The Chiefs Vision And The 2013 Draft

Like any good organization, the Chiefs operate with a team vision. Some organizations write their vision statements down. Some don’t and operate with a vision that changes as times change.

That would be the Chiefs.

When you change from one set of general managers/coaches to another, the vision for your organization is going to change dramatically. When a GM signs one significant player after another — and releases significant players too — everyone gets a clearer picture of the vision for the team.

As the draft approaches — with significant questions unanswered — many are wondering what the next step of the current regime will be.

The answer may lie in looking to the… yet possible visions.

John Dorsey and Andy Reid appear to be on the same page. What does that really mean? It sounds like they share a similar vision.

In a program called the “Dream Manifesto” Thomas Herold says,

A vision is a strong force in anyone’s life, but a vision is essential in business…. When you create a successful vision, you begin to feel passionate about it…. When a vision is spread through a company, it pushes both the leaders and employees toward the same goals together rather than separately. Visions can successfully turn a corporate hierarchy into a harmonious and well-organized group.

Anyone who has been following the Chiefs for the past four years knows that the Chiefs had no “shared” vision. There was only Scott Pioli’s way and everyone else was a bystander. Including Todd Haley.

But, that was the past, and I digress.

Now, apparently several player prospects are still in the running to become the K.C. Chiefs number one pick. By taking into account how each of these prospects will affect the scheme and team, we can determine their dreamy outer limits, or their acute limitations.

Let’s begin with a rising star on the draft board, Eric Fisher.

If the Chiefs keep Branden Albert and draft Eric Fisher then plug him in at RT, they’d have a formidable offensive line. With Albert and Fisher locking down the outside pass rush, Alex Smith should get more time in the pocket than previous Chiefs QBs have seen in years. By signing G/TGeoff Schwartz, who says he favors playing Guard, the weakest positions along the OL should be Center and one Guard spot. The return of Rodney Hudson and possibly Ryan Lilja could solidify the Center position leaving  the other Guard spot for Jon Asamoah with Jeff Allen and Lilja offering solid back-ups there. This places OT Donald Stephenson as the Tackle back-up and spot starter.

Can you see it? Can you visualize it? I can, and it looks pretty awesome to me. Whether it will come to be, or not, is another thing but, it all starts with the vision.

Drafting OT Eric Fisher, who is said to have more upside than Luke Joeckel, semi-completes the Chiefs  offensive front and gives them a strong presence there. Fisher may allow a few more rookie mistakes than Joeckel but, because of his continued progress should develop into a premiere OT in the league… eventually. He also gives the Chiefs the flexibility to trade Albert down the line so he can swing over to LT, if and when.

All these same things can be said about Luke Joeckel except, with Joeckel, there comes a greater expectation for him to take over as the team’s LT from the get go.

Andy Reid has come out and stated that he wants his players to play where they want to play. In that sense, Fisher appears to be a better fit for the vision going forward.

Better team chemistry.

Creating a new team vision blossoms from the excitement that grows while conceptualizing… and in the process concurrently perceiving how well a prospective player’s skills jell with existing players… and simultaneously weighing the cost factor of an alternative vision lost.

If you choose one vision… you lose another.

This isn’t always true of course but, is usually the consequence.

I know a talented pianist, who upon graduating, had to choose between studying the piano or following another dream, a career in dance. They chose dancing, then danced around the world and saw every part of that vision come to life. They could still play piano, but obviously not at the level they would have, if they’d followed that vision through.

It’s an either/or choice for the Chiefs. They can trade the first pick… and hopefully pick up more picks… but, even then they must follow one path or another.

A vision the Chiefs could follow, is to draft a defensive lineman like Sharrif Floyd. Floyd doesn’t project well to NT so, the Chiefs would likely be taking him to play Defensive End. Floyd at his best can cause havoc anywhere along the defensive line. However, Floyd has a total of 4.5 sacks for his college career so… if Chiefs fans are counting on him to provide the pass pressure that Glenn Dorsey didn’t, then their vision of having Floyd in red and gold needs to be adjusted. Dorsey’s frame, 6-2, 316 and Floyd’s frame, 6-3, 297, are not tremendously different and so bringing in Floyd in to give the DL a big shot in the arm may not be a dream that ever comes to fruition… much like the addition of Glenn Dorsey in 2008.

