Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If We Keep Albert, We Should Draft Jordan

Yes, last week I did tell you that it would make sense to trade Brandon Albert. That doesn’t meant necessarily mean that I think we should do it.

I’m basically willing to go either way on Albert because I accept my own ignorance on the two great unknowns to the whole conversation: 1.) What Albert is asking in the contract negotiations and 2.) What his long-term health looks like in the opinions of the team doctors. We know his play on the field has been good, but the two factors mentioned above will determine whether he will play for the Chiefs in 2014.

Assuming Albert has a clean bill of health and can be brought back into the fold without breaking the bank, our offensive line is pretty much a finished product. Second-year tackle Donald Stephenson, I think, showed enough on the left side in relief of an injured Albert to warrant a shot at RT. Hudson will be back from injury, Asamoah has been playing strong and free agent pickup Geoff Schwartz can play both inside and out. If the Chiefs use a mid-round pick on a right tackle prospect and/or pick up a journeyman lineman for the veteran minimum, I think we we’re pretty much set in terms of depth and quality starters.

With that in mind, what do you do when you have the highest pick on a team that has no glaring holes? You have the luxury to do whatever you want. Grab an impact player that has the potential to be a difference-maker regardless of position.

When it comes to premium positions and this year’s draft class, I think that difference-maker is an outside pass rusher. Here’s what’s great about this year’s crop of pass rushers – it’s like Baskin Robbins, there’s a guy for every flavor. If you’re looking for a raw stud with a huge ceiling, you have Ezekiel Ansah. Want a more polished prospect from a premiere team? Take Barkevious Mingo. A Bruce Irvin fan? Well, basically the same guy is available this year, except he was more productive and his name is Jarvis Jones.

For my money though, I like me some Dion Jordan because he is so versatile. I know a lot of you are going to instantly say that I am crazy because we already have two high-end pass rushers. But, especially given that we have a D-line that can’t pass rush if their life depended on it, we need constant production out of our blitzing ‘backers. The best way to ensure that is to keep them fresh with a good rotation.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hali in particular seemed to get worn out late in games last year, clocking just one sack in the 4th quarter all season (Houston had three). To be fair, in most 2012 games, the Chiefs were practically in body bags waiting for the coroner by the 4th. Most teams were content to grind it out on the ground until they could go home and celebrate.

Nonetheless, with Tamba turning 30 this year, it would be a good idea to cycle someone else in occasionally to keep him fresh and ready.

Furthermore, Dion Jordan brings some talents to the table that Houston and Hali don’t. The first and most obvious one is height. At 6’6”, Jordan would be the tallest guy on our side of the field. He also has longer-than-average arms (33 7/8’) and bigger-than-average hands (10’). Originally a tight end, he can find the ball and not only bat it down, with a bit of training he could be make some opportunistic catches as well.

Imagine 3rd downs when the Chiefs move to a 3-3-5 front with Hali, Houston and Jordan all charging forward. You could then play with that format and have Jordan fake the blitz then sit on one of the QB’s dump-off routes on the flat or short down the middle. That’s an interception waiting to happen.

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

The only knock against Jordan currently is that he could use a bit more polishing. Despite his blazing speed (having run the 40 at 4.60) and production (10.5 sacks in 12 games his senior year), he is still transitioning into the position. In the Scouts Inc. profile of him, the only area where they ranked him as “average” was in instincts/recognition, saying, “Work in progress. Has natural playmaking instincts.  Has a good feel for attacking blockers and how to keep them off of his body.  Shows impressive awareness and confidence in space for a guy with his frame.  Can be a quarter-count late locating the ball at times.  Needs to sense when to gear down in order to not outrun the play.  Also will get caught peeking inside on occasion when having edge responsibility.”

To me, that’s all the more reason why the Chiefs would be a great landing spot. In KC, we won’t have to force him onto the field and rely on him to start full time. He can watch and learn behind Tamba and Houston and play in subpackages. And, as much as I hate to even entertain this concept, he could make for a great post-Hali plan.

Tamba’s production is still great, especially for a team that no one bothered to pass against last year. But he is one of our highest-paid players with a cap hit of over $15 million this year and he won’t be playing at a pro-bowl level forever once he’s on the other side of 30. Jordan is also injury insurance for Houston and Hali until that day comes. With nothing but run-stuffers up front, we need two guys on the field on every play who can get to the passer.

