The Chiefs And The Double Down Draft

1 Feature From The Bleachers

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 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).

2 by 2 WR first

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.

Here’s another draft I created taking advantage of this same doppelganger strategy.2 by 2 WR first 2

At one time I projected OT Antonio Richardson to the first round. I still like him a lot and at 6-6 and 330 Andy Reid can have his way with him… and the Chiefs should end up with one excellent OL.

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.

Cheifs rankingsWith 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.

2 by 2 DBs 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?

1 Chiefs Double Draft

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  • berttheclock

    One thing I appreciate about your mocks is how much concentration you put into the lower rounds. I’ve written this before about the two other teams I really follow due to believing they are two of the best in building solid teams. Look at both the Seahawks and the Niners. Both of them are solid with lower draft picks and undrafted free agents. That means both Baalke and Schneider have really done their homework on the so-called “lesser talent”. Both have over 50 per cent of their teams filled with lower and cheaper picks and those cheaper picks bring solid playing worth to their respective teams.

    So many of the mock draft guys only concentrate on the first round and fail miserably on the lower rounds. Even Mel Kiper, Jr is poor on lower round talent. Yesterday, in looking up where Rod Parker had been rated by Walter Football, I read their scouting reports of the players they felt were the best 50 CBs in the 2011 draft. Yes, they were correct in their top pick of Patrick Peterson and Prince Anukmara, with a near miss on Jimmy Smith at 3, who has really struggled with the Ravens. But, at 15, they raved about Jalil Brown (where, oh, where is he now?), they only thought Richard Sherman was worth a 23 and they selected Cliff Harris of KU at 48. Harris, of course, was yet another low round miss by Pioli, as well as he dismissed Sherman, but, the Broncos gave him a walk on and he became a very solid starter for them.

    It reminds me of the days of yore when Charlie Finley decided to build the then KC A’s into a top team. Yes, in his first draft, he took the top players out of the NCAA Championship team ASU (Jackson, Bando and Monday), but, he had his scouts beat the bushes throughout the Southeastern US and other parts of the US and came up with Gold Nuggets. BTW, did you know his scouts even found Don Sutton, but, Sutton refused to sign with Charlie because he would not accept a moniker such as Catfish, Blue Moon and Jumbo Jim had been given by Charlie?

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I’m firmly in the Moncrief camp as well.
    I love the breakdown of depth at each position group. This is why I believe the Chiefs should strongly consider either Pryor or Clinton-Dix at 23. The gap between them and the next group of safeties is wide.
    To your main point, I’d only consider doubling up at OLB.

  • berttheclock

    Not a bad choice for Antone Exum ouf of Virginia Tech. When, you consider the likes of Brandon Flowers, Kan Chancellor, DeAngelo Hall, Roc Carmichael and Jayron Hosley, VTech does produce some hitters in the defensive backfield.

  • Jason Seibel

    Great piece as always, Laddie! I never really thought about the “double scoop” as you put it! I like the idea though, and with your explanation, it makes perfect sense to me. Mr. Dorsey…are you listening?

  • micah stephenson

    Idk…..I don’t think I need to draft TWO QBs. A QB 1st rd then double down on wrs 3rd and 4th rd will do. So Bridgewater or Carr 1st rd and 2 of the 3 wrs Moncrief, Landry, or Richardson. Then I’d double down on TEs 5th and 6th rd.

    • Jason Seibel

      Oh Micah…the one guy I DON’T miss from the AA message boards.

      • micah stephenson

        Idk. The Comments seems kinda boring when I’m not commenting. Lol. There is a method to my madness. ##theyhatetheidealofdraftinganddevelopingaqbinkc##

        • Josh Landers

          I missed you Micah. Always good for a heated discussion about why we don’t need qb’s this year. Lol.

          • micah stephenson

            At least somebody cares. Lol.

          • KCMikeG

            We all care Micah! As soon as I saw the headline of the post I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist! Keep bringing it! A draft like yours could create an offense putting up 80-100 points a game. Question is could our defense hold our opponents under that many points?

          • micah stephenson

            Yea they actually did an article on here about how the offense was worst than the defense. I pesonally feel like we just need a couple more CBs on defense. On offense a QB, WR, and TE.

  • tm1946

    To me, the real interesting part will be to compare what the Chiefs actually do in the draft. This article is so reasonable and researched, makes me wonder.

    • ladner morse

      “wonder”……… the center of my universe. :)

  • Loren M Leamy

    Beckham, Reynolds, AND Moncrief!?

