Merlin's Magic: Offensive Line Changes, Early Edition

With all the offensive line activity going on with the Chiefs recently, shortly I will probably have to change the Chiefs’ needs on Drafttek.com. Drafttek will run revised simulations during the week based on those changes. Already, a revised sim was run after the signing of Thomas Jones. For that signing. I essentially removed the running back need, changing it to a priority code of P9. The other signings, Urban, Smith and even Wiegmann did not rate high enough to me to adjust the needs. The news that Lilja and Fraley are slated to visit KC changes things.

Since it is likely that one of those players will sign with us, I have to be prepared to adjust the needs once again. I have been debating what to do, and I am on the fence. So Addicts, I am going to toss it out for opinions. It’s not a vote, it’s forming an opinion and making your case. I am very open to a well-reasoned argument.

Let’s go through the needs as I have them, I’ll talk about my general thought process. Then, I would love to read in the comments what people think and more importantly, why.

As it stands now. I have two needs slated on the offensive line. I went thought this is some detail in a previous article. If you are curious, you can read the whole thing here. To summarize, the needs are for one lineman (an OT, OG or C) and a second need of a OG. Both needs have the highest code (P3) assigned to any Chief need.

Here is what I am thinking so far. Wiegmann does not remove the need for a young center. We could take a center as high as 2A and Wiegmann can groom him. So, the center need hasn’t changed. If Lilja or Fraley signs, that should alter the guard need, but how much? Waters is old, so we could use a young lineman to work into his spot.

Now, it could be argued that signing Lilja or Fraley would remove the OT need from the equation. However, I don’t agree. We could still draft and start a LT, moving Albert to LG and Waters to center. Wiegmann could be here to help Waters learn the center position and back him up.

Signing Fraley over Lilja gives us even more flexibility. Fraley could play center or guard. He could start at guard, battle with Wiegmann to start at center or back up the three interior line positions.

Even if we sign Lilja or Fraley I still want to keep a single high priority need for the offensive line. The line has enough age on it that we need a high quality rookie to work in. Given our flexibility, the OT/OG/C pairing resulting in a single selection among those positions seems to be the best course of action. The question is, what to do with the second guard need. Currently, it is rated as a P3. That should change. I see two possible options. Option one is to change that to a P5. Option two is to eliminate the second guard need entirely. Let’s go through the practical effects of each change.

The best way to understand how the simulation works is to group the needs by code. That grouping looks like this:

P3: OT/OG/C, NT, ILB, SS

P4: WRS, TE

P6: OLB, FS, CB, WRF/WRP (paired with the WRS need, so only one WR will be taken)

How does this play out? The draft sim will try to fill the P3 needs first (taking the highest ranking player among those positions), then move on to the P4 needs. In round five, something interesting happens. All the P6 needs are elevated to a P4 code. When we get to round five, baring trades, we will have made five selections. So, five of these positions are eliminated, since they have already been filled. What positions? Well, we can’t be sure, but probably at least three of the P3 needs.

The question is, do we need a second offensive lineman (a guard in particular) or are the OLB, FS, CB needs more important? Keep in mind that we have three picks in round five and no more picks after that, baring the addition of a compensatory pick. So, what would you like to see, a second offensive lineman in round five possibly sacrificing some competition at FS or CB or OLB? Without the second guard need, we have nine needs and eight picks. So, I am leaning slightly to making the second guard need a P6 and letting the better athlete get picked instead if reaching more to fill another position. but I am not sold either way.

This is your turn Addicts. I am open to persuasion. What do you think and why? Make your case!

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