Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the start of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Mock Draft 2013: The Chiefs' Best Case Scenario

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The 2013 NFL Draft will soon be upon us and the last time the first pick of the first round was this uncertain was the whole Eli Manning-to-the-Chargers debacle. For the last few years the team with the first pick has been open and vocal about who they would choose and there was absolutely no suspense leading up to the moment when Commissioner Roger Goodell approached the stage and uttered the famous words: “With the first pick of the NFL draft…”

This year, it’s all different. While the Kansas City Chiefs sit in the driver’s seat with the No. 1 overall pick, they’ve been very tight lipped about who exactly they have in mind for the pick. The only clue they’ve given the fans at large is the insight that head coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey are evaluating approximately ten players to pick with that opening selection. However, there are more picks than just the first one to worry about. Reid, Dorsey and their scouting staff have quite the job in evaluating players leading up to the big day on April 25th. Currently, the Chiefs’ draft order looks like this:

Round 1: Pick 1

Round 3: Pick 63

Round 3: Pick 96

Round 4: Pick 99

Round 5: Pick 134

Round 6: Pick 170

Round 6: Pick 204

Round 7: Pick 207

If you didn’t feel like counting, that’s eight picks in all. The second third-round pick and the second sixth-round pick are compensatory picks awarded for the loss of Brandon Carr and… ahem… Barry “Turnstile” Richardson in free agency last year. Also, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past three months and you didn’t know, the reason the Chiefs don’t have a second-round pick is because the duo of Reid and Dorsey have effectively already used that pick by trading it to the San Francisco 49ers for the services of new starting quarterback, Alex Smith.

However, the Chiefs aren’t resigned to this fate. In fact, there’s a very good possibility they might not even make the first pick at all. There are several teams picking in the top-ten of this year’s draft who have issues at the quarterback position. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets have all expressed some level of interest in moving on from their current signal caller. Some teams have shown higher levels of interest than others and are more desperate than their quarterback starved colleagues. The Bills are perhaps the worst-off in the bunch.

In the game of QB-Monte that has been the standard during this off-season, the Bills signed former Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Kevin Kolb, to a two year deal worth around $12 to $13 million, depending on what source you listen to. While that is a step in the right direction of shoring up their QB depth chart, that contract is nowhere near “starter money.” The Raiders announced earlier this morning they have finalized a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for the services of quarterback, Matt Flynn. As with the other scenarios, Flynn’s large contract was an issue, which is why the finalization of the trade has taken so long. With Flynn giving up his neon green and blue for black and silver, the Cardinals and the Raiders just finalized a trade sending Carson Palmer to Arizona. Palmer is set to make $20 million in the next two years indicating the Cardinals are out of the QB sweepstakes. The point is, none of these teams are willing to overpay a guy who might not be the opening day starter under center. That makes them all possible landing spots for the undisputed “best QB in the draft,” Geno Smith.

This leaves Buffalo as the most likely landing spot for Geno Smith. The Bills have expressed interest in him and may be the most willing of the top-ten teams to make the plunge and trade up to the top of the pile in order to secure him before another team (like Oakland, Jacksonville or even the Chiefs) can get their hands on him. If that happened, the price would be hefty, but doable.

The cost of such a trade would most likely be a swap of first-round picks (Buffalo picks eighth) the Bills’ second-round pick and their 2014 first-round pick. This scenario is considerably cheaper than the big trade of last season in which the Washington Redskins surrendered three total first-round picks and a second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams in order to secure the No. 2 overall pick and the services of Robert Griffin III.

The next scenario regarding the Chiefs’ draft day strategy is the trade of franchised left tackle, Branden Albert. Things have heated up in this arena over the last couple of days as Albert has said publicly he wants to know if he’s being traded and won’t show up to voluntary workouts until he gets word of his status with the team. We know the Chiefs want at least a second-round pick this year and the next. We also know from previous reports that the Miami Dolphins expressed interest in Albert’s services and have mulled a possible trade. So, for the purposes of this “best case scenario” we’ll say that Miami is the most likely trade partner and they’re willing to part with both of their second-round picks in this year’s draft to replace the hole left by the departure of their left tackle, Jake Long.

