Chiefs portfolio: the corner on corners

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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1 Feature From The Bleachers
1 Feature From The Bleachers /

The Kansas City Chiefs invested heartily during the first ten days of 2016 free agency yet have left the team with three essential needs: safety, guard and cornerback. General manager John Dorsey always seems to be able to find safety help, and Husain Abdullah could still return… he seems to be standing pat at the guard position, so far… and that leaves the all important cornerback commodities. So, let’s focus on the potential cornerback assets in each round as we explore… the Chiefs portfolio: the corner on corners.

Best Player Available (bpa)

Before jumping into the available corners round by round, I’ve noticed that many have come to believe that John Dorsey is poised like never before — compared to previous years — to take the bpa in the 2016 draft. However, I believe there is a bit of a misnomer about the “bpa” philosophy. Let’s say a team, such as the Kansas City Chiefs, has the pure conviction to only draft the bpa in every round, but every time it’s their turn to pick, a player at the exact same position pops up on their board. What should they do then? If a team is stuck reciting the bpa gospel, ground hog day bites them in the butt and they end up with all running backs or wide receivers by the end of the draft. It “could” happen.

Especially in 2016.

Every time I perform a mock draft at either or nearly half of the selections are either WRs or RBs. Couple that with the knowledge that every team has their own ranking system of players, and if you’re convinced that the team is always taking the bpa… then you have dogma… and dog crap for a team. Obviously, no team could survive on a diet of all wideouts and running backs.

I’m saying this to emphasize the point that John Dorsey will be taking a cornerback in this draft… even if that corner is not generally believed to be the bpa for the round he is selected in.

In some ways, this is what happened with Mitch Morse in 2015: a star player, Rodney Hudson walks in free agency, and Dorsey goes into the draft knowing he has to get his replacement… so he selects that replacement (Mitch Morse) in the second round, pick #49 overall. However, popular ranking services like, CBS Sports, didn’t have Morse in their Top 100 2015 Prospects and DraftTek had him ranked at #150.

While that’s quite a disparity, all is well because Dorsey was right and Morse has turned out to be an excellent choice (given that his concussion doesn’t keep him from returning to the field).

So, while I list the cornerbacks that could be taken in each round — based upon popular ranking services — don’t be surprised if John Dorsey does select one of these prospects a round or two ahead of where you (we) think he should have been taken.

When John Dorsey talks about “his board” he’s referring to his own system of ranking players not only based upon talent… but personality, character and other intangibles. Culture and family are the buzzwords for this regime… not, “The Best 53.” That’s another reason you may be surprised when the Chiefs take a player one or two rounds ahead of where you think his talent lies.

The same could be said for the outside linebacker Dee Ford pick, the Chiefs first round selection in 2014. Ford was ranked #37 on Mike Mayock’s big board and John Dorsey selected him at #23 overall.

So, could Dorsey really have ranked him that much higher? Sure, but he could have also pre-decided that Ford was his man because he may have believed Tamba Hali was on his last legs… or that Hali would be hard to re-sign… or whatever other personality, character or intangible reasons there may have been involved. The point is… we don’t know for sure. We just do know Dorsey has his own set of ranking determiners.

My sense is that John Dorsey likes to have a plan with a high probability and execution rate. And… anytime he can guarantee himself of getting the player he wants… the more secure he feels that he’ll be able to deliver on his team vision, as he moves from one year to the next.

So, here are at least three (but sometimes only two) 2016 cornerback prospects in each round that may be able to help the Chiefs this year. I tab this the… Chiefs portfolio: the corner on corners.

While I am still hopeful that the Chiefs third round pick will be returned to them this year, their current picks include only these 7 picks: numbers… 28, 59, 126, 162, 165, 203 and 249.

Also, I’m assuming the Chiefs will have no chance of drafting either CB Vernon Hargreaves III or DB Jalen Ramsey (who can not only play safety but would serve as a lockdown corner).

Next: Do Chiefs take one of these corners in the 1st round?