Chiefs: A Funny Thing Happened On The Floor Of The Draft
By Laddie Morse
I’ve said a hundred times before to myself, “It’ll never happen, not gonna happen.” Then I’m doing a mock and it happens again. I ignore it once because I tell myself it will never happen in real life. Then a month goes by and it happens again. Then, this morning it happened again… so I say, “What the heck, I’ll just do a draft where the Chiefs do get Marcus Mariota and see how the rest of it turns out.”
For what seems like an eternity ago, ten years ago this month to be exact, I recall how excited I was during the 2005 draft. I kept hoping the Chiefs would take the ILB supreme Derrick Johnson from the University of Texas. All the while, the draft room atmosphere was growing thick with anticipation for a quarterback who wasn’t selected number one overall. When the 15th pick was announced and DJ was finally the new man in the middle for the Kansas City Chiefs, I was celebrating like it was 1999… when I was young enough to party and still enjoy it. But the green room, as they call it… a holding pin for the yet undrafted… a nightmare’s chamber for the rejected-slash-unselected… now had all eyes on the gifted QB out of Cal, Aaron Rodgers.
That year, the best QBs were much like this year’s group in terms of quantity. There were only two good ones (if you don’t count Jason Campbell and I don’t). Following the announcement of DJ at #15 came the choice of DT Travis Johnson to Houston at #16. Then it was LB David Pollack going to the Bengals for 17. One fameless name after another was recited from the podium, but none of them was… the man who would become known to us as “Mr. Discount Double-check.”
Erasmus James, Alex Brown, Marcus Spears, Matt Jones. I remember liking WR Matt Jones. Then Mark Clayton — not that Mark Clayton — until it was CB Fabian Washington to the Raiders. 24 prospects in all came out of the green room. None of them was Aaron Rodgers, NFL MVP and now widely accepted as the best in the entire league.
Of course all of this flashed in my head this morning when I was offered up Marcus Mariota on a silver platter. Could there be someone behind this cruel April Fool’s joke?
No joke, this morning, Fanspeak.com offered up these first 17 in my daily constitutional mock… thereby giving me the chance to draft QB Marcus Mariota out of Oregon. A chance I’ve had twice before but totally ignored it on those previous opportunities. So, here’s what the draft looked like through pick #17.
1: QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2: OLB Vic Beasley, Tennessee Titans
3: OLB Dante Fowler Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
4: DT Leonard Williams, Oakland Raiders
5: OT La’el Collins, Washington Redskins
6: DE Randy Gregory, New York Jets
7: DT Malcom Brown, Chicago Bears
8: OT Brandon Scherff, Atlanta Falcons
9: WR Kevin White, New York Giants
10: CB Trae Waynes, St. Louis Rams
11: WR Devante Parker, Minnesota Vikings
12: S Landon Collins, Cleveland Browns
13: DE Shane Ray, New Orleans Saints
14: DE Alvin Dupree, Miami Dolphins
15: DT Danny Shelton, San Francisco 49ers
16: WR Amari Cooper, Houston Texans
17: DT Arik Armstead, San Diego Chargers
Now before I go any further I want to reference our good friend at AA Lyle Graversen who said something so important on Monday in his post, “The Kansas City Chiefs: The Inside Linebacker Draft Prospects” that it bears repeating. Lyle said,
"“I’m a believer that first round picks are best spent on players that have star potential at the following positions: QB, WR, OT, DT, pass rusher, and CB. That’s not to say that RB, TE, interior OL, ILB, and safety aren’t important, I just believe you can find great starters at those positions outside the first round (Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce are just a couple of examples on the Chiefs roster).”"
With the exception of Safety Landon Collins, the teams here have followed Lyle’s blueprint to a “T.” The point is, you can see this mock draft is totally plausible. I can see every team taking the player they were assigned by Fanspeak.
“Reality check! Slow your roll! Get real!” I can read your minds.
If Marcus Mariota is falling outside the top ten, you can bet your sweet hiney that every GM who’s even given the idea of drafting a franchise QB a second thought, is going to see about trading up to the teens to make it happen for his team.
Or are they? I would have thought teams would jump at the chance to draft Aaron Rodgers too. Four cornerbacks and four wide receivers were selected before Rodgers that day. Position players can go on a run in the draft and every other team who’s needing that position will draft the next best player at that position before all those position players have been exhausted from the list. It happens all the time.
The draft is a fickle funny foe.
There have been many stranger than fiction draft day happenings over the years. You can think you’re drafting the next Joe Montana when you’re really just drafting the only Todd Blackledge around… and simultaneously bypassing the real deal in Dan Marino. I remember that draft too. I had such high hopes for Blackledge but could clearly see that the ball Marino was throwing had rocket fuel injection. The sad tale is that there were others passed on in 1983… like Jim Kelly… like Ken O’Brien… and Hall of Fame Tackle Bruce Matthews.
From that year to this… there has almost seemed to be a jinx on the Chiefs. One year… they go 2-14… but that’s one year too late to get someone like QB Andrew Luck. Instead their bad juju season comes just in time to get OT Eric Fisher number one overall. You don’t have to understand the science of seance, to know that a franchise QB is worth more than a franchise OT.
So, while the draft has more than one funky flucky finger of fate… each year is another chance for the Chiefs to step up and change their own destiny. This morning… the fates have chosen Marcus Mariota for our Kansas City Chiefs and I’m taking all the way. I’m all in.
Now the question is… if the Chiefs did draft Marcus Mariota with the 18th pick overall… what would the rest of their draft look like and would it be good enough to help the team progress this season because you’d figure Mariota to sit at least a year? Right?
Judge for yourself:
R 1: 18: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
R 2: 49: OT D.J. Humphries, Florida
R 3: 80: WR Devin Smith, Ohio State
C 3: 98: WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
R 4: 118: ILB Ben Heeney, Kansas
C 5: 172: DT Derrick Lott, Chattanooga
C 5: 173: CB Nick Marshall, Auburn
R 6: 193: OT Corey Robinson, South Carolina
C 6: 217: C Greg Mancz, Toledo
R 7: 233: CB Damian Swann, Georgia
FYI… this turned out to be one of my all time favorite mocks. Maybe the tides have changed in K.C. after all. wink wink
Yes, it’s April but who’s foolin’ who? Or is it whom? Whatever….
What do you think Addict fans? Do you have any Twilight Zone-ish draft day memories? Who do you think could fall to the Chiefs? Would you even want Mariota if he comes a fallin’? Talk about falling, would you take Randy Gregory if he’s there at #18? Or maybe you’re hoping for someone else, someone very special to fall to K.C.. Now who might that be?
Can you think of a better day to break a jinx… than on April Fool’s Day?