Pass rusher is a position where you can never have too much depth, particularly in a division with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. If we want to make sure that the Donkeys don’t see another Super Bowl before we do, our best chance is to make Manning’s life as uncomfortable as possible twice a year (and possibly more).

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Tags: Branden Albert Dion Jordan Draft

  • steve james

    Nice post but it leaves me wanting more. It feels like you could have expanded on things a little more.

  • Outback Chief

    Yeah I was trying to figure out a place for Jordan a few weeks ago but it’s a tough fit unless Houston and Jordan can play some ILB

  • Donkeyhater

    I wouldn’t hate it, and Hali likely will start to decline over the next few years, but if we aren’t going to draft an OT I think they might be better served getting a DL such as Star, Floyd or Richardson who can give us a pass rush up front which we basically have none of now. Star should also be a beast against the run which would take pressure off our LB’s.

  • Calchiefsfan

    I like Jordan a lot but I would prefer Star Lotulelei. I would like to see us trade down to 7 or so and pick him up there.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      The problem with Star is that he is another version of what we already have. Evaluators say he could be a great run stuffer, but he doesn’t really have pass rushing ability or upside there. That basically describes our current three starting linemen and the major problem with the unit overall. If we’re going DL, I’d much rather Sharrif Floyd.

  • David Fritch

    Love Jordan and he’s my pick this year too!

  • Chief Hokie

    If we went for anybody outside of Geno, we gotta draft ziggy ansah!

    • Jim Harper

      I am with you on this one. Ansah, by all accounts, is the next Jason Pierre-Paul. He is big enough that he can play DE in our 3-4 scheme and his upside is off the charts.

      • micah stephenson

        No he is not big enough to play DE. He is not even close to 300 plus.

      • Chief Hokie

        Exactly. More upside than any pass rusher in this draft.

  • jimfromkcj

    With your own words you are saying he is a project. I just don’t think you draft projects in the first round. You draft a guy who can come in and produce at a high level on day one. Joeckel is the closest to that as you can get in this draft. His technique is great and that is the hardest to teach. If he has a weakness it seems to be his overall strength, which all college players develop under pro coaching. Jones is a medical no no as is Star. As for blinding speed, 4.60 is not my idea of blinding speed. 4’30 or under is blinding speed. Kaepernick clocked 4.54 at the combine. He has good, but not blinding speed.

    • Jack Thomas

      Clay Mathews ran 4.67 he looks fast as hell and manti teo at his pro day ran a 4.72 and every one says he’s slow as hell so 4.6 seems pretty fast to me

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      I didn’t call him a project, and neither did Scouts Inc. What they said is that he currently has average instincts while being exceptional and above average in all other facets of his game. Coaches have also raved about his work ethic. The guy was a reserve TE until two years ago and its a top 5 prospect at LB right now. We can bring him in slowly and he’ll pick up recognition stuff fast enough if he continues to try hard like he did in college. And while I agree with you that you’re looking to get a starter at the top of the draft, when you have a team without holes you can take the guy who you think is going to make the biggest impact, not necessarily a guy you are going to rely on all season.

  • kmon

    I’ve been saying this for some time now.but I say trade hali to the Steelers seeing they love older players anyway. hali already started to decline anyway, loved seeing him play for us but a Jordan-Houston tandem would be the ish.

  • Chris D.

    You can never have to many pass rushers.

    • Russel Azul

      Exactly, what happens the second houston or Hali gets hurt week one?? Were going to be very happy with this pick if we make it, I guarentee it

  • Chris Foosman

    There is some truthiness this. I do question how long Brandon Albert will be able to stay healthy, but if the doctors and talent evaluators think he can, this makes sense. Hali does have some major drawbacks. I know he’s a Pro Bowl player, but he’s a one trick pony for the most part. He has terrible lateral speed, and has been asked to rush the QB almost exclusively. He got torn up by Tebow running isolation plays at hm a few years back. As NFL offenses become more dependent on the single read option I think it makes sense getting a faster outside linebacker instead of a stand up defensive end. I really think it would benefit the team to have him as a rush end on passing downs so blitzes could be disguised with the other linebackers.

