I get the feeling that this is one of those moments that Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey and Head Coach Andy Reid love. The fourth quarter of the player personnel game has just begun, with the April 25th Draft constituting the two minute drill.
They have played an almost perfect game thus far, putting the Chiefs in a position to win the offseason. With hours upon hours of interviews, research, game tape and statistical analysis under their belts, Dorsey and Reid developed a near-perfect game plan and have executed it almost without flaw. Need a quarterback? Grab Alex Smith with the first big quarterback move of any NFL team and get Chase Daniel as a competent backup. Need to lock up Dwayne Bowe? Done. Need another run stopper? Bring in Mike DeVito from the Jets. Need depth at line? Add Geoff Schwartz, who helped Adrian Peterson have a monster year with the Vikings, and franchise Branden Albert. Need more pass receivers? Take Anthony Fasano from the Dolphins and sign speedster Donnie Avery from the Colts. Shore up an average secondary? Bring in Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith. Heck, I even loved the small re-signing of Edgar Jones, whom I’m convinced is going to turn into a stud special teamer.
With the two minute drill almost upon us, let’s do some scenario planning.
Scenario 1: Chiefs take the first pick, a.k.a. “Don’t be an idiot. Draft Joeckel.”
There are few remaining gaps to fill for Dorsey and Reid. The offensive line is atop that list. That’s why if the Chiefs pick first and don’t trade down, I think Luke Joeckel is the guy. The offensive line would have one heck of a competitive preseason then. Rodney Hudson is a lock for center, and I like Jeff Allen, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz competing for the two guard positions. The Chiefs are then set at tackle, at least theoretically, with Joeckel and Albert in a true competition for left tackle and the “loser” of this competition taking the right tackle spot. Then Donald Stephenson becomes a reliable backup. Final result? A dominant offensive line.
Scenario 2: Chiefs take first pick, Branden Albert gets traded, a.k.a. “Is Baldwin legit?”
If Albert gets traded to the Dolphins or another suitor, then the plan shifts slightly. Under Scenario 2, the Chiefs still take Joeckel, and likely pick up a second round pick and a later draft choice as well. Would Dorsey and Reid be comfortable entering the regular season with either Stephenson or Schwartz starting at right tackle? Would they instead go for another inside linebacker or a wide receiver, or even a quarterback? The pickings are fairly rich if the Chiefs land a pick in the second round. Here’s a sampling (note: some of these may be late first-rounders):
- Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
- Kyle Long, Oregon
- Alec Ogletree, Georgia
- Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Arthur Brown, Kansas State
- Robert Woods, USC
- Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
- Terrance Williams, Baylor
- Justin Hunter, Tennessee
- Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
- Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
- EJ Manuel, Florida State
As many have said, this draft doesn’t have a lot of superstars but it is very deep. If Scenario 2 comes into play, Dorsey and Reid have a wealth of options here. The key question for me in Scenario 2 is whether they believe Jon Baldwin will play to his potential this year. WIth the Thomas Jones-induced hand injury in 2011, last year was essentially Baldwin’s rookie year. The curve for wide receivers, playing with faster corners and more precise routes, is notoriously steep. If Dorsey and Reid think Baldwin can produce, then they can pass on this deep field of wide receivers. If any of those three linebackers are around, the Chiefs should take ‘em. If not, they should grab Terron Armstead and let him compete for the right tackle spot. This year’s quarterback class is shallow. I think the Chiefs should wait until next year to get a quarterback.
Scenario 3: Chiefs trade first pick, a.k.a. “Wishful Thinking”
It’s difficult to guess why a team would trade with the Chiefs for the first pick. If you want a left tackle, you could trade for picks 2-5 and still get Eric Fisher. If you are desperate for a quarterback and want Geno Smith, you can most likely trade with Jacksonville, Oakland or Philadelphia for a reduced cost. But the Draft can be unpredictable. The best chance might be if a team covets Shariff Floyd (DT) or Dion Jordon (DE) so badly that they’ll trade with the Chiefs. In any event, if Dorsey does get a trade offer, he will likely land a mid-first rounder as well as a second rounder. Under this somewhat unlikely scenario – which would be awesome by the way – I think the Chiefs take the best available offensive tackle in the first round, like Lane Johnson from Oklahoma, and then go linebacker in the second round.
Scenario 4: Chiefs lose Albert and trade first pick, a.k.a. “Stupid Plan”
I really hope this scenario doesn’t happen. The Chiefs would then have two holes at tackle, with a mid-first round and two second round picks to fill those gaps. I don’t think that scenario leaves our team in a better situation than we’re in now.
Addicts, what is your ideal scenario, and what moves would you make in that scenario?!