  • Loren M Leamy

    I’ll take it

  • berttheclock

    The major difference between the mediocre GMs and the GMs who really know to build teams is their evaluation of lower round picks and/or undrafted free agents. You know the part of the draft where the various talking so-called pundits at ESPN keep blathering away and pay very little attention to the picks. Plus, if anyone ever brings up the name of Mel Kiper, Jr, remember one thing. He thought Stanzi was the steal of the draft for the Chiefs.

    • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

      Well said bert. It will be interesting to see how Dorsey’s mid-low round picks work out. I have high hopes for Cummings in particular. There is a reason why the Chiefs gave him the IR designation to return. It’s an odd choice for a 5th round pick.

      • ladner morse

        I thought the 6th round pick of FB Braden Wilson was a throw away pick at the time. Turned out to be true within weeks when Arenas was traded to AZ for Anthony Sherman. Chiefs could have used that pick to draft another corner to replace Arenas.

        • berttheclock

          Yes, that trade came only 4 days after the draft. But, in checking the CBs available following the Wilson pick, there were only 4 taken. One didn’t make the Ravens, while, another went on IR for the Jags. DeMetriuus McCray did end up with 12 tackles and 2 PDs for the Jags. Jordan Poyer was taken by the Eagles, but, was cut and picked up by the Browns where he had 21 tackles. However, the one CB Dorsey could have taken was a young man out of Rutgers who ended up being picked only two away from Mr Irrelevant. I believe his name was Marcus Cooper.

    • tm1946

      Seems a bit of a cheap shot, bert. Over many drafts, brilliant GMs have picked more than their share of bums. To point out Kiper and one pick is not worthy. Believe me, he has missed on more than that. Don’t many think the Pitts draft in the ’70s which included Mean Joe Greene and a bunch of pure studs was so great and still talk about it as special.
      You and I, and others, know until these kids get on the field and play a few games, to many draft picks are just some much wishful thinking. I think Kiper tries and is interesting in his views, but thank goodness for the internet and 247 news.

      • berttheclock

        Of course, all GMs miss on occasion. But, there is a major reason why some teams succeed in stocking talent and not just the heralded first rounders. As I have written, I have followed the drafts of both the Seahawks and the Niners. Am I a fan of either team? NO, but, I recognize talented GMs who consistently load their respective teams with lower picks who end up playing very well for them. Some GMs simply try to scatter gun lower picks because they are either lazy or poor evaluators Schneider and Baalke are not just rolling the dice for lower picks. They have done their homework. Another good GM is Telesco of the Bolts who studied the college career of Keenan Allen, so, when, other GMs were scared off of him due to not attending the combine and having a less than perfect Pro Day, Telesco stood firm and picked him in the 3rd round. That was not just luck. Kiper, Jr is vastly over rated and he has hyped his way into a money making career. But, I say once more the major problem Kiper has is the same with many so-called pundits who do little homework on lower draft picks. No one awards any prizes to mock drafters for making the most accurate predictions. They are only rated on a closest to the hole for the 1st round. No, I say again, Kiper with his ridiculous statement about Stanzi shows he knows very little about scouting.

  • Josh Landers

    Great article as always. I, too, have a man crush on moncrief. And cooks, as well. I never really thought about the draft like that before. But I guess that’s why you’re a writer and I’m not. Lol. GO CHIEFS!!!

    • ladner morse

      Well…….. when your ranked 24th and 25th in any group it would seem clear to me that……….. you need more than one good guy infusing that group to make that change in a big way. And when your 24th and 25th… you need BIG change.

  • CaliChief57

    If we are able to trade back and gain a 3rd and 7th.
    1. Jimmie Ward- SS/FS 5’11 193 lbs N.Illinois 4.48 forty time. Faster than both Ha-Ha and Pryor. Has experience in the cover 1 deep safety and could also play in the box. Killed it at Senior Bowl week. Fills the most glaring hole and BPA. Add him to the defense we had last year and we would have beat Peyton, Rivers and Luck by not being beaten over the top.

    3a. JaWuan James- OT 6’6 336 Tennessee. Forget the offensive guard early, a swing tackle is more important. We could kick in Stephenson to guard if OG problems consist.

    3b. Josh Huff- WR 5’11 206 Oregon. Could play the slot and return man, filling the role of Dex but being more explosive. Killed in Senior Bowl week, could not be stopped.

