Well boys and girls, the moment is almost here. The NFL Draft is in just over 24 hours, and months of preparation, scouting, analysis, game tape, mock drafts, anxiousness and men running as fast as they can in tight spandex comes to its crescendo as the Chiefs, for the first time in the modern NFL era, have the first pick in the draft. No more wondering, no more debating, but I’m sure there will be a fair share of second guessing. The Chiefs have been on the clock since the season ended, and now it’s time to pick.
To get everyone as excited about the draft as I am, I am going to write on a variety of topics in this very post. My thoughts will be your lunch break. So make your mock drafts, take bets on who hugs Roger Goodell the longest, buy spinach dip, and get ready to be excited.
Does the Albert Deal Get Done?
Here’s my prediction: Branden Albert gets traded on the second day of the draft, and not a moment sooner. The team that gets Albert is going to see if one of the top three left tackles – Joeckel, Fisher, or Johnson – falls to them in the first round. If not, then it will force their hand to complete a trade. Where does he go? It seems the Dolphins are the favorite right now to land Albert, but they were also favorites to land Jeff Fisher and Peyton Manning, and we saw how those instances worked out. But if the Dolphins are willing to trade a second round pick, and the Chiefs already selected a left tackle in the first, then I bet the trigger gets pulled. Also, look out for the Arizona Cardinals to make a move for Albert. They pick earlier in the second round than either of the Dolphins two second round picks, so obviously the Chiefs would prefer that trade.
Chiefs Needs Heading Into the Draft (Sort of in Order)
Defensive End: With Glenn Dorsey gone, Tyson Jackson a free agent after the season, and Dontari Poe still a question mark in the middle, the defensive end position is a need the Chiefs should address in the draft and probably early.
Left Tackle: With Albert franchised and most likely traded before the draft ends, he will need to be replaced, and the number one pick in the draft is the perfect time to do it.
Inside Linebacker: The Chiefs have added three players this offseason at the position – Orie Lemon, Zac Diles, and Akeem Jordan – but an upgrade is definitely possible in the draft and one the Chiefs would do well to address.
Outside Linebacker: With Tamba Hali and Justin Houston on the outside, you might be wondering why this position is on here. Well, Hali’s contract is why. Over the next three years, Hali’s base salary will add up to more than $25 million, not including the $4 million he will get for roster bonuses, and of course, work out bonuses, blah blah blah. In other words, if Chiefs can get a cheaper option, such as a Dion Jordan, than Hali could become expendable.
Safety: This is not a knock on Eric Berry, it’s a knock on Kendrick Lewis. Yes, he’s positively graded out by Pro Football Focus standards; but he’s oft-injured and misses tackles too often for my taste.
Right Tackle: The Chiefs have Geoff Schwartz currently taking snaps at right tackle, and although I have complete faith in him at the position, I think he’d make an even better guard, replacing an iffy Jeff Allen.
Running Back: Peyton Hillis wasn’t as effective as Chiefs fans would have hoped, and now that he’s gone, the Chiefs are in the same predicament they were in during the 2011 season. Sure, the Chiefs have Cyrus Gray and Dexter McCluster, but I’d rather take a back that complements Charles’ skills like what Hillis was supposed to do. Just a thought.
Am I Glad John Dorsey and Andy Reid are Drafting for the Chiefs and Not Scott Pioli?
I’m going to be very biased here and go with DT Brandon Williams. He is a player from Missouri Southern State University, a D2 school, where I happened to graduate from and am currently working for in their athletic department. Because of my position, I have been able to get to know Brandon, especially lately, since we are preparing pre-draft festivities. After all, it’s not every day we have a guy that is about to get drafted.
Williams, an invitee to both the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, measures in at 6’1 and 332 lbs. And it’s all muscle. The guy is huge, and his strength was on full display when he tied for the most reps in the bench press at the Combine. He has since been visited for private workouts with the Panthers, Rams, Browns (who worked him out as an offensive lineman … because they’re the Browns), Bengals and yes, the Chiefs.
Williams is a three-time All-American, and recently won the Daktronics National Defensive Player of the Year for small schools. He also set the school record in sacks. While there is a stigma about D2 players, and I completely understand that, I can personally attest to his character, and would be very pleased if the Chiefs could grab him on the second or third day of the draft. Mel Kiper Jr. has him as a possible second rounder, while other analysts have him anywhere between the second and fourth rounds. I am very anxious about where he ends up, and am looking forward to seeing him play on Sundays.
How Many Quarterbacks Go in the First Round?
Some say none, some say one, but I’ll boldly predict two or three quarterbacks go in the first round.
Will the Chiefs Draft a Quarterback?
Three months ago I would have argued day and night that the Chiefs should take a quarterback first overall; more specifically, Matt Barkley. Three months later and Barkley’s draft stock has really dropped and the Chiefs did everything they could do convince me they won’t be taking a quarterback first overall. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t take one at all. If the Chiefs can recoup a second round pick, then I could see the Chiefs taking a Tyler Wilson or Landry Jones in the third round to compete for the backup job with Chase Daniel. But I could also see the Chiefs sticking with Ricky Stanzi since they’ve already committed two draft picks for Alex Smith. So I’m going to go with … No they won’t.
What Channel Will I Be Watching the Draft On?
Whatever one doesn’t have Matt Millen.
Food For Thought
Jimmy Johnson on why the Cowboys chose Troy Aikman #1 in the 1989 draft over Tony Mandarich, who everyone was falling in love with leading up to the draft: “I didn’t want to take an offensive tackle with the number one pick in the draft. I want players that put the ball in the end zone … I don’t think you build your team around one offensive tackle. I think you build your team around a quarterback.”