round pick. Pioli then trades his first 5th round pick to get back into the 4th round.
LeGarrette Blount, RB- A gamble on a low-character guy in hopes that he learned his lesson. I think it shows to his humbleness, acceptance, and maturity that he's accepting the punishment given to him by Oregon and not transferring to a D-II school just to play. If he had a good season, not necessarily great, but just a good season at Oregon, he probably would've gone in the first round, if not been the first RB taken. LJ could very well be gone after this season and we're going to need a REAL RB back there to take over. I think it's worth the risk and the low-cost 4th round contract if it doesn't work out.
Assuming we don't find starters in FA or later in the draft, the O-line looks like this:
I'd consider moving Waters to the right side so that Albert and Okung could develop together and lock down that blind side for the next decade while letting our best O-lineman help out the young RT.
Front defensive 7 are: