It took for what seemed like forever but the NFL Draft is finally upon us. If you’ve tuned out of draft coverage for the last two weeks out of anxiety and draft overload, I totally understand. This post is intended to give you a quick refresher of what the Chiefs have to work with this weekend as well as a final mock draft.
Kansas City enters today with six pick over six rounds (the draft is seven rounds but the Chiefs do not presently own a seventh round pick). The six picks are tied for the fewest of any team heading into this weekend. Here is the order in which the Chiefs pick.
Round 1: Pick 23 (23)
Round 2: Pick traded in Alex Smith deal
Round 3: Pick 23 (87)
Round 4: Pick 24 (124)
Round 5: Pick 23 (163)
Round 6: Pick 17 (193) pick acquired in trade with Dallas Cowboys
Round 6: Pick 24 (200)
Round 7: Pick traded to Cowboys
The lack of draft picks puts the Chiefs in a real bind. Most people agree the Chiefs’ top positional needs in the draft include wide receiver, the secondary, and offensive line. Reality is the Chiefs’ top need is depth. Whatever the Chiefs can do to add more picks in the draft so they can make their roster a little bit deeper should be considered.
Adding picks is part of the reason why so many trade rumors are floating around the Chiefs. Eric Berry could be dealt but the odds seem pretty low as things stand. Tonight is the best chance of the slim chance Berry has of getting traded. It is hard to think of a scenario where Berry is traded tomorrow or Saturday.
Two more likely scenarios involved the Chiefs trading back from the 23rd overall pick or trading cornerback Brandon Flowers. Flowers is taking up a large portion of the Chiefs’ salary cap the next few seasons which is causing a problem when it comes to finding space to re-sign Alex Smith and Justin Houston. NFL trade rules makes Flowers a little easier to trade because the team who trades for Flowers will only have to pay his remaining salary, which is a far more reasonable $5 to $6 million over the next three years.
Getting several high picks for Flowers is probably not going to happen but they could add a day two pick and a late day three pick. The draft is deep enough that the Chiefs can find valuable player on day three so there is no harm in adding multiple day three selections. Keep in mind Marcus Cooper was a late seventh round pick and ended up being one of the Chiefs’ best secondary players in 2013.
The other option is to trade down from 23 overall. A lot of attention has gone to San Francisco because they own a late first round pick and two second round options. The key for the Chiefs needs to be more about acquiring as many picks as possible and not necessarily trying to keep a first round pick plus add a second round pick. Again, this draft is loaded with talent at all rounds so quantity of quality applies here – especially given the Chiefs’ depth needs.
The best scenario for trading down involves one of the quarterbacks falling to Kansas City. There is a chance Cleveland, Houston, Tampa Bay, and Oakland will be looking for a quarterback, and 23 may be the best spot for the teams to jump Cleveland and add a QB.
Another scenario involves a team like Seattle, San Francisco, or New England wanting to move up to grab one of the last top wide receivers in the draft. Both have big needs at the position and may be willing to jump up to ensure snaring a player that fits their system best. The Chiefs have a need at receiver, but their needs are broad in that regard. Moving down to add picks and then taking someone like Jordan Matthews wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.
What should the Chiefs do if they are stuck with only six picks? Here’s one scenario that may work out well for them.