When ex-GM Scott Pioli was in town I used to chart his draft pathology and often found that he was a part of a process in which he’d either draft two players from one university in the same year or take two players who play the same position. To an extent, Herm Edwards did the same at the top of the 2008 draft when he traded picks to move up and take two top linemen in that draft: Glenn Dorsey at #5 and Branden Albert, #15. That way, they came through the ranks, and the system, together.
I doubt that in all these cases it was purely happenstance and so at least in part the thinking was to take advantage of a paired partners system, plus this increased the odds that the team would garner a star player while also taking advantage of some friendly peer competition.
That’s what I’m suggesting the Chiefs do in this draft. Two WRs, two DBs and two linemen (an OL and a DL).
Why else should the Chiefs go all… BFF… on draft day? There are some important lessons I’ve learned about this draft class by mocking them so many times (more than 30 times) at Fanspeak.com. One of those is: it’s a near certainty that the Chiefs will acquire a fabulous player with the 23rd pick in the draft, if they so choose to remain in that spot.
Another lesson learned is that the quality players (meaning players who can not only make an NFL roster but also make a valuable contribution) will disappear (be chosen) in the draft in the following order:
1. Quality Linebackers will disappear first (OLBs first then ILBs),
2. Quality Safeties will disappear next (although convertible CBs can be had much later),
3. Quality Tight Ends disappear next,
4. No one really cares about RBs (try this- name 3 RBs in this draft),
5. Quality Guards will be available from the late first round through the third round (although convertible OTs are available throughout),
6. There are no top tier (can’t fail) QBs in this draft but quality can be found after the third round,
7. Quality OTs will be there through the fifth, sixth or even seventh.
8. Quality WRs and DL will be available throughout the draft and even as UDFAs.
One point that’s necessary to make here is that you can’t talk about any position in a vacuum. In other words, by only addressing one position at a time… like WR… a team does itself a disservice. As an example. Let’s say you desperately need a Safety and a WR in this year’s draft but, and you only have 3 selections on the first two days of the draft, plus, your team has signed other players to fills roles at other positions of need like ILB and OL (although you still have needs there)… so, let’s say you have this as your scenario… it’s much more important to consider all these contributing elements instead of just saying, “The Chiefs need a good WR.”
I can see the Chiefs using a strategy that takes into consideration all of these factors yet realizes the holes are so big in the secondary and at WR that they decide to take two swings each at the WR and DB pinatas.
Here then, is a draft that makes use of the “Shooting for two” strategy at both the wide receiver and the defensive backfield positions, plus a couple of linemen (DL & OL… and the “must-have” purpose of adding a DL is to ensure that the Chiefs take a player who possesses the ability to put pressure on the QB because they must make that a habit every offseason).
One of the first advantages that pops out at me about this “possible” draft class is that E.J. Gaines could also move over and play the Safety position as well. Lyle Graversen loves Donte Moncrief and I have a man-crush on him as well.
Larry Webster is 6-6 and goes 250 and runs a 4.50 40. That’s incredibly fast for a man his size. Plus, he could play OLB and/or even TE.
Charles Leno is 6-4 and 303 and is the perfect size to convert to a Guard.
Ed Reynolds is a heady Stanford man who also likes to hit and will contend for playing time in his first season if not becoming the starter.
Imagine this, which won’t be hard to do at all, that one of these two DBs goes down for the season and is lost for his whole rookie year. In that case, the Chiefs would still have the other DB to work with and develop… at the position of the Chiefs greatest need. The Chiefs would also have that prerogative at WR too.
Talking about “great need.” That’s also the point of going “double-burger” in this draft. The level of “need” goes beyond one good player at both the DB and WR positions.
One national sports analyst I respect is Mike Mayock. Mr. Mayock works for NFL Network and played in the NFL in the early 1980s. He said recently on “Path to the Draft,”
“This draft is the deepest draft in 10 to 15 years.”
The Chiefs, even without a second round pick, can take advantage of this wealth of depth in the draft and come out of it with two critical areas of need transforming into two areas of strength.
Cooks and Landry teamed up with Bowe? Wow. Who wouldn’t love seeing that?
The purpose of sharing these mocks is to show, in a repeated fashion, just how this strategy is within the realm of possibility.
So, what would be the trade-offs?
Let’s say you attempt to get a middle-linebacker in the first round instead of selecting a second WR anywhere in the draft. To achieve this you’d have to take the ILB in the first round — in which case — you’d be left to fulfill your WR, DB, OL and DL needs all beginning with the 3rd round. To begin with, the best ILB may not even be there at #23 but even if he is, are you sure he’s going to beat out newly signed free agent Joe Mays? Also, if you went this route wouldn’t you be giving up on Nico Johnson after only one season of no time on the field except for the closing San Diego game? While a good linebacker with coverage skills (which is what Joe Mays offers) is desirable, the most serious problem the Chiefs have is… covering opponents wide-receivers. An ILB won’t fix that. He may “help” but he’s not at the heart of the issue.
So, draft two excellent DBs who can help lock down opponents wide receivers.
In the graphic below, you’ll find that the Chiefs second most serious problem was gaining yards via the passing game.
With Alex Smith firmly ensconced in the Chiefs QB throne for at least a couple more years, the focus must be on the other end of this equation: those who are catching the ball. I can understand some fans desire to go with a top tier Tight End in the first round but that’s not really the “big issue” for the Chiefs either is it?
The Chiefs must completely flip the script on these #24 and #25 rankings.
If the Chiefs had three legitimate wide receivers (Bowe plus two new wideouts) who could intimidate……… now you’re talking about being the kind of elite passing offensive threat they have in New Orleans, Green Bay and Denver.
Then… everyone else on the offensive side of the ball gets better. Even if TE Travis Kelce doesn’t recoup this year, Anthony Fasano and Beard McGrath will find many more wide open spaces than they did last year. Since the WRs get open faster, passes are complete quicker and sacks go down making the OL look better.
Then… imagine Jamaal Charles running through vast acres of green without a DB in sight. That’s another effect of having excellent wide receivers everywhere.
The effects of drafting two DBs?
Well, first there’s the increased competition among all DBs. It would be fierce. I already believe the Chiefs defensive backfield got a lot better the moment Reid and Dorsey decided to not bring back Dunta Robinson and Kendrick Lewis. Brandon Flowers had a down year but his having to adjust to a new scheme and position (the slot), and I have high hopes he returns to form this season.
Bringing in two new defensive backs who are hand picked to fit into Bob Sutton’s defensive backfield alignments would be “one giant step for man” coverage… or zone, or whatever Sutton decides to incorporate next.
Here’s my last attempt to play Noah with an Arc only in this case the defensive backfield is taken care of first.
Justin Gilbert is an obvious catch. Brooks plays Free Safety and has run a 4.34 40. Richardson is a six footer who runs a 4.32 40 and gained 1,343 yards for Colorado in 2013. Will Clarke is 6-7 and 273, will need to put on some muscle mass but is athletic, had 6 sacks last year, runs a 4.83 and can help put pressure on the QB. Tevin Reese is a McCluster clone and returns kicks like Dex too. Wesley Johnson played as an OT but projects to Guard which plays right up the Chiefs alley.
I should point out again… each time I set out to create a mock draft at Fanspeak with an outcome in mind… I’m able to achieve the desired result. What that means for the Chiefs is, they should be able to find and draft all the players they want most.
Even if those players happen to be twins.
How about it Addict fans, got a taste for two scoops yet?
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs