The Chiefs And The Wheel Of Fortunate Evaluations

Someone will be drafted first in the draft. This is the one constant we can all count on. One way or another, one lucky… and fortunate… prospect will go #1 overall, making oodles of dough and going down in the history books to boot.

And… it will be because of some very fortunate evaluations. Of course those evaluations are based on the performances and talents of these prospects… at least we hope that’s the case.

It’s been reported that the Chiefs first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has been narrowed down to three possible players: OT Luke Joeckel, OT Eric Fisher and OLB Dion Jordan. However, it could just as easily be Luke Joeckel, Dion Jordan and Geno Smith. Just follow the bouncing ball of logic… if you will:

Let’s say there once were four finalists- Luke, Eric, Geno and Dion… and then Dorsey and Reid decided it’s time to narrow it down to three. Then, it follows that they had to have the conversation about… “which OT is better?”  Once that’s determined then one of them is eliminated… and that leaves three. After all, why would you keep two players who play the same position in your top three?

Since we can assume Dorsey and Reid have had the conversation about who is a better OT… I’m projecting that the three prospects includes Geno Smith.

Especially if they’d like to get more offers for the first pick in the draft then Geno is the bait. There are still too many teams who don’t have a good QB and Geno can be a good one. Perhaps not great, but good.

So, I can not see that at any time in the next three weeks that anyone from the Chiefs organization will let it slip that Geno is out of consideration.

However, that being said, it looks like QB Geno Smith is out of the running for the Chiefs to take him for several reasons, not the least of which is an unfortunate evaluation by Nolan Nawrocki. So, it might be a good idea to take a look at a wider range of evaluations of the top prospects to avoid any mis-steps in the final rankings process.

What is clear now is that these three or four top prospects are in the lofty positions they are in because they have avoided the unfortunate branding that spreads like wildfire at this time of year.

Here are some examples of the negative labeling that’s hurt a number of specific prospects who have all, at one time or another, heard their name mentioned as a possible top pick in this draft:

DL Star Lotulelei- short arms and medical questions.

DL Sharrif Floyd- stamina questions, stops after contact, past ACL

DE Ezekiel Ansah- struggles to break free once engaged, plays with pads too high, only in football since 2010

OG Chance Warmack- he plays guard, he’s too short

CB Dee Milliner- too aggressive and overplays, lacks elite speed, weak back-peddle, one year experience as a starter

DE Bjoern Werner- consistency questions, history of minor injuries, lacks typical height

OT Lane Johnson- tremendous upside but has a bust factor

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In this draft there are no perfect prospects. Has there ever been?

However, it may be the unfortunate evaluations that scouts make on a prospect that keeps them from breaking into the top three or four for consideration — out of which the number one player could be taken in this draft.

Let’s begin with the odds on favorite so far: Luke Joeckel.

 

When researching strengths and weaknesses of Luke Joeckel there are a lack of weaknesses and consequently a lack of negative things being said about him in the press. He may not be the strongest OT in this draft but, his top notch technique and squeaky clean image win him big points in the long run.

Take a look at the quote in red taken from CBS Sports and it may strike you… if this is all that’s wrong with his game, he may be even better than first thought.

It’s not so much everything he’s done but, in his case, all the negatives that aren’t there.

So, who can compete with Mr. Joeckel? Eric Fisher has done nothing but fly to the top of the draft board during this off season. Could he be the Chiefs first pick? Sure. Why not. If they’re taking a OT, I’d certainly hope he’s in the running.

Fisher is that prospect with more strength and upside. His frame could also take the extra pounds Reid will likely ask his OTs to bear, considering his pound and ground system.

However, when you begin to read through the list of possible deficiencies in Fisher’s technique, then Joeckel looks better and better.

Take into consideration the premium talent that Joeckel has gone against and dominated, and that’s why Fisher finishes second on my list.

If the Chiefs can deal with their OT issues outside of the draft then perhaps they go with the best OLB Dion Jordan, a phenomenal athlete.

