Hope has been restored in Chiefs Kingdom, my friends! When reports began surfacing about the trade agreement between Kansas City and San Francisco (for Alex Smith’s services), there were some thoughts that the Chiefs offseason campaign was already headed down the drain. Luckily for fans, Kansas City’s new GM was only getting started.
With moments to spare late Monday afternoon, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey re-signed punter Dustin Colquitt and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Dorsey completed the hat trick by designating left tackle Branden Albert as the team’s 2013 franchise player. This is cause for celebration because these transactions have simplified Kansas City’s path to the NFL Draft. In locking up the three biggest names on their list of pending free agents, the Chiefs now have options.
In light of yesterday’s developments, who will the Chiefs draft 1st overall? There are still no clear answers, but it appears as though Luke Joeckel is no longer a foregone conclusion. Things could change once free agency begins on March 12th, but as it stands there are about four positions the team still needs to address (inside linebacker, cornerback, defensive end, and wide receiver). It’s reasonable to think Dorsey and the Chiefs will be players in the free agency sweepstakes, so that list could grow even shorter over the next seven weeks.
I won’t re-hash the help likely to be available in free agency. I began circulating those names on this website back in late-January when I wrote two articles that laid out options for this football team (part one & part two). There are a few notable salary cap casualties that could be added to those two lists, but we can revisit that conversation when free agency opens next week. For the moment, I’d like to turn my attention to draft possibilities.
1. Trade Down
According to reports, the Chiefs have already used the 34th overall pick in the NFL Draft to acquire Alex Smith. That trade effectively dashed my hopes of John Dorsey taking Geno Smith with the top overall pick. I suppose that’s still possible, but it seems highly improbable at this point. It also doesn’t seem likely that they’ll find a trade partner willing to give them a king’s ransom for their top draft choice, but I’d be shocked if Dorsey didn’t at least inquire. Recovering their R2 pick in a draft with so much talent crammed into opening two rounds would be a coup for Chiefs brass. There are at least two positions where the Chiefs need new starters (cornerback and inside linebacker). The better the talent, the greater the chance of a prospect making an immediate impact on this football team.
2. DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner, CB, Alabama
The starting cornerback spot opposite of Brandon Flowers is arguably the biggest hole on Kansas City’s roster. Now that the quarterback and left tackle positions have appropriately been addressed, Javier Arenas’ former Alabama teammate becomes a candidate for the #1 pick. Milliner had quite a showing at the NFL combine and his stock is quickly rising thanks to two sub-4.4 times in the 40-yard dash. Dee’s combination of size and athleticism would be an excellent addition to a talented young Chiefs secondary. Milliner’s footwork is a bit concerning though because he wasn’t often required to backpedal in Nick Saban’s coverage schemes. Fortunately for Kansas City, Andy Reid retained secondary coach Emmitt Thomas.
3. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Chiefs owe defensive end Tyson Jackson $14.7 million in 2013. He’s in no danger of coming back to Kansas City at that number. There’s been some talk that the Chiefs are working to re-structure his contract, but nothing is imminent. On the other side of the defensive line, the Chiefs have a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent in Glenn Dorsey. As much as it will pain some of you to read this, the former University of Florida standout makes sense for this franchise. Floyd would become the fourth defensive lineman since 2008 to have been drafted by the Chiefs in the Top 15, but if Dorsey’s allowed to walk the Chiefs will need a new starter at defensive end. Ropati Pitoitua will also be unrestricted come March 12th. Floyd has scheme versatility, one-gap/two-gap familiarity, a quick first step, and a great motor. He figures to be a longshot for the top pick though as he wasn’t exactly a dominant college football player.
If the NFL Draft were to be held tomorrow, these are Kansas City’s three best options (in my humble opinion). Here’s your chance to weigh in on the issue though. Use the comment section below to make your case. Things change quickly in the NFL this time of the year, so this could be a different conversation in another week when free agency starts. Let’s reconvene to discuss next Tuesday morning.
Until then, Addicts!