Nov 23, 2012; Ames, Iowa, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) drops back to pass against the Iowa State Cyclones during the second half at Jack Trice Stadium. West Virginia defeated Iowa State 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

The Chiefs’ Optimal Draft Order

With a 1-10 record, there’s not much left to cheer for, except for the macabre – hoping for heads to roll, specifically Pioli’s and Crennel’s. The only silver lining is that because of our consistently extreme ineptitude, we now control our own destiny for the top pick in the draft.

Anyone want a quarterback?

Here’s an alphabetical list of some of the top QB prospects, with “best available player” rankings from a smattering of sources, all reputable:

  • Matt Barkley, USC: 3, 4, 17, 18, 23
  • Landry Jones, Oklahoma: 13, 69
  • Colin Klein, Kansas State: 7, 291
  • Geno Smith, West Virginia: 3, 5, 9, 10, 15, 24
  • Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: 8
  • Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, 13, 22, 27, 44

As you can see, opinions are all over the map at this early stage, and there’s a lot to be sorted out over the coming months. The notable thing here though is that no one is projecting a QB as the first or second best player. That means if and when the Chiefs draft first, we’ll either have to trade down a few slots or overpay the quarterback we so desperately need.

We find ourselves in that uncomfortable purgatory of:

A. Wanting to win because that’s who we are as fans;

B. Wanting to lose so we retain the first pick; and

C. Wanting to win just a little bit, so maybe we get the 2nd or 3rd pick, not the 1st pick.

Last week, I was definite on the C Train – let’s just win one or two games so we drop down a tad in the draft, where most of the quarterbacks will be. Now I’m not so sure. First of all, winning “one or two more games” rolls off the tongue easily, but that’s going to be near impossible for this team. Second, let’s factor in our competition.

Here are the teams that could use a quarterback. I’ve divided them into two camps: those that may have a quarterback they could live with, but would take a QB in the first round if it was just the right person at just the right position. We’ll call this group the “Can’t Live with Sanchez, But We Paid Him So Much” group. The second camp are the teams that are 200%, full-on desperate for a QB and need to draft one now or there will be a revolution in their home towns. We’ll call this group the “Clark-Hunt-Kind-of-Desperation” group. Here’s where I think teams are, with their draft order if the season were to end today (Oh Dear Lord, please make the season end today):

“Can’t Live with Sanchez, But We Paid Him So Much” Camp

  • 3rd Pick: Philadelphia Eagles
  • 4th Pick: Oakland Raiders
  • 5th Pick: Cleveland Browns
  • 8th Pick: Buffalo Bills
  • 12th Pick: New York Jets

“Clark-Hunt-Kind-of-Desperation” Camp

  • 1st Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
  • 2nd Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 11th Pick: Arizona Cardinals

One observation before we get into the analysis here – this preseason, I was definitely in the camp of “great defense + killer running game + game-managing quarterback = deep run into the playoffs.” Looking at this list above, it’s so striking how that formula just doesn’t work anymore. Eight of the twelve worst teams in the league are terrible largely because they have a terrible quarterback.

Looking at this list, I’m moving to the A Train – we need the top pick in the draft. The top five teams in the draft all could use a quarterback, and two of them, desperately so. We have to control our own destiny here, or we may end up with the 2nd or 3rd best QB prospect in a year in which quarterbacks are not highly rated. I’d rather have our Chiefs in that top position, even if we end up overpaying, because bottom line: we need a quarterback. I’ll trust our new general manager and coach – whoever those guys are – to do the research and draft the right guy.

Does that mean we purposefully lose games from here on out? Of course not. But having the first pick takes a bit of the hurt off of what may happen over the next five games.

What draft pick do you want, Addicts, and who’s your quarterback of choice?!

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