Pioli credits past drafts for Chiefs' success

Posted March 04, 2011 @ 5:43 p.m.
Posted By Michael Blunda

Many observers believed the Chiefs' roster was void of talent when GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley arrived in 2009 following a 2-14 campaign. But at last week's NFL Scouting Combine, Pioli had a different take on the subject.

"I think the drafts before our arrival were some pretty good drafts," said Pioli in Indianapolis. "... The cupboard wasn't bare when Todd and I arrived to Kansas City. There were some pretty good football players."

The GM was referring to players like ILB Derrick Johnson, a first-rounder in 2005 who had a career year in '10 and was rewarded with a contract extension; OLB Tamba Hali, an '06 first-round pick who had an AFC-leading 14½ sacks last year and earned the franchise tag; WR Dwayne Bowe, who finally lived up to expectations after being taken in Round One in '07; and a bang-up '08 class that included DL Glenn Dorsey, OT Branden Albert, CB Brandon Flowers and RB Jamaal Charles. It was this core group of players from the Carl Peterson era that had a major hand in K.C. improving to 10-6 and winning the AFC West last season.

Although both Pioli and Haley said it was too early to call the Chiefs' 2010 draft class a smashing success, that collection appears to be on its way to further bolstering the team's roster. For K.C. to remain atop the division, however, it will require adding even more talent in the 2011 draft, which might be the only way to acquire players this offseason.