If the Kansas City Chiefs wish to move up in the 2012 NFL Draft, their most likely trading partner could be the St. Louis Rams.
According to Peter King in his weekly Monday Morning QB column, Rams coach Jeff Fisher told him that the Rams are looking to move back from the #6 spot for “the right price.”
The question is, what would that price be and why would the Chiefs want to pay it?
Kansas City’s plans for their first round selection this season are a bit of a mystery. This is true every season to some degree, however, some of the team’s behavior this offseason has fueled the fire of speculation.
The team publicly jumped into the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, despite declaring on multiple occasions that it believes in incumbent starter Matt Cassel. The Chiefs have also spent a lot of time looking at the QBs in this year’s draft. In fact, the Chiefs have held private workouts with just about all of the top QBs not named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. We know the team has checked out Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins and Brock Osweiler. All of these QBs could go in the early three rounds.
If the Chiefs plan to move up, QB is likely the position one would expect them to do it for. The only QB worth even considering in the top 10 this year outside of Luck and Griffin is Tannehill.
Unless there is some surprise, if Tannehill is going to go in the top ten he is expected to either be selected at #4 by the Cleveland Browns or #8 by the Miami Dolphins. After that, the next logical teams would be the Chiefs at #11 and the Sehawks at #12.
If the Chiefs are high on Tannehill and they suspect the Dolphins are set on taking him at #8, they may begin initial talks with the Rams to find out what it might take to move to #6. They would also likely place a call to the Jaguars at #7.
Whether it is for Tannehill or someone else, the Chiefs are in a pretty good position at #11. If they like, they can stand pat and wait for a good player to fall to them. Regardless of how the first 10 picks shake out, there will be a very good player available when the Chiefs pick.
If, however, a player they really like, such as Tannehill, slides far enough, the Chiefs may just make a move. After all, KC has already admitted that they don’t feel they have to draft for need this year. The Chiefs have not been in that position since GM Scott Pioli arrived and so we’ve never seen him operate with total freedom on draft day.
Who are some other players the Chiefs could move up for? Let’s take a look at the options.
1. Ryan Tannehill, QB
2. Mat Kalil, OT
Kalil is the best tackle prospect in the draft and just about every mock draft has him going to the Vikings at #3. Still, the Vikings have needs all over the place and really could go anywhere with their pick. Should they decide to select WR Justin Blackmon or CB Morris Claiborne, it would cause a major shakeup.
The Browns, who pick next, are fairly well set at tackle with perennial Pro Bowler Joe Thomas. They are unlikely to pick Kalil at #4 to have him play RT so Kalil would likely slide past them to #5. The Bucs pick #5 and while they also have needs all over, many a mock has them selecting Claiborne. They could also go after Blackmon if he is still available.
Should Kalil slide to #6, the Rams might just take him but if they are still willing to deal, the Chiefs might be the team to swoop in. I’ve grown very tired of the “move Branden Albert to guard” argument over the years but until he starts making the Pro Bowl as a LT, the possibility of him switching to guard will likely always be there. Grabbing Kalil would instantly give the Chiefs two of the best tackles in football, while also upgrading their guard positions. They’d have a player in Albert who could play guard or tackle and their line would instantly become deep.
This scenario is unlikely but not unheard of.
3. Morris Claiborne, CB
Should Claiborne fall to #6, Scott Pioli’s eyes should get pretty big. Widely regarded as the best CB prospect in the draft, Pioli could set up his secondary to be a living nightmare for Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning.
The Chiefs have recently re-signed CB Brandon Flowers who is just now entering his prime. By adding a player of Claiborne’s potential, while also having Stanford Routt under contract, the KC secondary would be very, very tough.
Because they have Routt, the Chiefs would not need to rush Claiborne into action too quickly. They could start the season off in nickel packages and then slowly work him to the outside if he plays well. Routt would be one of the best nickel corners in the NFL and the Chiefs would be prepared to deal with the multiple WR/TE sets they are likely to see from Manning and Philip Rivers.
The NFL is a passing league now and since the Chiefs don’t have a passer of their own who can compete with the likes of Manning and Rivers, they might as well load up on pass defenders to help even the score.
Those are really the only three players I could see the Chiefs spending the cheese on to move up. The other top players expected to go in the top 10 play positions like OLB/DE and RB, which are positions the Chiefs can afford to wait on.
In reality, the Chiefs are much more likely to trade back to acquire more picks than to move up. Still, we should prepare ourselves for all possibilities and if I were a betting man, I’d say the Rams at #6 is as high as Pioli would be willing to go.
What do you think, Addicts? If you were Scott Pioli would you dance with the Rams on draft day?