Earlier this month, Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli joined PFT Live to explain in further detail the intersection, in his view, between NFL scouting and The Breakfast Club. Pioli pointed to one of the minor characters in the film — Carl the Janitor — who was in reality the eyes and ears of the institution.
Pioli explained that, when doing his homework on potential draft picks, he searches for the various “Carl the Janitor”-type people with whom the prospect may have had contact, in order to find out information about the real person under the pads. Pioli also said that, during his time in Cleveland driving prospects to and from the team facility, Pioli was a “Carl the Janitor” himself, soaking up information about players as they let their guard down and behaved more like the real man and less like the spit-and-polished product that sits down with the head coach.
Two of the selections made by the Chiefs during the first two days of the draft likely required extensive effort from “Carl the Janitor.” In round one, the Chiefs took Pitt receiver Jonathan Baldwin, who cemented his reputation for being a diva after accusing the coaching staff of trying to hurt his draft stock by throwing fewer vertical passes to Baldwin in 2010. The fact that Pioli didn’t hesitate to take Baldwin with the 26th overall pick necessarily means that Pioli’s army of “Carl the Janitors” provided positive reports about Baldwin.
And then, with the 70th overall pick, the Chiefs selected linebacker Justin Houston, one of the small handful of players who reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the Scouting Combine — a development that translates into either a problem with the substance or a high degree of stupidity, since the players know they’ll be tested.
It remains to be seen how Baldwin and Houston behave and perform, now that they’re at the next level. But it’s safe to say that the Chiefs didn’t make those picks blindly, and that Pioli and company found out (or at least tried to find out) everything there was to know about both of them, especially in light of the red flags.
Given that Pioli apparently learned this approached from former Browns — and now Patriots — head coach Bill Belichick, it’s likewise safe to assume that “Carl the Janitor” ran his grimy mop over every nook and cranny in Ryan Mallett’s past, too.