Interview with Dave Razzano by Dewey Hammond.
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
Q: Is this roster better or worse than last season?
A: I think they are the worst team in the league with regard to overall talent. You can debate whether they're number 31 or 32 (out of 32 teams) but no matter how you look at it, they lack the talent they need. They need help all over the field, especially with the QB spot. They're going to struggle with Matt Cassell. I think they overpaid for him. They've been spending top 5 picks on guys that really have been disappointing the last couple years, with Glenn Dorsey and then Tyson Jackson last season, and then this season I'm not crazy about Eric Berry. People like him but I think he's overrated. You need to hit on those early picks. You can't struggle with them. The Chiefs need talent everywhere. Defensive line, linebacker, defensive secondary, of course QB.
Q: Why is Matt Cassell a fringe starter, a backup-quality QB, rather than the starter he's pegged to be?
A: First of all he was unproven even in college. He never started in college. New England picks him late. He never got to play much but then in New England he got some chances when Brady went down. He did OK. He had his best games against more inferior teams, struggled against better teams. But since the new GM Scott Pioli came from New England, he was familiar with him. Guys typically go with guys they're familiar with. Cassell was available and they needed a QB. I think they overpaid based on his history. He doesn't have history. He hasn't played enough, and when he does he's too streaky. The Derek Anderson type. He'll flash here and there but not enough consistency day to day.
Q: Despite the dire prediction, what are the bright spots on this roster? What can Chiefs fans get excited about?
A: They have a couple good running backs. Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones. Thomas Jones is getting up there in years but he can still play. Dwayne Bowe is good but he's always been an underachiever, an immature guy. He's one of those guys who always finds himself in the doghouse due to his lack of work ethic. Chris Chambers is OK. Brandon Albert is a nice left tackle, but they need more help on the offensive interior. They don't have depth there. Brian Waters is getting up in the age a little bit. On defense they have young guys who haven't gotten it done. The older guys, like Mike Vrabel or Derrick Johnson are good but how long can they keep playing? Brandon Flowers is an excellent cornerback. They have some guys but they need to add 8 to 10 more solid starters.
Q: Let's talk about their first two draft picks — Eric Berry and Dexter McCluster, both top 40 picks overall — and also did the Chiefs get any guys late in the draft who have a high ceiling?
A: I like Dexter McCluster a lot. He's going to really help them out this season. He's versatile. He can run, catch out of the backfield, he's quick, fast and exciting. Eric Berry I'm not as crazy about. He turns it on and off. He's got range and he'll get some picks, but in run support he's a little light. And you never really saw consistent effort. There was a lot of hype, though. Kind of like when the Raiders drafted Michael Huff in the top 5. I thought he was a third-rounder, and he has disappointed. These are height/weight/speed guys who get hyped up because of the paper stats. I really like their pick of Javier Arenas. He's a return guy and safety/corner. He'll be a player for them. Overall I didn't see a deep draft from Pioli, and it didn't surprise me because coming out of New England he was overrated.