Draft Scenarios for the Chiefs

April 1st, 2010 by Lee Eldridge

Kansas City ChiefsThe 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 pickĀ  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.

Jason Pierre-PaulPass 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.

Summary
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

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12 Responses to “Draft Scenarios for the Chiefs”

  1. Bobby Says:

    How can you say that wide receiver isn’t an area of need for the Chiefs? They were awful at wr last year.

    But having said that, Dez isn’t worth a top five pick. He’s in danger of falling out of the first round. I hear he forgot to bring his cleats to a recent workout for scouts. Dumbass.

    I’m pulling for Berry. A big time playmaker at safety would be excellent.

  2. Lee Eldridge Says:

    Good morning Bobby. I’m not saying that the Chiefs couldn’t use another wide receiver, I just don’t think it’s one of their top 2-3 needs right now. The Chiefs had a TON of dropped balls last year which really hurt them. Many from Bobby Wade and Mark Bradford who are now gone. I think give Chambers and Bowe a full off-season with Cassel and Weis and we’ll find that we’re OK at WR. Will be interesting to see Urban. Obviously Haley likes him, and he was stuck behind some great WRs in Arizona. And I think you can find WRs in later rounds. Seems like first round WRs have a pretty high failure rate anyway. And there’s certainly not a WR in this draft worthy of a top five pick. Wouldn’t mind seeing Golden Tate fall to the top of the second round for the Chiefs, but most draft boards have him going late in the first round.

  3. Big Lee Says:

    Good analysis, Lee, especially part about what positions are usually drafted in the top 5. Berrry may be worth that pick, but safeties are rarely taken that high. KC braintrust surely understand that, but most fans don’t.

    It’s an interesting thought that Dallas may want this pick now, with Adams cut. Flozell killed the Cowboys with stupid penalties last year, and Jerry Jones surely realizes his Cowboys are ready to compete now. Eagles and Redskins are rebuilding, and Giants are not exactly dominant. Jones will not be afraid to pay top 5 price for draft pick, either, in terms of money to pick or compensation to Chiefs.

  4. Lee Eldridge Says:

    Hey Big Lee. Love the name That’s whay my dad used to call me. :)

    If Dallas had a higher pick, maybe you could envision them trying to move up to grab a player they love. But Dallas has got the 27th pick in the draft. No way you can trade from 27 to 5. Teams have a “draft chart” that assigns a value to every pick. (See link below.) This chart has the 5th pick listed at 1700 points, and the 27th pick listed as 680 points. Dallas can’t come up with enough points / value to move from 27 to 5. The higher the pick, the harder it is to come up with enough value to make the trade. Plus there are severals OTs with first round grades. No reason the Boys would need to trade up that high to draft an OT. I really just don’t see a scenario where the Chiefs can trade that pick unless it’s somebody who feels they HAVE to move up to get Clausen. So if we want a trade, we have to hope that Shanahan does NOT like Clausen, and that a few teams behind us LOVE Clausen! I’d love for the Chiefs to be able to move down a couple spots, still draft an OT or Pierre-Paul, and pick up another second round pick. I just don’t expect it to happen.

    http://www.sportznutz.com/nfl/draft/draft_point_value_chart.htm

  5. TRR Says:

    It will be an interesting 2010 draft, and a very important one for our Chiefs. Very good takes on the possibilities in store for KC at #5. I agree with your assessment of the trade down scenario. It is very unlikely that KC will be able to move out of the #5 slot.

    No matter what happens with Suh or McCoy, they won’t be drafted by KC. They fit no need because neither can play the NT position, and Jackson and Dorsey (along with Gilberry and McGee) are entrenched at DE. If one falls to #5, it may enhance the trade down scenario.

    OT could be a likely choice, but not a very sexy one. Your either asking Albert to trade positions, most likely to RT where he is not a natural fit, or your asking a true LT like Okung to switch to RT…which doesn’t warrant a #5 selection.

    The safe bet in my opinion is Eric Berry if he falls. Berry is a playmaker the KC defense hasn’t seen in years, and can also cover slot receivers, allowing the KC defense to keep an extra LB on the field. He fits a HUGE need, and would be the best player available on the board with the 5th pick.

  6. Bobby Says:

    McNabb to Redskins means that Clausen will be on the board when the Chiefs pick. Here’s hoping they can trade down!

  7. Bobby Says:

    Suh and McCoy — Both currently are a little under weight to play the NT in a 3-4. Just depends on whether or not you can project them to gain another 25 pounds of muscle or not.

  8. Lee Eldridge Says:

    Hey Bobby, McNabb to the Redskins was a bit of a surprise. But I’m with you — I think it’s now unlikely that Washington will draft Clausen. I hope it opens the door for a trade for the Chiefs. Hopefully Cleveland or Buffalo want to get in front of the Seahawks to take Clausen.

    I still think the Rams take Bradford, especially now that they’ve released Bulger. Suh and McCoy come off the board too. That still leaves either Berry or Okung for the Chiefs at number five.

    I’m still seeing comments from people wanting the Chiefs to draft Dez Bryant. He’s slipping down the boards. No way he goes in the top 10. Maybe the Chiefs take a WR with one of their picks in round two.

  9. Lee Eldridge Says:

    BTW — Kiper and McShay both have the Redskins picking Okung at #4 in their newest mock draft (where they both had them taking Clausen prior to trading for McNabb). I agree that’s very possible. Which would leave Berry for the Chiefs. I’m good with that.

  10. Bobby Says:

    The more I read, it looks like Bradford, Suh, McCoy and probably Okung are first four off the board.

    Though I saw one interesting scenario with the Lions taking Okung at #2. That could leave either Suh or McCoy on the board at #5. So if the Chiefs are sitting there at #5 with Clausen AND one of the two DTs on the board, a trade becomes more possible.

  11. Lee Eldridge Says:

    Just imagine what it will do to all the draft boards if the Rams pass on Bradford. :) Though I’m with you on your first four. I think that makes a lot of sense. As I said, I’m good with Berry as the choice at #5 if you can’t trade down.

  12. Lee Eldridge Says:

    OK. I’ve changed my mind on who the Chiefs will draft. Check out my first attempt at a mock draft here: http://www.leeeldridge.com/my-nfl-mock-draft/