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A Bold Chiefs’ Draft Move

At 2-11, we have just three games left, including this Sunday’s divisional game against the gross and disgusting Oakland Raiders. Last week against the Browns, the Chiefs had another one of those horrible trifectas – bad defense, atrocious offense and horrible special teams play. In short, we had the same type of game that we’ve become quite accustomed to this year.

After going to Oakland, we have Indy at home and Denver away. Suffice it to say that we could end this year at 2-14, or 3-13 at best. Either way, there’s a great chance that we’ll have the first or second draft pick next year. We’ve all had a great time debating draft picks these past weeks. As the season moves to a painful close, I wanted to offer an unusual draft idea.

First, let’s consider our draft needs.

On offense: quarterback. Easy. But it’s also worth noting here that the Chiefs have actually done an admirable job building an offensive line with decent depth. Next year, we’ll have Rodney Hudson back, with Asamoah and Lilja at guards and Albert and Winston at tackles. And, we’ll have Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson pushing the vets for starting positions. At tight end and running back, we’re fine. And at wide receiver, we need to re-sign Bowe, and we’ll give Baldwin one more year (and then that’s it, Jon).

On special teams, there are no huge needs that would warrant a first or second round draft pick.

On defense, here’s where it gets more interesting. I’m pretty happy with our front three of Dontari Poe, Glenn Dorsey, and yes, Tyson Jackson, who has had an incredible resurgence now that he gets to play every down under Gary Gibbs’ scheme. Our linebacking core is one step from true greatness, with Derrick Johnson, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali filling three of four slots. Our secondary is anchored by Flowers and Eric Berry, but we have major gaps with Kendrick Lewis often hurt and the other cornerback slot still a question mark. Arenas has done a great job since Routt got the boot, but I’m not convinced he’s the long-term answer there, and whether he is or not, we need more depth in the secondary at both the corner and safety positions.

Second, let’s consider something we haven’t much talked about. I remember reading last year that we had the first or second youngest team in the league. With a couple decent drafts of late, that stat has just stayed in my brain. But here’s an interesting list of our biggest superstars:

  • Dwayne Bowe: going into his seventh season
  • Jamaal Charles: going into his sixth season
  • Brandon Flowers: going into his sixth season
  • Tamba Hali: going into eighth season
  • Derrick Johnson: going into his ninth season

While our team’s average age may be young, our top playmakers are not so. They are in their prime and they are darn good, so we can’t afford any more years of rebuilding. We have to strike now.

In the draft, here’s five potential first rounders that match up well with our major holes – quarterback, linebacker and secondary:

  • Manti Te’o, linebacker, Notre Dame
  • Dee Milliner, cornerback, Alabama
  • Geno Smith, quarterback, West Virginia
  • Matt Barkley, quarterback, USC
  • Mike Glennon, quarterback, North Carolina State

Te’o plays inside linebacker, the exact gap the Chiefs need to fill. Milliner could play opposite Flowers and lend much needed depth to the secondary. Either Smith, Barkley or Glennon could fill our QB gap. I’d love to add at least two of these players – like Te’o and one of the QB’s. I mean, wouldn’t that be nice? Two first rounders that meet our gaps perfectly, and who might just be two key ingredients to turn this 2012 team into something special in 2013 (along with a new GM and coach, of course).

And here’s the unusual idea: given that the Chiefs don’t have a huge number of gaps and that we have a very young team that will continue to develop, should we actually try to draft two of these five players?

Here’s a list of the value of NFL draft picks:

  • Round 1, 1st pick: 3,000 points
  • Round 2, 1st pick: 580 points
  • Round 3, 1st pick: 265 points
  • Round 4, 1st pick: 112 points
  • Round 5, 1st pick: 43 points
  • Round 6, 1st pick: 27 points
  • Round 7, 1st pick: 14.2 points

Let’s say we have the number two pick, and then we trade for, let’s say, the 13th pick in the draft to take our second first rounder. That third rounder is worth 1,150 points. Essentially, we’d have to give up every other draft pick in 2013, and maybe even a mid-range pick in 2014. To give you a sense of the types of players we’re talking about, here are the last three years’ worth of picks taken in Round 2 or later:

  • 2012: Jeff Allen, Donald Stephenson, Devon Wylie, DeQuan Menzie, Cyrus Gray, Justin Long, Junior Hemingway.
  • 2011: Rodney Hudson, Justin Houston, Allen Baiey, Jalil Brown, Ricky Stanzi, Gabe Miller, Jerrell Powe, Shane Bannon
  • 2010: Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Jon Asamoah, Tony Moeki, Kendrick Lewis, Cameron Sheffeld

If we get the quarterback we most want and another immediate starter (someone like another Derrick Johnson or Tamba Hali!), combined with the pretty decent supporting cast we already have (and a new coach and GM), we might have enough to take best advantage of our current class of superstars. The time to win is actually shorter than I had thought – I think we might want to consider this move. What do you think, Addicts? Would it be worth it to go all in and score two first-rounders this year?

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