These two trades could create a “perfect storm” of draft day magic for the Chiefs. Their draft order would now look like this:

Round 1: Pick 8 (From Buffalo)

Round 2: Pick 41 (From Buffalo)

Round 2: Pick 42 (From Miami)

Round 2: Pick 54 (From Miami)

Round 3: Pick 63

Round 3: Pick 96

Round 4: Pick 99

Round 5: Pick 134

Round 6: Pick 170

Round 6: Pick 204

Round 7: Pick 207

By doing this, the Chiefs would gain three second-round picks this year and a first rounder next year which would go to further the Reid/Dorsey philosophy of “building through the draft.”

But, what do the Chiefs do with these draft picks? There are ultimately a million different scenarios involving what players fall where, and what other teams do. Since we’re dealing with hypotheticals, I’ve done a mock draft using the Chiefs’ modified draft picks.

To set the stage for the first-round pick, I mocked out the seven teams picking before the Chiefs and the two teams after. For the rest of the Chiefs’ picks, I used the Big Draft Board at www.drafttek.com and used the rules of only moving “up” five positions but dropping down as far as I needed.

Here is my mock of the first ten overall picks:

     

1. Buffalo Bills

Geno Smith

QB, West Virginia

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Dion Jordan

OLB, Oregon

3. Oakland Raiders

Shariff Floyd

DT, Florida

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Luke Joeckel

OT, Texas A & M

5. Detroit Lions

Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah

DE, BYU

6. Cleveland Browns

Dee Milner

CB, Alabama

7. Arizona Cardinals

Eric Fisher

OT, Central Michigan

 8. Kansas City Chiefs

Lane Johnson

OT, Oklahoma

9. New York Jets

Jarvis Jones

OLB, Georgia

10. Tennessee Titans

Chance Warmack

OG, Alabama

I used the mock draft page at www.nfl.com and used the average of each of those mock drafts to pick the players for the other teams. I took into account, of course, the fact that the Chiefs and the Bills switched spots.

Now, here is my full Chiefs’ mock draft complete with short explanations of each pick:

Round 1: Pick 8 (From Buffalo)

Lane Johnson, OT – Oklahoma

With Joeckel falling to the Eagles to protect Michael Vick and Fisher going to Arizona to protect Drew Stanton or Carson Palmer (or whoever is calling plays in Sun Devil Stadium this year), the Chiefs are forced to take Lane Johnson. The last time three offensive tackles were taken in the top-ten picks of the draft was 2002, so it’s obvious that it doesn’t happen very often. The fact is, all three of this year’s top tackles are rated very high across the board by multiple draft experts (and I’m not talking about Scott Pioli) so that should tell you something. Johnson isn’t that far behind Joeckel and Fisher in skill and will work nicely with this former college teammate, Donald Stephenson, who could potentially start at right tackle next season if the Chiefs can’t sign a free agent to step in. Johnson is a day one starter and the clear replacement for Branden Albert.

Round 2: Pick 41 (From Buffalo)

Zach Ertz, TE – Stanford

The Chiefs have some talent already on the roster at the tight end position with fourth year man, Tony Moeaki and newly signed free agent, Anthony Fasano. Zach Ertz could come in and start day one over both of them. He’s a big, pass catching tight end who’s decent in the run-blocking game as well. One thing quarterback Alex Smith has struggled with in years past is scoring in the red zone. Having a big target like Ertz could only help the Chiefs score 6 instead of 3 inside the 20 yard line.

Round 2: Pick 42 (From Miami)

Arthur Brown, ILB – Kansas State

Probably the biggest need the Chiefs didn’t address during the free agency frenzy was the inside linebacker position next to Derrick Johnson. Last season the late Jovan Belcher filled the role. I’m not intending to speak ill of the dead, but he wasn’t that good. His replacement, Brandon Siler, wasn’t all that hot either. The Chiefs need a hard-thumping, quick-moving, run-stopper at this position who can also drop into pass coverage from time to time. I’ve watched some tape of Brown and he could be that guy.