    4. Phillip Gaines- CB 6’0 193 Rice ran the 40 in 4.38

    5. Josh Mauro- DE 6’6 271 Stanford Versatile. Lined in all positions across the d-line even at NT. An upgrade to Allen Bailey after he leaves in 2015. More of a pass rush than run stopper.
    Justine Ellis- DT 6’2 334 Louisiana Tech. Run stuffer with pass rush moves and inital good burst to beat o-linemen. Smaller school prospect with great upside and skill to fill in for Devito when he leaves.

    6a. Max Bullough- ILB 6’4 249 Michigan State. Great instincts and has started and excelled as ILB for the Spartans. But weight gain problems and slow 40 time will drop him down to the 6 round. Good prospect for ILB and has size OLB depth if he could develop better pass rush. Instincts cannot be taught, great pick up in the 6th.

    6b. Tyler Starr- 6’4 250 South Dakota. Developing pass rusher and somewhat good coverage skills. OLB depth.

    7. Wesley Johnson- OT/OG 6’5 297 Vanderbilt. Great size and good movement skills, but short arms. Could be backup OT, but will be great at OG. Versatile and will fill a need at OG found in the 7th round.

    • berttheclock

      As you mentioned Huff from Nike, what do you think about D’Anthony Thomas from there? Very fast and will, probably, end up playing a Sproles like role I think Starr could be a real sleeper. He had an excellent 3 cone at the combine.

    • ladner morse

      There’s no way the Chiefs are trading the 23rd pick for a 3rd rounder and a 7th rounder.. I can see them going for a second and a third. Jimmy Johnson’s old trade value chart indicates the 23rd pick is worth two second rounders like the 49ers own in pick numbers 56 and 61. However, since this draft is so deep… everyone wants extra picks… which changes the game when considering trading down for more picks.

      I believe that this draft is so deep that trading completely out of the first round is not bad because a team is just as likely to hit it big with a prospect in the second round as it is in the late first. So…… if I was GM……… I’d take a 2nd and a 3rd in this draft for the 23rd pick.

  • Andy

    I got the idea here, but this draft style seems to be for a team that is missing a player or two . We are not that close yet. A side from rb and qb, all the other areas (ol, te, wr, lb) could use an upgrade or at least preparing for the eventual decline of existing players. We need db’s for sure, but the best player available (other then rb or qb) should be chosen.
    Bottom line, I trust Reid and Dorsey to do the right thing for our Chiefs for the long run.

  • KCMikeG

    Well reasoned approach Laddie. Our offense put up 259 points during the eight games from the break through the playoffs – an average of 32.375 points per game. Keep in mind that the unexplainable home 7 point game and our back ups game vs SD are included. How many more points per game better would we be with Beckham/Moncrief or the Cooks/Landry combos – 50 or 60 or more?
    Beckham is my personal favorite because he adds the speed we are lacking at WR PLUS the successful experience at KR?PR we need to fill due to the loss of DMC & Demps. i’m confident in Commings, Cooper and Parker developing with a healthy position adjusted Flowers in our defensive backfield so I would switch the double deep to OL or DL and only go one deep at DB.

    • ladner morse

      Mike… how about this one, I made it just for you….

      1. WR Brandon Cooks, Oregon- 4.27 & he returns kicks.

      3. DE Marcus Smith, Louisville- 10.5 sacks

      4. OT James Hurst, UNC- broken leg & projected to early round previously

      5. CB Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma- recuperating, high value

      6a. WR Mike Davis, Texas- good hands

      6b. G John Halopio- 6-4, 323 tackle/guard combo.

      • KCMikeG

        You inspired me to run one tonight. I would be very happy with Cooks but just can’t pass on Beckham! Love Smith, have picked Colvin & Halopio in previous drafts. I picked Hurst too (high upside sleeper). Speaking of steals – WKY OLB Xavier Boyd & ILB Andrew Jackson were there as UDRFA’s! I’ll take them both!

        23 – WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. – LSU

        87 – S AHMAD DIXON – BAYLOR

        124 – OT JAMES HURST – UNC




        • ladner morse

          I would prefer Beckham over Cooks too but Beckham doesn’t come up available as often when I run the simulation at Fanspeak. Otherwise, that’s one heck of a draft right there.

          • KCMikeG

            Thanks Ladner. The more I think about it the more I want to draft OL. I heard someone propose taking OT Lewan if he was still there at #23 but I would rather have OG Xavier S’ua Filo. We did lose three starters from their and while Rishaw Johnson shows promise I think Commings, Hemingway, Jenkins & Kelce are more likely successes.