What a week at Arrowhead Lane!
Addicts wanted change, and the Chiefs provided just that. Andy Reid. John Dorsey. Alex Smith. Locking up Dwayne Bowe, Branden Albert and Dustin Colquitt and restructuring Tyson Jackson’s contract. And yesterday’s shocking release of Eric Winston. Not a bad offseason, and we’re not even at free agency and the draft yet.
Reid and Dorsey are sending signals that there’s a new sheriff in town. These sheriffs know their football and want to win now. We can disagree on some of the components of their plan, but you gotta love their plan! For starters, they have a plan. And I’m pretty excited about it.
With the signing of Alex Smith, Bowe, Albert and Colquitt, I think most everyone thought our number one pick would be someone other than Luke Joeckel, even though with Joeckel, we’d be getting the best player in this draft and a dominant force for the next decade, perhaps even on the level of Anthony Muñoz, Willie Roaf and Jonathan Ogden. With yesterday’s release of Winston, Joeckel (or Eric Fisher) is very much back in play.
To add more intrigue to the mix, as many have noted recently, our best bet may be to trade down and pick up additional draft choices. Reid and Dorsey want to win now. We already have superstars Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Justin Houston, Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry, Bowe, Albert and Colquitt. We have a few players who may be great – Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson and Tony Moeaki. Alex Smith provides us a top ten quarterback. A few extra picks this year and one or two free agency pickups could just about complete this team. We could also pick up the second rounder we gave up in the Smith deal.
A trade for the first pick has happened several times, with the AFC West featured often. In 2001, the Chargers had the first pick in the draft. The Falcons traded their fifth overall pick to San Diego along with a third-round pick that same year, a second rounder in 2002 and kick returner Tim Dwight. In 2005, the Chargers once again had the first overall pick. This time, the New York Giants went for the trade in order to land Eli Manning, and giving San Diego their fourth overall pick (Phillip Rivers), their third-round pick and their first- and fifth-round picks in in 2005.
Let’s assume that Reid and Dorsey already have a plan in place to fill Winston’s slot, either with Donald Stephenson or a free agent. They could be making the calculation that Joeckel will be so wanted that some team will step up to trade with us. A few weeks ago, I offered Chicago or Green Bay as potential trade partners for Joeckel. But there may be another trade-down scenario, because something interesting is happening at the top of the draft board. Jacksonville, picking after the Chiefs, needs a quarterback, defensive end and cornerback. The Raiders, who pick third, need a defensive end and cornerback. And the Eagles, with the fourth pick, need a cornerback.
Unbelievably, Joeckel may not be a priority for the first four teams in the draft. If Chicago, Green Bay or any other team really wants him, they could get him for cheaper by trading with several teams picking after the Chiefs.
But what about a deal for cornerback Dee Milliner? Already, people are talking about Milliner as a potential pick for the Chiefs. But he’s also a great pick up for Jacksonville, Oakland and the Eagles. Could the Chiefs engineer a trade with one of these teams and drop out of the top pick?
If we drop down one, two or three spots, we can still get one of the many superb defensive ends in the draft, like Ezekiel Ansah from BYU, Bjoern Werner from Florida State, Damontre Moore from Texas A&M, Barkevious Mingo from LSU or Dion Jordan from Oregon. Or we could land Joeckel or Fisher and pick up another draft choice to boot.
To fill our cornerback spot, we probably no longer have the cap space or draft choices to pursue Darrelle Revis, but we can then use the pick we gain in a trade to land someone like Zavier Rhodes from Florida State, Desmond Trufant from Washington or Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State. On the free agent side, there’s also still Sean Smith from the Dolphins, now that it looks like Brent Grimes with the Falcons is no longer available after Atlanta released Dunta Robinson.
Finally, we need one more wide receiver. I wonder if Justin Hunter from Tennessee might still be available at the top of the third round? I also watched a few Texas A&M games last year, and really liked Ryan Swope, who was Johnny Manziel’s favorite target last year. He’d almost certainly be available. Swope ran a 4.34 forty, by the way.
We’ll have many more conversations about whom the Chiefs should pick first if they aren’t able to create a trade. But if we do land a trade and give up the rights to Milliner, I think we go:
1. Defensive end
3. Wide receiver
What do you think, Addicts?!