View Full Version : RAND: A bull's-eye in the draft

10-02-2007, 07:01 AM
RAND: A bull's-eye in the draft
Oct 02, 2007, 1:27:24 AM by Jonathan Rand - FAQ

Rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe already has proven he can change a game – it’s fair to suggest the Chiefs would stand 0-4 without him. He can also change a conversation.

You probably won’t hear as many people knocking the Chiefs for using last spring’s second of two fifth-round choices on a kicker who was released after one game. And you shouldn’t hear anybody still griping that the Chiefs lack a Pro Bowl-quality wide receiver.

Bowe has been so dazzling the past two weeks that what we presumed to be his breakout game – a five-catch performance including the decisive touchdown against the Vikings – was just a prelude for his role Sunday in a 30-16 victory at San Diego.

He broke the Chiefs’ rookie receiving record with 164 yards and made eight catches, including a 51-yard catch and run that broke a 16-16 tie. He has scored three of the Chiefs’ four offensive touchdowns.

No NFL team is supposed to win that kind of game. The Chiefs were double-digit underdogs trailing by 10 points at halftime on the road. But then again, no receiver is supposed to take a short third-and-19 pass and turn it into a game-breaking touchdown play.

Even those who might argue all day about Edwards’ defensive-minded coaching style should find little debate over his and the front office’s drafting style. It’s a fair bet that the Chiefs have hit the bull’s-eye on draft day for the second consecutive year.

The defense that blanked the Chargers in the second half included three 2006 picks – end Tamba Hali and safeties Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page. The keys to the success of the 2007 draft lie with the development of defensive linemen Turk McBride and Tank Tyler, the second- and third-round picks. Neither is ready to start, but after just four games, what else would you expect?

Twenty-two players were drafted before Bowe and 19 went before Hali. So much for the idea that the Chiefs will never find exceptional talent that far down in the first round.

Clearly, Edwards and GM Carl Peterson are clicking with their scouting department on draft day. And keep in mind that wide receiver is one spot at which can’t-miss prospects repeatedly go up in flames. That’s surprising because their skills seem easily identifiable and you would think receivers with good raw talent could be taught to run good routes.

Edwards suggests, however, that too many teams on draft day become obsessed with a wideout’s height, weight and speed and don’t delve into his intangibles.

“I really get to know guys when I sit down and visit with them,” said Edwards, who gets that opportunity at the annual scouting combine at Indianapolis and during pre-draft visits to Arrowhead Stadium.

“One thing I do know that helps me is that I played, and there are certain questions I ask that help me evaluate players. There are certain things you have to know. Players can’t fool players. You get a pretty good feel for certain guys.”

Bowe, a 6-foot-2, 221-pounder with great leaping ability and reliable hands, gets high grades for his physical assets. But Edwards also was captivated by Bowe’s tremendous energy and ability to play as a freshman at LSU, despite the pressures of big games in front of big crowds.

Now that Kennison is expected back, Damon Huard’s targets will feature Bowe; Kennison, a veteran who’s topped 50 catches each of the past five years; and a future Hall of Fame tight end, Tony Gonzalez. The Chiefs’ receiving corps suddenly seems to have been raised a good notch.

The win over the Chargers was easily the biggest of the Edwards regime. It makes a contender of a team that two weeks ago appeared on the brink of disaster. Edwards repeatedly has said that despite his quest for a younger team, he wasn’t interested in rebuilding or taking one step back to take two steps forward.

So far, you have to take him at his word. His current talent is strong enough to stand tied for first place in the AFC West, and his team’s draft record suggests more aggressive, starting-quality players are on the way. For now at least, the present and future both seem bright.

beach tribe
10-02-2007, 07:05 AM
Ive said it before, and Ill say is again.

Unless Peyton is there, and you have the first pick, the draft is a crapshoot for most scouts.

Herm is one of the better evaluators in the league.

10-02-2007, 07:14 AM
Edwards can evaluate talent.

I will grant that.

10-02-2007, 07:34 AM
Hermy never misses an opportunity to remind everyone that he was a player.

beach tribe
10-02-2007, 07:37 AM
Yea see, I was a player, so I know more than most people, cause I was a player see.

10-02-2007, 07:40 AM
Edwards can evaluate talent.

I will grant that.

I would expect nothing less from an ex-scout.

Hog's Gone Fishin
10-02-2007, 08:24 AM
Now if he could just learn to manage a game. use the play action pass and run off tackle.

10-02-2007, 08:35 AM
Yea see, I'm a douche, so I am more annoying than most n00bs, cause I'm a douche, see?

Fixed your Post.