Kiper doing his thing during the 2011 draft. (Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

Draft Chatter: Mel Kiper States the Obvious and the Absurd


Our favorite* ESPN draft expert with the improbable hair has been at it again. In the last couple of days he’s stated the blatantly obvious and followed that up by taking an absolutely absurd stance as it relates to the 2013 NFL Draft.

*In reality I prefer Todd McShay, but I’m exercising my right to artistic license.

It’s tough to pick which of the two to lead off with so I guess I will roll in chronological order.

On Wednesday Kiper stated that there were only four players in this year’s draft class that are legitimately worthy of being selected with the first overall pick. As things stand today it’s hard to argue with that statement but that’s not the blatantly obvious one I was talking about. Before we get to that, the four players he was referring to are:

  • OT – Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
  • OLB – Damontre Moore- Texas A&M
  • DT – Star Lotulelei – Utah
  • OLB – Jarvis Jones – Georgia

While I’m on record that at this point I’d snatch up Joeckel with designs on building an absolutely dominant offensive line anchored by Albert and Joeckel, I freely admit that it’s far from the team’s greatest area of need. And that’s even if we remove the glaring hole at QB from the equation. We’ve gone down the defensive tackle road in the first round so many times in recent years that a mini riot may break out if that’s the pick and given that the team is reportedly sticking to the 3-4 as their base defense, they appear set with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali as their OLBs.

What does that mean?

Obviously the elite talent of the 2013 class does not mesh well with the biggest needs of the Chiefs. That leads Kiper to suggest that Kansas City should try to trade out of the first pick.

Look, you will probably never catch me putting a curse word into one of my articles but in this case I’ll go as far as to say, “No blanking blank.” I’m sure you can use your imagination on what the blanks represent but in case you need help the first one starts with “f” and the second one starts with “s.”

Saying the Chiefs should look to trade down at this point is like declaring that water is wet and noting that something isn’t right with the whole Manti T’eo situation.

It would be perfect if there was a big-time quarterback but there is none and that’s why the Kansas City Chiefs have to think about moving down.

So there you have the blatantly obvious part of the equation.

To be fair I understand he said it because he gets asked questions along those lines. ESPN pays him to say things draft related, even if they are obvious to most of us because they may not be obvious to the more casual fans out there. Kiper is also on my good side right now because if they can’t trade down, he has the Chiefs taking Luke Joeckel. That puts him in my camp on that aspect of things and with that hair he can be on my side whenever he wants.

With the obvious statement covered, we can turn our attention to the absurd. This one is ripped straight from the headline of Adam Teicher’s column in the Kansas City Star on Thursday:

Kiper doesn’t expect any QBs to be first-round picks

Now I’ve made no secret in my belief that as things stand today there is not a QB in this draft class that merits being the first overall selection. I can also get on board that not a one of them currently merits being drafted in the first round. Further he makes an excellent point that the teams drafting after the eight pick don’t really have a need at the position.

The absurdity enters the picture with the mere suggestion that we will go through the entire first round and not a single team will grab a quarterback. There is simply no way it plays out that way. Absolutely none.

While teams drafting after those first eight picks, and I do believe we very well could go through those first eight without a QB coming off the board, may not have a need they’re not going to let the top rated guy at the position slip into the second round. Someone, especially as it gets later in the first round will spend their pick to get Geno Smith or Mike Glennon or whoever they think is the top guy based on their rankings. Need be damned, you can never have too many good QBs on your roster. Even if you don’t have any intention of that player replacing your starter, QBs have value on a different level than any other position on the field.

Beyond that injuries are all too common. As much as I question the likelihood that any of the QBs in this draft will become franchise players (and honestly I’m sure at least one of them eventually will), I am very confident that several of them can step in and be on par or better than the the current backup on most teams.

For example, the Minnesota Vikings, who pick 23rd, may be confident that Christian Ponder is their starting QB for the foreseeable future. But after watching Joe Webb look completely inept and short hop passes against Green Bay in the playoffs you can’t tell me they wouldn’t take a long hard look at things if Geno Smith or Glennon or whoever they like the best is still sitting there. The Vikings of course are just one of many teams in such a situation that will be picking in the latter third of the first round.

The Packers really didn’t need Aaron Rodgers when they drafted him 24th overall in the 2005 draft, but it may go down as the best pick in the team’s history. Just on that basis alone, some GM and head coach are going to take a gamble on the top QB available in the first round.

Kiper may say he doesn’t expect any QBs to be first round picks, but I say that’s 100% malarkey. It’s simply absurdity to the nth power. You have to expect that it’s going to happen regardless of how you rate players and what others in the league are saying. It’s simple logic, someone is going to draft a QB in the first round.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs

  • Joel Wagler

    I have no problem with KC taking Joeckel. A dominant O-line can cure a lot of ills. Just look at Cassel’s 2010 season, when he had plenty of time to throw. I agree it is idiotic to think no QB will taken in the first round but I also think KC will be able to select one of the top 4 on the board with their second pick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erika.motley.3 Erika Groth

    Please give me three reasons we shouldn’t get geno smith. Please provide evidence, that the chiefs would be better off going another route. thank you

    • http://puckettspond.com/ Wally Fish

      1. Geno Smith, by and large, struggled against the better defenses he faced this season and ate the subpar teams alive. I’ll have more on this as I dig into the 2013 QB class along these lines in the coming months. But Nathan Bramwell on Arrowhead Addict looked at some of the stats along these lines: http://arrowheadaddict.com/2012/12/29/geno-smith-performance-in-perspective/

      2. He has not shown me any evidence that he is the type of player that can put a team on his back and carry them to a win in a critical situation. In other words, he lacks the “it” factor. I do believe he’s a NFL QB, I don’t believe he’s necessarily a franchise QB and that’s what the Chiefs HAVE to get if they use their top pick on the position.

      3. The highest any independent scouting/evaluation source that I’ve come across to date has had him ranked in this draft class is 10th and more often than not he’s in the late 20s/early 30s in the rankings. That’s telling and if you watched WVU play a couple times this year it’s not hard to understand why.

      Again – I’m not saying we shouldn’t draft Geno Smith, my stance is that they team will be better off taking a player that is actually worthy of the #1 pick and then taking the best available QB available with their 2nd round pick. That second round selection could very well be Geno Smith – because he may still be there. Even if he’s off the board, there will certainly be one of the top QBs in this class sitting there and as close as all these guys appear to be that may wind up working in the Chiefs favor.

      • mark a

        Point #1 and 2 could have been said about RGIII last year, he also lost to K-State and other teams…… Peyton Mannings last college game he was demolished by none other than Scott Frost (Nebraska)

        • http://puckettspond.com/ Wally Fish

          On the RGIII subject, he led Baylor to a 3-2 record against top-25 teams in 2011. One of those two losses to Texas A&M he accounted for 430 yards passing and 3 TDs and had very little to do with the fact that his defense let Ryan Tannehill rack up 470 yards and 6 TDs. The other loss was against OK State. In that one he had 452 total yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

          Manning may have lost in the 1998 Orange Bowl to Nebraska but that Cornhusker team, QB aside, was fantastic and undefeated.

          Its not about the fact that Geno lost games, most every QBs team loses games at some point – it’s that he was less than impressive against most of the better teams WVU played.