Draft Scenarios for the ChiefsApril 1st, 2010 by Lee Eldridge
The draft is only three weeks away, and I don’t think I’m any closer to guessing at what the Chiefs will pick than I was three months ago. So instead we’ll look at a few possible scenarios, and a few areas of need. The Chiefs have done a good job in free agency plugging a few holes with Thomas Jones, Ryan Lilja, Casey Wiegmann, Shaun Smith and Jerheme Urban. And they’ve resigned Chris Chambers, Derrick Johnson and Mike Vrabel. What this has done is that it’s put the Chiefs in a position where they don’t have to draft any one area of need. They can focus on taking the best player available.
Top Five Pick
It’s almost impossible to trade out of a top five pick, so for the most part we’ll assume the Chiefs are stuck with their pick. Typically top five picks are reserved for players at premium positions: quarterbacks, offensive tackles, pass rushers (defensive ends / 3-4 outside linebackers), and possibly star cornerbacks and defensive tackles. Occasionally you might get a running back or a wide receiver that jumps to the top of the draft, but it seems that in recent years these positions have slipped further down the draft boards. Typically not taken in the top five are safeties, guards, centers, inside linebackers and tight ends.
I only see one scenario where the Chiefs could trade their pick, and that’s if quarterback Jimmy Clausen is still on the board. Behind the Chiefs are several teams that have a need at quarterback including Seattle, Cleveland, Oakland and Buffalo. If the Browns or the Bills want Clausen, and are concerned that the Seahawks might grab him with the sixth pick in the draft, then possibly the Chiefs will have an opportunity to trade down. Other than that, it won’t happen.
Best Player Available vs Area of Need
Last year the Chiefs surprised us all by reaching for defensive end Tyson Jackson. I don’t expect the same kind of reach this year. And good news for the Chiefs is that they have needs that match up well with premium positions, and the top players on the board.
Defensive Tackle: According to Mel Kiper’s Big Board, he’s got Ndamukon Suh and Gerald McCoy ranked as the top two players in the draft. Most mock drafts have Suh and McCoy off the board by the time the Chiefs pick at number five, but if one of them would happen to fall, the Chiefs will be faced with a tough choice. The Chiefs have drafted a lot of defensive linemen in recent years, but still have a hole in the middle of their line. I think they’ll both be gone by the time the Chiefs pick.
Quarterback: Kiper has Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford rated in his top five. In a way this is great news for the Chiefs. The Chiefs don’t need a quarterback, but several teams drafting in the top ten could use a quarterback. Bradford is likely to go number one to the Rams. Clausen could potentially go to Washington at number four.
Offensive Tackle: This is the position most Chiefs fans see as the biggest area of need. Picking a top offensive tackle would allow the Chiefs to move Branden Albert to right tackle, and could dramatically strengthen their offensive line. There are several offensive tackles ranked highly among the experts including Russell Okung, Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga and Anthony Davis.
Pass Rusher: I’m a bit surprised there hasn’t been more talk about the Chiefs taking a pass rusher in the draft. Derrick Morgan and Jason Pierre-Paul are two of the best defensive ends in the draft. Pierre-Paul is 6-5 and 262, and I would think could transition to an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. He would give the Chiefs another pass rusher, and could rotate with Vrabel and Hali, and eventually replace Vrabel in the starting lineup.
Safety: Typically safeties aren’t taken in the top five, but most experts agree that Eric Berry is a special talent, and this would certainly qualify as an area of need for the Chiefs. I wouldn’t be disappointed at all to see Berry in Kansas City.
Two other names that have popped up for the Chiefs are wide receiver Dez Bryant and linebacker Rolando McClain. I’d be surprised by either pick. These are not premium positions, and they aren’t glaring needs for the Chiefs.
If Suh or McCoy falls, I think the Chiefs would have to give this serious consideration. But I think that’s unlikely. It’s hard to know how the Chiefs value the safety position, and whether or not they’d take a safety this high in the draft.
Experts: Eric Berry seems to be the pick from many experts, including Kiper and Todd McShay.
My prediction: Offensive tackle Russell Okung
My sleeper pick: Jason Pierre-Paul
Tags: NFL Draft