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Chiefs realize Berry is can't-miss safety

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Posted April 22, 2010 @ 8:23 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

Safeties rarely go in the top five — the last one was the late Sean Taylor in 2004. But safeties like Tennessee's Eric Berry don't come around very often.

Realizing they had a massive hole to fill at the position, the Chiefs made the right call by drafting Berry with the No. 5 pick, regardless of the belief that safeties aren't worth picking that high. Kansas City finished 30th in total defense last season, and the "D" now has someone who can be a difference maker from the get-go.

An athletic, ballhawking player with incredible instincts, Berry will come in and start for the Chiefs right away. Whether it'll be at free safety or strong safety — he played both in college — remains to be seen, but either way, he'll provide an instant upgrade. With a nose for the ball, he can sit back in coverage and pick off the deep ball. But he also can cheat up to the line and use his physicality to bang in the box and stop the run. He's the type of all-around defensive back this club has been missing.

Given the Chiefs' need on the offensive line, GM Scott Pioli might take some heat for passing on Oklahoma State OLT Russell Okung, regarded by many as the top O-lineman in the draft. But K.C. always can address that need with one of their second-rounders. In the top five picks, it's essential to get a guy who is a sure thing, and Berry is just that. He's likely to have a long, productive career.

 

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