When the Kansas City Chiefs traded All Pro Defensive End Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings prior to the 2008 draft, I was furious. I have never liked the idea of giving up productive, proven players for draft picks and prospects. The NFL Draft is a crap shoot and you never know what you are going to get, whether you are picking first or seventy first.
The deal was made to unload Allen before he had the chance to unload Kansas City. Allen hated then Chiefs GM Carl Peterson and he was unlikely to hang around once his contract was up. I was of the opinion that the Chiefs should shit-can Peterson and re-sign Allen but back then my opinion didn’t count. Now that I run AA, however, Pioli has me on speed dial. =)
Three years later, Carl Peterson is long gone and Scott Pioli is set to either reap the rewards of one of “King” Carl’s last big moves or clean up Carl’s last blunder.
Chiefs fans are hoping for the latter.
More after the jump.
A question that is debated often in Chiefs Nation is “who won the Jared Allen trade?”
So far, in my opinion, the Vikings won the trade.
The Vikings got a known quantity in Allen. He has continued to play well in Minnesota and is a big part of their plans to win a Super Bowl before Brett Favre starts to get discounts for being a senior citizen.
As for the Chiefs, they got 3 draft picks in the 2008 NFL Draft. They got picks #17, 73 and 82nd overall.
Those picks turned out to be Brandon Albert (17th) , Jamaal Charles(73rd) and Dujaun Morgan(82nd).
The common belief is that it generally takes 3 years before you can really judge a draft pick. Well, for the Charles, Albert and Morgan, 2010 is year 3. We should be able to fairly judge the trade following the 2010 season.
I think this trade is going to end up being a win for the Chiefs.
Jamaal Charles showed last year that he has the talent to be an All Pro runner in the NFL. Charles is not a flash in the pan running back running behind a great line ala Larry Johnson. He is blazingly fast, elusive and has excellent field vision. You need only to watch his game against Denver in last seasons finale to realize how well this kid sees the field. He zigzagged through Denver defenders like they were orange cones in a driving exam, often with little to no blocking.
Charles is going to be a star so the Chiefs have already broken even.
Next up is Brandon Albert. Listen to me because I am only going to say this once.
Brandon Albert is going to be a Pro Bowl left tackle.
Albert had a very strong rookie and everyone seem excited about his prospects moving forward. In 2009, Albert appeared to take a step back, struggling early in the season.
Let me explain something. Albert had a lot of things working against him in 2009. First, Todd Haley made him lose a crap ton of weight and so the kid was adjusting to not being as heavy. When the guy across from you has the sole goal of moving you out of the way, you probably rely on your weight a lot. If you were suddenly 20 or 30 pounds lighter, that might take some getting used to.
Haley wanted Albert more trim and he also wanted him to learn better technique. All of these things take time and Albert had to learn on the fly.
On top of all of that, the Chiefs had absolutely no running game when Larry Johnson was the lead back. Part of this was poor blocking but most of it was Johnson. He was terrible and so were the receivers. This often left the Chiefs in 3rd and long situations and the more of those situations an offensive line is in, the more sacks they are going to give up.
When Jamaal Charles took over as the lead back, everything changed. The line play improved along with the entire offense. Still, following the season, folks were jumping off the Brandon Albert bandwagon left and right. Most draft experts predicted the Chiefs would take a LT in the first round and move Albert to guard and All Pro Guard Brian Waters to center.
Well the draft came and went and Scott Pioli and Todd Haley showed that they believe in Brandon Albert. You should too. Albert has all the tools and the work ethic to be an All Pro and I think he will be. He may not get there this year but I think he will approach Pro Bowl level play this season.
If my hunch about Albert is correct, then the Chiefs will be the clear winners in the Jared Allen trade. Getting rid of an All Pro DE on a losing team and swapping him for an All Pro RB and a franchise LT isn’t bad at all.
Lastly, we come to safety Dujaun Morgan. Things don’t look to good for Morgan at this point. He hasn’t been able to make a serious impact since being drafted and his time may be running out. The Chiefs drafted Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis in April which shows they don’t feel too strongly about the safeties they have.
Morgan’s saving grace might be be whole Jarrod Page situation. With Page unlikely to play for the Chiefs this year, Morgan might be kept around for his experience and to keep depth on the roster. Still, if he ever hopes to seize a starting position, now is the time. Berry will definitely start at strong safety but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Morgan could move ahead of John McGraw and Kendrick Lewis to play free safety.
Three years later, everything is in place for the the Jared Allen trade pieces. Charles will be the feature back alongside Thomas Jones. Albert will be the starting left tackle on a much improved offensive line and Morgan has a chance to go to training camp and steal away the starting free safety spot.
And over in Minnesota, the Vikings figure to get one last shot at the Super Bowl as Brett Favre will likely return one more time.
When the dust settles, how do you think the Jared Allen trade will have worked out?