  • tm1946

    First volunteer workout and Albert skipped it. Veterans regularly do but with a new management team in place and the possible need for a long term contract, and his desire to be here and our need for a LT, not the best action.

    If there are issues with Albert and the Chiefs…..IF…..doesn’t that reshape the first pick? Not an insider but just wondering.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      Sure, my article last week was about how trading him could be very beneficial for the team. I still think that’s the case. If we can keep him, though, I’d rather go for the best player available who will be a sort of luxury playmaker.

  • Danny W

    Will have to agree to disagree here. I think our O line is gonna need to be major beef so we have to have Fisher or Joeckel play RT. I would like to some how get Hunt in the second though because I think he and Bailey could make an awesome sack duo on third downs on the DE position.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      The thing is that you can find starting-quality RT’s later in the draft. You don’t need to grab one with a top 3 pick.

      • Russel Azul

        Exactly! If we cant trade out of the first pick, it would be smarter to just pick up a solid OLB or Corner, positions they can develop at for a year or two

  • ArrowFan

    I agree we can afford to not draft an OL with the first pick but I would go with a QB, DL, or ILB before I would I go OLB.

  • Greg Hand

    We have 2 probowl ouside LB’s already and one probowl inside LB. This article is stupid.

  • micah stephenson

    Nope. We shud draft GENO SMITH.

    • Russel Azul

      No, our QB situation is solid at the moment. And if it doesnt work out, we can draft a far superior QB in next years draft..someone who actually has high potential to be a franchise QB

      • micah stephenson

        No we wont b able to get a QB next yr. Out of Jacksonville, oak, philly, NY, Buf, Arz, only 1 of them will have GENO SMITH. So those teams will b picking ahead of us and wanting a QB. So next yr we will have to trade 2 or 3 or 4 1st rd draft picks to move up and the Chiefs aint do n that. Besides, we ALLLLLLL know the Chiefs are scared to draft a QB 1st rd. So who are the 2nd-5th rd QBs that might b good next yr? Its A.Smith man. Thats who they hitched they wagon to A.Smith and Chase Daniels. :(

      • micah stephenson

        I know, I know, wait till next yr. Every year its wait till next yr.

  • Justin Jones

    but we do still have a glaring hole and its inside LB. i dont know much about this guy ur talkin about so i will look him up but can he play inside?? to me that seems to be the only hole we have left.

    • Russel Azul

      Agreed, but we can get an ILB in the later rounds of the draft, although I would have liked them to fill that hole in F/A. Im sure they have their eyes on a few good ones in the draft though.

      • NicholasAlanClayton

        If they pick up Karlos Dansby and throw in a 4th-round rookie, we’re more than set there and I will be more than happy.

        • Russel Azul

          Exactly, honestly we don’t need to spend a first rounder, especially the number one pick, on an OT. Since any pick will basically be a luxury, Id like to see us go with Jordan

  • Da Menace

    Some really good points there. I also see Hali playing at a high level four maybe four years five tops, it would be good to have someone in place before his eventual departure. As you stated our divisional rivals right now have top QB’s(well Manning and Rivers anyway) so scheming with such a diverseplayer gives many options and looks.

  • redchiefs

    Right now, IF is the key word. A veteran not showing up for voluntary schedule events happens most of the time regarding franchised players. It’s too bad that someone, being paid as much as BA is getting this year under the tag, isn’t participating with his team and the NEW management. It’s a fact that the R&D team is going to create competition across the board and that BA is firing a shot across the bow of his new bosses. Andy Reid is publicly staying very positive toward BA. BA has played very well, and Reid acknowledged that. BA needs to step up, and show up. BA needs to come in and meet Andy Reid and get to know him.

    We can be pretty sure the Chiefs will draft a tackle at some point in the draft, it’s just a numbers game of how many are on the roster right now. We also know that Andy Reid usually gets men bigger than BA, so I’d be surprised if R&D doesn’t draft a big body. If the Chiefs draft an OT, BA needs to prove he’s better if he wants to keep his job at LT.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I think this team needs to come away with a defensive end, but I’m not sure I’d take one with the top pick. Can you really afford for your top pick to only be a rotational guy? DeVito’s too good on first and second down not to be on the field.
    I’d wait until the back half of the draft.