There’s an old hip-hop adage which goes “scared money don’t make money.” Well, scared drafting don’t make great draft classes.
What the hell am I blabbing about?
Last season, the Chiefs set an all-time NFL record low with 13 sacks. This offseason, they hired a first-time head coach who made his mark as an offensive coordinator who leaned heavily on his two Pro Bowl receivers. The Chiefs currently only have a borderline No. 1 WR in Dwayne Bowe, and no clear-cut solution when it comes to the No. 2 WR (Bobby Engram will play out of the slot). So, they are going to either pick a pass-rushing specialist or a WR with the No. 3 overall pick, right?
I’d like to think so, but a lot of the so-called experts project us to pick linebacker Aaron Curry out of Wake Forest.
That’s right, a linebacker who isn’t a pass rusher third overall. That kind of player has only been picked in the top five once this decade (A.J. Hawk), and before that there were flops like Kevin Hardy, LaVar Arrington and Quentin Coryatt. Sure, Jerod Mayo worked out last year, but he was picked 10th and many experts still thought he was a reach. Coverage linebackers just don’t hold that kind of value in this league.
If the Chiefs aren’t going to draft the only “can’t miss” superstar in this draft, WR Micheal Crabtree, or the pass rusher with the most potential, Brian Orakpo, I’d like to see us “pull a Minnesota” and allow teams to leapfrog us in the draft order.
I just can’t stomach us playing it safe and drafting a coverage linebacker who had less sacks in college than Derrick freakin’ Johnson. We can’t pay a guy like that Matt Ryan bank. Especially when his best fit is playing in the 4-3, either inside or outside, when we’re moving to a hybrid 3-4. To me, that’s just nuts.
Draft guru Mike Mayock says that the players around 20 are as good as those projected to go in the top ten. I disagree when it comes to Crabtree, but otherwise I pretty much agree with that statement. That being said, nobody is going to trade up to No. 3. Not in this economy with this draft class. I just don’t see it.
I honestly would rather see us slide back and draft OLB Everette Brown around 10 than spend all that money on Curry at No. 3. I know next season will be uncapped, but it won’t be for the Chiefs. Clark Hunt’s pockets aren’t that deep. Considering their respective positions and talents, Brown at 10 is far and away the better value.
If the Chiefs are scurred to roll the dice at No. 3 and gamble on potential greatness, then they should fall back to 10 and select Brown. If making a safe move is their biggest priority, I can’t think of a safer move. Hell, if they want a tackle they can fall back to 15 and take Eben Britton. He’s every bit as good as Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith. A wideout? Fall back to 20 and take Darrius Heyward-Bay.
Who knows, maybe the Chiefs could get real slick and set up a trade before the Jags pick at No. 7 with a team eyeing Mark Sanchez? Unprecedented but, to the best of my knowledge, still within the rules.
All of these potential moves would give us more bang for our buck than Curry would at three. I guaran-damn-tee it. That’s why I’m “feeling Minnesota” when it comes to the third overall pick.