Last month I gave you a look at the 2013 NFL Draft consensus big board right before the Senior Bowl. With the NFL combine about to get under way I thought it might be a good idea to give you a look at the updated version. I’ll be using many of the same sources as I did in the last edition. Volume 2 is a composite of the following rankings: CBS’s NFL Draft Scout, Walterfootball.com, Drafttek, Bleacher Report, Scout’s Inc, Draftcountdown.com, NEPatriotsDraft.com, SI.com, and fftoolbox.com. In this edition I’ll give you the players current rank, their previous rank from last month, and also the “ranking range” that the player had. The later being the highest and lowest ranking that the player had from the different sources listed above. Afterwards, I’ll discuss the latest board’s impact on the KC Chiefs’ draft.
You can see that despite the fact that no meaningful football has been played in the past month, the board has seen a lot of fluctuation. This is in part a result of how some prospects performed at the Senior Bowl (Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson), but it is also a result of scouts having more time to watch tape on the prospects. I suspect that we’ll see a similar fluidity to the board after the combine is over and as the actual draft draws nearer. Also, I’d like to point out just how much disagreement there still is out there. Take a second to look at the ranking ranges of these prospects. They are all over the map. There is no bigger example than Sylvester Williams who ranked in at #50 but was rated as high as #15 on set of rankings and as low as #93 on another.
So how does this big board effect the Chiefs’ draft? Well, first off, there are only 6 consensus top 10 players from these nine sources: Joeckel, Lotulelei, Werner, Warmack, Fisher, and Milliner. In fact, if you look at the ranking ranges all the other prospects had at least one source that ranked them outside the top 15. So ANY prospect (not just QBs) taken first overall that aren’t one of the 6 players listed above will be seen as a huge reach by some experts.
So will KC draft one of those 6 players at first overall? Recent reports have surfaced that Branden Albert has passed his physical with KC and that they are working to re-sign him. If this is true and KC comes to a deal with Albert, then Joeckel and Fisher seem unlikely picks. If KC were to let Albert walk, then they would be very much in play. Taking a guard 1st overall seems unlikely, even one as good as Warmack. Werner is strictly an edge pass rusher and with Hali and Houston on the roster he would seem a poor bet for the pick as well. That really only leaves Lotulelei and Milliner as reasonable possibilities if Albert re-signs. Both of these players would fill a need (although if KC were to sign Chris Canty who visited the Chiefs their need at DE would be reduced) and would likely be foundational players for KC for a long time.
So what if KC goes outside those top six players with the first pick?
In my opinion, if KC goes outside those consensus top 10 players listed above it would almost certainly be for Geno Smith. I know that John Dorsey recently told Adam Teicher that there isn’t a stand out QB, but according to these rankings there is. Geno Smith ranks in at #12 in these rankings. The next QB on the list is Matt Barkley at #33. That’s a 21 spot difference. Would I be okay with the Chiefs taking the 12th overall prospect at #1 if it meant that they were getting a QB that was 21 spots better than any other QB in the draft? Yes, yes I would.
Plus, I take issue with people that say we’ll get better “value” if we take a QB at #34 overall. I would expect that at least 3 QBs will come off the board before KC’s 2nd round pick. That means that the best QB available when KC drafts in the 2nd round will probably be ranked in the 40s on the overall big board. Meanwhile, experts all over are talking about how this draft may lack elite talent at the top but it has excellent depth. Case in point, there are exactly 34 prospects on this list that were ranked in the top 20 on at least one set of rankings. That means that there is guaranteed to be at least one prospect on the board when the Chiefs pick in the 2nd round that some had as a top 20 pick. So how is taking a QB at #34 that is ranked in the 40s when there is still top 20 talent left on the table better value?
I would argue that in a draft lacking in elite top talent but deep in overall value that reaching for Geno at #1 would actually be less costly than passing up solid first round talent at the top of the 2nd round to take the 4th or 5th best QB in a weak QB class. Frankly, if KC doesn’t take a QB at #1 overall I’d rather they waited until the 3rd-5th rounds to take one.
I understand what Dorsey told Teicher, but what do you expect him to say? “We think there is one guy that is clearly the best at QB and if we don’t get him we’re in trouble.” Why would he put himself into a corner like that? At this point I’m sure KC is trying to keep all of their options open. Am I saying that I’m confident that they’ll draft Geno? No way, I don’t have a clue. I’m also not ruling it out.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. What do you think of this latest big board? Who do you see KC taking at this point? Where do you see the value in drafting a QB? Let’s hear your answers in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!