The 2013 NFL Draft is now officially one month away. We’re up to our necks in draft coverage here at Arrowhead Addict, but it’s still an exciting time in Chiefs Kingdom. Debates are raging over what Kansas City should do with the top overall pick and that’s unlikely to change before April 25th. I’m not qualified to advise general manager John Dorsey on the draft, but I’d like to take a stab at it anyway.
The following lists will only deal with the first three rounds. We’ll finish this up next Tuesday.
Here are round-by-round options I think the Chiefs should consider:
1. Trade down
There are several teams drafting in the Top 10 with questions at quarterback. It’s possible that one of them may have interest in trading into the top spot to draft Geno Smith. This option restores Kansas City’s second-round draft pick and gives the Chiefs a chance to get better value for their R1 selection. Who they decide to take afterwards depends entirely upon where they land.
2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M or Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Branden Albert will be the starting left tackle for the Chiefs this season, but his future in Kansas City isn’t certain. The recent signing of Albert’s franchise tender secured his rights for 2013. Beyond that, the Chiefs don’t have any security at the position. Drafting one of the young tackles secures Albert’s replacement if he leaves after the season. Both Joeckel and Fisher could also be Day 1 starters should the Chiefs find a trade partner for Branden Albert.
3. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This is clearly the one choice the team is least likely to make. They have quite a bit invested in new starter Alex Smith and free agent Chase Daniel. Drafting Smith would create a quarterback controversy immediately. I’m not convinced that Dorsey will be fond of spending nearly $10 million on that position in 2013. That said, Geno Smith is the best quarterback in the class and limits the amount of time the Chiefs are wed to Alex Smith.
The Chiefs traded their R2 pick for Alex Smith so unless they trade Branden Albert or the #1 pick, their only responsibility is to stay awake and watch the board. They could package picks and move back into the second round, if necessary. On the chance that they recover the R2 pick, here’s my shortlist:
1. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
The 2012 Butkus Award finalist is more football player than athlete, but his instincts and motor make him an intriguing prospect in round two of the draft. He’ll be a liability in coverage, but he’s great in run support. Minter is an instinctive linebacker with a nose for the ball. What he lacks in speed, he’ll make up for in football IQ and awareness.
2. Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Reid is a tall, athletic defensiveback with versatility. He’s rangy and can make plays at every level on the football field. Reid has a great combination of size and speed and has the kind of aggression that brings attitude to a defense. His ability to support the run and contribute in coverage make him an option at either free or strong safety.
3. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
I’m not convinced that the Chiefs have answered the quarterback question completely. Drafting Nassib gives Kansas City a good insurance policy at even better value. I was impressed with his quick release and good footwork in his Senior Bowl footage. Nassib has an arm that Alex Smith would die for. He can make every NFL throw and do so with velocity and accuracy.
Third Round (A)
1. Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon
The former Ducks’ standout linebacker could come into Kansas City and be an immediate contributor on the inside. Alonso is a tenacious defender who closes quickly on ballcarriers. He’s athletic enough that he won’t be a liability in pass coverage. He’s excellent at sniffing out (and subsequently snuffing out) pass plays out in the flat. Alonso is a high-effort player that can be used in a number of ways. He’s a defensive coordinator’s wet dream.
2. David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
The three-year player out of the University of Colorado is the kind of right tackle Chiefs Kingdom has been waiting for. Bakhtiari is a nasty offensive lineman who plays the game with attitude. He thrives on initiating contacts and will pancake a defender, if possible. David Bakhtiari has great upper-body strength and can really immobilize a defender once he’s gotten his hands on them.
3. Robert Woods, WR, USC
Woods is a former high school All-American who went on to be highly productive at Southern Cal. He’s a great value here and has the potential to be a #1 wide receiver in the NFL. Woods plays with a sense of urgency and is very quick. He runs crisp routes and is explosive when he’s running with the football. Woods has good hands and tends to catch the ball away from his body. He’s a scrappy, hard-working receiver who will fight for every yard in the NFL.
Third Round (B)
1. Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama
There’s been some concern that Rodney Hudson might not be healthy to start the 2013 season. Drafting Jones would give the Chiefs a solid contingency plan if he isn’t. It’s a good bet that Jones’ limitations as an athlete will have him move inside in the NFL. With his technique, he’ll be well served as an interior lineman. Jones is a smart run blocker who will use good angles to create space for runners. He’s been a big part of those championship runs at Alabama and will similarly be a long-term solution for the Chiefs.
2. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Free agent Mike DeVito isn’t an ideal fit for the 1-gap scheme Bob Sutton wants to run. Montgomery is the kind of high-motor defensive end that the Chiefs need to bolster their passrush. He has a limited assortment of passrushing moves, but he hustles until the whistle blows. Montgomery could develop into a defender who can play on all three downs, but with DeVito in the fold, he’ll have time to mature at a natural pace.
3. Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
Rambo might be a bit of a risk here, due to his character issues (he was suspended more than once during his collegiate career), but his talent is undeniable. He’s a physical athlete who is willing to stick his nose in over the middle and lay a hit on a ballcarrier. He’s also instinctive and reacts quickly to the ball. If a team can see beyond his checkered past, he’ll be a solid pick at the bottom of this round.
We’re all armchair general managers at this time of the year. This is my humble attempt at identifying players who can take this football team to the next level. As always, you’re welcome to disagree with me. Do so in the comment section below. I look forward to reading your well-reasoned draft ideas for this franchise. We’ll square up again next week to go over the final four rounds. It’s your turn now. Let it begin!
Until next time, Addicts!