Round 2: Pick 54 (From Miami)

William Gholston, DE – Michigan State

Say what you want about Glenn Dorsey, but losing him to the 49ers was a bit of a blow. I was really rooting for him to sign a long-term deal with the Chiefs and come back in red and gold in 2013. Having him walk has left a significant hole on the right side of the defensive line. If you combine that with the apparent lack of interest Reid and Dorsey have in re-signing Shaun “Big Perv” Smith and the fact that Ropati Pitoitua is relocating to the “Music City” after signing with the Tennessee Titans, the team needs a big defensive end to step in. At this draft position, Gholston could be a run-stopping day one starter.

Round 3: Pick 63

Kyle Long, OT – Oregon

When the Chiefs released Eric Winston in move based on a “difference of philosophy,” the team created a large hole for themselves. I said earlier that second year man, Donald Stephenson, could step in and start in the right tackle position, and I think he could. However, the competition of a good rookie in Long could only help drive the level of Stephenson’s play even higher. Long comes from the spread offense of Chip Kelly’s last gig, which means he would hold up a bit better as a pass-blocker than your average right tackle. I’m not saying he’s a day one starter, but he absolutely could be. Either way, it adds depth at perhaps the most important (and most uncertain) group in the Chiefs’ offense.

Round 3: Pick 96

Jonathon Bostic, ILB – Florida

If there’s one thing this year’s draft class has, it’s defensive depth. Whether a team is looking for defensive line, line backers or defensive secondary, there are plenty of young, above average talent to go around in the middle rounds. Jonathon Bostic is one of those men. Taking two inside linebackers within the first three rounds could be an unpopular decision. The Chiefs’ need at the inside linebacker position is likely the biggest need on their roster. This is a safe pick if for depth, if nothing else.

Round 4: Pick 99

Devin Taylor, DE – South Carolina

As the draft reaches the top end of 100 picks, most teams are picking for depth over hidden gem superstars. Rarely is a starting player found in the second of half of the draft. I already have the Chiefs taking a defensive end, but if Taylor falls to the Chiefs here, they should pick him up. At 6’7”, he is taller than most and by rotating him in on third down (likely passing situations) and having him extend his arms, he could be a ball swatter in the mold of J.J. Watt. I can dream, at least.

Round 5: Pick 134

Knile Davis, FB – Arkansas

Remember Tony Richardson and Kimble Anders? Me too. Those are about the last fullbacks on the Chiefs roster I could tell you by name. (That’s not entirely true, I know last year it was Patrick Di’Marco, but that’s not my point.) Fullbacks aren’t glamorous and generally you don’t hear the words “franchise” and “fullback” used in the same sentence. Jamaal Charles could really use a big bruiser to bust open a hole for him so he can break those 50 yard touchdown runs we all love to watch. I was hoping they would use Peyton Hillis in this capacity last year. I like Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray as back-ups to Charles, but the Chiefs need a bruiser who can maybe catch a pass out of the backfield on occasion. Davis is the guy for the job.

Round 6 Pick 170

Josh Evans, FS – Florida

If the Chiefs are looking for depth at round six, Josh Evans could come in and provide just that as well as some competition for Kendrick Lewis. I’ve read in a couple of different places that Reid possibly intends to use newly signed defensive back Dunta Robinson at free safety. This seems to be a pattern with him and moving around players to positions they aren’t used to playing (see offensive line) and Josh Evans is no Sabby Piscitelli, but I think he could be a good rotational and special teams player.

Round 6: Pick 204

Ace Sanders, WR – South Carolina

Honestly, the only reason I picked Ace Sanders is because he’s fast, and his name is Ace. How cool would it be to have a guy named Ace on the Chiefs? Especially if his number was 1. I would buy that jersey. Ace Sanders. I didn’t make that up.

It would be cool. Ok, that’s all I’ve really got to say about that.

Round 7: Pick 207

Spencer Nealy, DE – Texas A & M

Nealy is really a depth move and a guy that may or may not make the 53 man roster. He’s a big defensive end, and could provide some depth in some sub-package sets. Otherwise, he’s a project that could end up on the practice squad.

That’s it, Addicts! That’s my mock draft utilizing what I believe the best case scenario for the Chiefs on draft day. I’d love to see your mocks using these picks. Use the www.drafttek.com draft board and you can only reach up the board by five picks and you can go as deep as you want. Let’s see you put your GM hat on! Good luck!

 

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