We are now two days out from the Chiefs’ 1st-round pick being announced at Radio City Music Hall.
In a normal year, there would be very little suspense at this point for us fans. We’d already be talking about the contract details of the team’s assumed new player and what will happen later in the draft. But, as we all know, this is a strange year and a strange draft class. And, the LT Brandon Albert ball is still in the air.
So, here are the probabilities for what I think is going to happen. Feel free to chime in with your own.
1.) Will Albert be traded before the Draft officially begins?
80% Yes, 20% No.
If I’m the Chiefs, I want to make sure this deal gets done before I send my envelope to the podium. The Dolphins seem dead-set on nailing an LT in this draft, but the 2nd-rounder they would send to the Chiefs for the trade could also potentially be used by them to trade up into the top seven to pick one of the top LT prospects. They may even prefer this option because they’d have the guy under contract for four years, he’ll be cheaper and younger, and can grow with their new quarterback.
Still, given that the talks have gotten this deep, it looks like the Chiefs simply need to act on it – with compensation perhaps a bit lower than they expect. Trading Albert essentially locks the Chiefs into taking one of the two LT prospects Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher and it’s unlikely they will be able to sign Albert to a long-term deal and trade him for much value if they both keep him this year and draft his replacement. I think they have considerable incentives to seal the deal before lights hit the stage in New York.
2.) Who will the Chiefs pick?
50% Luke Joeckel, 30% Eric Fisher, 12% OLB Dion Jordan, 5% DT Shariff Floyd, 3% DT Star Lotulelei
Again, the Albert trade looks like all but a done deal, but getting a game-changer like Jordan certainly has to give them pause. However, if Albert is traded (again, an 80% probability IMHO), then they’re taking Fisher or Joeckel. Other possibilities if he stays are Floyd and Lotulelei, which would add bulk and versatility to the D-line.
3.) When do the Chiefs pick their first ILB?
50% 3rd round, 20% 4th round, 15% 5th round, 10% 2nd round, 5% no ILB taken this year
Even though it is the most conspicuous hole on the roster, I think the sweet spot for drafting ILB’s this year is the 3rd round and it is a deep draft at that position. I don’t think GM John Dorsey is the kind of guy to spring for need if we get a 2nd rounder by trading Albert, or trading up into the 2nd round for a guy unless Alec Ogletree or Manti Te’o fall far. On the other hand, the team doesn’t currently have a 2nd rounder, but it does have two picks in the third. I think they’ll go for the value guy on their list in the mid-rounds. On the other hand, they brought in two journeymen ILB’s for offseason workouts and it’s not a premiere position. They may think that they can cover themselves with what they have and take value picks in other places.
4.) How many offensive skill players will the Chiefs draft?
50% three, 20% four, 20% two, 10% one
This is a bit of a wild guess, because everything we know about Dorsey tells us that he likes to draft purely for value. Still, the offense was the Achilles’ heel of this team for the last two seasons and the side of the football that requires the greatest improvement. But: the new regime has already taken the most important step forward in improving the quarterback position, We also locked up our #1 WR in Dwayne Bowe and signed a #2 in Donnie Avery. We’re told that HC Andy Reid likes WR Dexter McCluster in a slot role and WR Jon Baldwin is still developing… we hope. That doesn’t leave a lot of spots for draft picks unless you plan on cutting them or putting them on the practice squad when the season begins.
At running back, we have Jamaal Charles, Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray. The latter two are pickups from the previous regime and I would be surprised if Dorsey didn’t pick up a developmental RB at some point in the draft. It would also stand to reason for them to grab a young QB and TE at some point, but I would be surprised if they take more than one of each.
5.) When, if ever will the Chiefs take a QB?
50% 5th round or later, 30% not this year, 20% 3rd or 4th round
The behavior of both this regime and the other NFL front offices implies that the league generally views this as not being the year to pick up a quarterback. In a sense, the Chiefs have already used their 2nd-round pick on QB Alex Smith and they signed his backup to a generous contract. I don’t expect them to draft anyone that will provide immediate competition to either of them. That said, if a guy like Matt Barkley falls into the 4th, I’d be surprised if the Chiefs passed on him altogether.
So what do you say? How do you like my odds?