The vision of Star Lotulelei at DT tackle may not be tremendously different than bringing Floyd in at DE either. The Chiefs are looking for a push against the OL on passing downs and while Lotulelei is very good against the run, he had 7.0 sacks in three years. However, 5.0 of those sacks came in his Senior season and it’s clear from watching games he’s played in that he is a disruptive force. However, if you go back and watch game tape of Glenn Dorsey in his last year at L.S.U., Star looks like a mirror. Both looked like the most driven players on the field but, Star’s limitation, short arms, means he’s not able to bat balls down when they’re released by the QB, which off sets his ability to penetrate. Lotulelei has some leadership ability that is unquestioned but, is that enough to make the Chiefs… “disruptive defensive line vision”… a dream come true?

The answer is… the vision of creating more pressure on opposing QBs may have to come from another defensive position. A position like, linebacker.

Another vision currently floating about the Chiefs cosmos, is the one about LB Dion Jordan. Some will argue that this dream would be better fulfilled by drafting the equally freakish athlete, Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah. Ansah may be the answer for some team high in the first round but, Dion Jordan is drawing some buzz around town as a legitimate potential #1 overall prospect.

When coupled with the Chiefs triumvirate Pro Bowl cartel… Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston… the specter of fusing Jordan’s hyper-dynamics makes for some pretty sweet visions of sugary plum hits (check out the tatoo at 2:21), all dancing in the head. To catch a glimpse of the real “vision” that is Dion Jordan, please don’t miss this 3:09 minute “ESPN Sports Science” presentation.

Oracles Andy Reid and Bob Sutton (the Chiefs new DC) can utilize Jordan in mixing pressure packages to run an attacking style defensive with endless ideation. For Sutton, this scheme will be similar to what his previous head coach, Rex Ryan, preferred and making Jordan a feature is the most natural fit because he gives Sutton all the flexibility possibly needed to run, and  s t r e t c h, that scheme.

Dion Jordan can drop into coverage and, at 6-6, make sure TEs aren’t going to gouge the defense as they have in years past. Antonio Gates has barbequed the Chiefs, on their own home field turf, enough to last a lifetime.

Using Dion Jordan as an ILB , as some are suggesting, resets the standards for what an ILB may be judged by. At 6-6 and 240, Jordan brings an athletic body to that position.  The Chiefs Derrick Johnson is 6-3 and 242 so the one outstanding difference is Jordan’s height. However, Jordan also brings a muscular flexibility that allows him to bend around the corner when pursuing a QB that is rare. It’s difficult to imagine Jordan not excelling next to the Chiefs divine trio

While fantasies of future prospects waltzing into the Chiefs lineup dominate my draft day experience… the visions lost… do so as well.

If the Chiefs take OLB Dion Jordan the questions along the OL remain… potentially… nightmare material. I’m sure it’s not what Alex Smith envisioned when he spit in his palm and shook hands with Andy for the privilege of coming to Kansas City.

If the Chiefs take Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel… the offensive line gets better but, the defense will likely still have a hole in the heart and the pass rush will suffer for it.

If the Chiefs draft a QB @ #1… though many fans may rejoice… the offensive line and the pass rush may remain an Achilles heel.

If the Chiefs can trade out of the number one slot and acquire another pick in the second round… as Lyle Graversen pointed out in his post called, “Can John Dorsey Make A Deal?”… the Chiefs will be in a prime position to take two players in the top 50, both of whom should be able to step in and contribute as starters on day one. Graversen says picks 15-50 is where the real value lies in this draft.

As I stated in a reply on my most recent post,

Unless Reid and Dorsey can either… 1) trade back out of the number one spot thereby picking up a 2nd round pick or… 2) trade Albert and pick up a 2nd round pick… then taking an ILB who can come in and start right away is probably not going to happen in the draft (assuming they don’t take Jordan at #1).

The primary choice here is trading back out of the first pick because the Albert trade basically demands they turn around and use their number one pick on an OT since they would have just traded their LT away.

You’d have to think R&D are doing what they can to get value in a trade for the #1 pick… but that… if it’s going to happen… probably won’t happen… until draft day. They’ll also wait until draft day to make sure no other team comes along and offers more than may have already been laid on the table.

Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall and know what the actual offers already are. R&D have said they have already gotten calls… so… you have to hope the offers were real and reasonable and open ended so they can still be acted upon when the drafting moment arrives.

The real coup for the Chiefs… would be making both trades… Albert and the #1 pick. Then they’d end up with a high 1st-rounder & two 2nd-rounders… probably three players who would come in and start on day one.

Now… that should change the whole vision for what the Kansas City Chiefs will become in 2013.

Okay Addicts… do you have a vision? Or a nightmare?

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