We’re all pretty much getting sick of Kansas City Chiefs football at the moment, and it’s only week one. This is not terribly promising.
But what is promising is a pretty strong draft class of potential difference-makers that could make the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs an actual force across the league. I put up a mock about a week ago while I was drafting my AA fantasy team (who also got curb-stomped this past weekend). This week I excise my football demons by drafting seven prospects for our future.
After the first pick, rounds two through seven are after the jump. Your feedback, including who you would draft instead, is invited in comments.
Some assumptions of the following mock:
1. Injury-riddled and imploding, the Chiefs go 5-11 and finish 3rd in the AFC West behind San Diego and Oakland. HC Todd Haley is retained as head coach, making 2012 his contract year. They will be selecting #7 overall.
2. QB Matt Cassel is also retained after a really crappy year with TE Tony Moeaki out and WR Steve Breaston and WR Johnny Baldwin fighting injuries all season. 18 TDs, 15 INTs, 2,600 yards passing.
3. We tender ILB Jovan Belcher & K Ryan Succop.
4. We franchise WR Dwayne Bowe, a big deal pending a la Tamba Hali.
5. We resign CB Brandon Flowers and CB Brandon Carr to multi-year deals.
6. We resign FB Le’Ron McClain, WR Jerheme Urban, TE Leonard Pope, ILB Brandon Siler, OLB Andy Studebaker, CB Travis Daniels, and S Jon McGraw to one-year deals.
7. We let go of the following players: RB Thomas Jones, OT Barry Richardson, OT Jared Gaither, C Casey Wiegmann, NT Kelly Gregg, and DE Wallace Gilberry.
Let the games begin.
1. QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Ask yourself: what happens if Matt Cassel, after three years working under offensive mind Todd Haley, one year under Charlie Weis, and one year working directly with Jim Zorn, simply can’t piece together what we all hoped would be there? The Chiefs must net themselves a contingency plan. That contingency plan, at this point, cannot be Ricky Stanzi. To foist your franchise’s entire Plan B on a 5th-round quarterback is unfair to everybody, Stanzi included. Pioli could always swim in the free agency waters, but as usual, young franchise QBs are few and far between.
It’s possible that Pioli could follow his gut and trade a 2nd rounder for another backup QB on another perennial Super Bowl contender who also has shown well in the limited snaps he’s taken when his future Hall of Fame quarterback goes out with injury. If you’re thinking of Matt Flynn of the Packers (who is likely to be franchised and traded by Green Bay this offseason): ding ding ding!
But my hopes remain pinned on Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, a man who shortly before hiring Carl Peterson, argued on the radio that he wanted this franchise to draft a QB and groom him here. I’m hoping that after taking the ballsy move to rid the franchise of Carl Peterson and landing GM Scott Pioli, the most coveted GM of the past decade, that he would take a rare moment to make an executive decision. There are three franchise QBs coming up in the draft, making it very likely Jones, who doesn’t have the press of Andrew Luck or the sizzle of Matt Barkley, becomes a Chief in this scenario. Jones isn’t a world beater, but he is an expert team-guider, a guy who’s had to man the toughest position in one of the harshest environments in college football.
Matt Cassel has just been put on notice. Perform well, or else. This also gives the team maximum flexibility — it’s got a franchise QB now who is finally feeling the heat for his seat, a promising 5th rounder who has genuinely excited the fanbase and knows the system in Stanzi, and a quarterback of the future in Jones. Perhaps we’re finally getting it!
Rounds two through seven after the jump.
2. OT Levi Adcock, Oklahoma State
Adcock is a treasure of a tackle, somebody with athleticism and a nasty side. He has a lot of left tackle potential; I certainly see some Roger Saffold in him. His work against the pass and speed rushers and bull rushers is expertly techniqued, and his work in the run may be his strength.
But while he has left tackle potential, I’m actually liking Branden Albert a lot more this season. Even against the Bills, with his teammates getting spanked all over the place, Albert was the one player who kept his act together. I’m starting to think this team can win with him, but we absolutely cannot win with no consistency on the right end of the line.
Jon Asamoah is a great prospect for right guard, and should be there for 10 years. Let’s give him a teammate on his right, as well as Rodney Hudson on his left, who can play there with him for a decade, filling in on the left side when needed.
3. DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
The team will be unlikely to retain DE Wallace Gilberry, who was just a pass-rushing specialist in this defense anyway. A 4-3 team will lure him away for starter money, and that will be that. Meanwhile, DE Tyson Jackson isn’t inspiring anybody, and DE Glenn Dorsey has looked worse this young season than he has ever looked in a Chiefs uniform.
Ingram is fashioned in largely the same mold as Gilberry. He lacks the sturdy anchor of Dorsey, or the bulky power of DE Allen Bailey. But he does have an incredible knack for creating havoc in the backfield, and could have room to grow for our two-gapping defense should we need his play to extend outside of the 3rd down.
4. DE/NT Josh Chapman, Alabama
Chapman is a bit of a tweener at 310 lbs, and it remains to be seen if he has more room on his frame for bulk, or the ability to drop weight and play DE. Again, you need a Super Bowl quality defensive line to make it to the big game, and it’s not clear Jackson and Dorsey (or Bailey) are the answers at end. Chapman would be an ideal two-gapper at end, but he did play nose tackle for two seasons, right over the center in the 0-technique.
With Gregg gone, Powe will be the incumbent starter. Chapman will be handy for depth.
5. SS Winston Guy Jr., Kentucky
I don’t even need to explain the reasoning behind this selection. With SS Eric Berry down for the count, this team desperately needs depth. Guy doesn’t have the versatility that Kansas City likes in their backups (he’s a pure strong safety, not a swing safety), but he’s got such a great nose for the ball that he will mitigate any absence we may feel from Berry missing time, either due to injury or from the exhaustion of having to play every single defensive down…
6. OG/C Moe Petrus, Connecticut
With Wiegmann retiring, Rodney Hudson will ascend to the throne of starting center. This is slightly problematic, because Hudson has not shown well this preseason, but he does provide great depth across the interior line. With his promotion, there’s absolutely nothing backing up the interior line.
Darryl Harris can’t stay healthy, but is a good option if he does. Meanwhile, Petrus fits the Chiefs zone blocking scheme and can play all three positions inside.
7. OT Josh Oglesby, Wisconsin
After releasing both Richardson (who can’t block) and Gaither (who can’t recover from injury), the Chiefs drafted a stud RT in round 2, but still need depth. Oglesby is a bit of a leadfoot, but he’s an incredibly powerful run blocker. Should he need to play in event of an injury to Adcock, he’d need tight end support. But that’s the field you’re shopping in with the 7th round pick.
The 2012 Kansas City Chiefs
QB: Cassel, Stanzi, Jones
RB: Charles, McClain, McCluster
WR: Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, McCluster, Copper
TE: Moeaki, Pope, O’Connell
LT: Albert, Adcock
LG: Lilja, Harris
C: Hudson, Petrus
RG: Asamoah, Petrus
RT: Adcock, Oglesby
DE: Dorsey, Bailey
NT: Powe, Chapman
DE: Jackson, Ingram
OLB: Hali, Sheffield
ILB: Belcher, Siler
ILB: Johnson, Williams
OLB: Houston, Studebaker
CB: Flowers, Carr, Arenas, Brown, Daniels
S: Berry, Lewis, Guy, McGraw
KR: Arenas, McCluster
PR: Arenas, McCluster