If you’ve had the opportunity to watch Jordan play you’ll most likely come away impressed. At the minimum you’ll be impressed by his athleticism. However, his presence on the field is felt on nearly every play when his defense takes to the turf.

Could the Chiefs use another dynamic player who knows how to get to the QB and make plays? If your answer is not an emphatic yes, you may not be aware that besides their QB woes last season, the Chiefs couldn’t put enough pressure on opposing QBs, which was happening on an all too consistent basis.

Do you think Reid and Dorsey noticed this deficiency when they were reviewing film of last season? Close your eyes and you can almost hear their conversation:

ANDY: Hey John, we are going to need a QB next year.

JOHN: Yea, I noticed that too.

JOHN: You know I really like our defense but, we’re still not able to put enough pressure on the QB. We’re going to have to get another pass rusher from somewhere this off season.

ANDY: I couldn’t agree more.

If you ever noticed, the one player who never shows up available in free agency, aside from a franchise QB, is a franchise pass rusher.

I will not be shocked at all if the Chiefs go with Dion Jordan. His story is really compelling too. He was once a burn victim and he vowed he would not let that define him. He wanted to be: a football player.

Plus, he has an NBA power forward’s body at 6-6, 248. Jordan’s skills could be considered magical because he’s able to drop into coverage and make opposing tight ends disappear. The point is, he’s excellent in coverage where many OLBs are not.

Jordan has also spent time playing both TE as well as DE. Da kidz got mad skilz.

Once you consider his physical gifts and sustained level of performance you’d have to give him a great chance to be the first player to shake Roger Goodell’s hand on draft day.

When you look over Dion Jordan’s weaknesses, in red, you almost wonder if whoever wrote the critique for CBS Sports was serious?

Taking all things into consideration, I’d be thrilled if a player as dynamic as Dion Jordan was the Chiefs first pick.

Lastly, consider the case of Geno Smith.

Since I’ve been following Geno Smith’s career closer than the other prospects, it’s become very interesting to me that comments are being generated about him which come off biased, to say the least. I don’t want to start a forum on whether or not Geno Smith is the victim of racism, but I’ll say I have read some inappropriate comments to say the least.

As I researched Geno Smith’s strengths and weaknesses I could find plenty of each. There seems to be a wide chasm of opinions regarding the West Virginia QB and although I stopped being surprised about that quite awhile ago, there’s something about this wide gap of opinions that intrigues me.

There have not often been college QBs who have ever put up the numbers he has put up and yet as soon as you say something like that there are a long list of bloggers ready to say that college stats mean nothing.

You can see by the disparity of comments on Geno’s wheel of evaluations that Nolan Nawrocki (who has never met Geno) typifies Geno Smith one way and then John Gruden and Geno’s former QB coach Jake Spavital typify him completely the opposite way.

Obviously, if you’re using Nolan Nawrocki’s evaluation to determine Geno Smith’s success, you’re making a huge error in judgement. Many fans may recall ex-NFL QB Warren Moon accusing Nawrocki of racial bias for comments he made just three years ago. Nawrocki appears to be at it again.

Who is Nolan Nawrocki? He’s not a scout. He’s an analyst. Nawrocki is ProFootballFocus version of Mel Kiper. Can you imagine Kiper making these comments? ESPN would have him out the door faster than you can say “Rush Limbaugh.”

In the end, the Chiefs question will be, “What are they going to do about Geno Smith?” My prediction at this point is that they will continue to associate themselves closely enough with him in order to maintain the possibility of a trade for the first pick in the draft.

Beyond that, while I’d like the Chiefs to consider Geno Smith for the first pick, I think it’s either going to be Luke Joeckel or Dion Jordan.

Why? Because the Chiefs wheel of fortunate evaluations says so.

How about it Addicts? Have we nailed the final four, three, or two… or is there someone else who could go… el numero uno?

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