With the 21st pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan. Nate D. is serving as the Chiefs' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
After analyzing the Chiefs' needs, the biggest positions that they need to fill are at NT, LB, and WR. With both of the top receivers off the board, and the top NT (Phil Taylor) still quite a reach, I chose to go with something of a surprise.
Ryan Kerrigan has been, for the most part, a hand in the dirt pass rusher for the Boilermakers. Coming out as a senior, he tied the FBS single-season record for forced fumbles with 14, and notched 13 sacks, a year after putting up 12. He has great size (just a shade under 6'4" and about 270 lbs) and reminds me of a former AFC West terror, Shawne Merriman - without the 'roids. Kerrigan may not be the 'sexy' pick, but his floor is high, and his production is a lock. Opposite Pro Bowl LB Tamba Hali and behind top 5 picks Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, Kansas City's defense would have a formidable pass rush to pair with a stellar young secondary. This would also allow currently unsigned OLB Mike Vrabel to kick inside where less range is required. The athletic DE from Purdue is a great fit for the young defense in KC, provides leadership, has coverage experience, and is exactly what the Chiefs need to compliment Hali.
Now I know what you're thinking: 'Why wouldn't you take the top player at arguably the biggest position of need?' Trust me, it wasn't easy. But looking at the hard truth, Scott Pioli's method has tended to be blue collar guys who measure out well and do not possess many drawbacks. Baylor has character issues (kicked off the Penn State team due to an aggravated assault charge and poor academics), has had ok production (66 tackles and 2 sacks his senior year), and has only actively played 2 years during college.
Taylor is a pretty big question mark, and a 2 down player, which does not scream value to me. Scott Pioli would absolutely take the hard working 3-4 LB who's going to see nearly every defensive snap every game.
Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.