Every Wednesday night from now until the end of the draft we here at KC Kingdom will make (un)scientific projections about what the Chiefs will do with their first overall pick and beyond. The idea will be to put percentage odds on what the Chiefs will do with their first overall pick and other perplexing questions based on the information we have available through reports using “commons sense” and “basic reasoning.” We’ll see how that goes.
This week we’ll start with a simple question: Well now what?
Everybody is still recovering from the roster blast the Kansas City Chiefs sent out Monday when they made Dwayne Bowe the third highest paid receiver in football and Dustin Colquitt the highest paid punter, then topping it off by placing the franchise tag on Branden Albert. Not only did the Chiefs retain three of their better players, but they also filled needs some assumed would be filled in the draft or free agency. This left everyone wondering what the Chiefs would do with their first overall pick.
Franchising Albert instead of signing him to a long-term deal is what makes the situation so confusing. The one-year tag leaves open the possibility Luke Joeckel is drafted number one overall to replace Albert at left tackle in 2014. Reports out of Arrowhead are mixed, suggesting the Chiefs are either still working on a long-term deal with Albert or are shopping him around in a trade. Stating the obvious: those are two very different suggestions.
So what do we make of this? This leads us to our first probability.
CHIEFS TRADE THE NUMBER ONE PICK: 50%
For starters, we know the Chiefs now have the flexibility to do whatever they want to do. They are not tied down to a specific position or player. The Chiefs addressed starting quarterback by trading for Alex Smith, address offensive tackle by tagging Albert, and locked up Bowe to be a primary receiver. So the big questions heading into the offseason about the weakest or most vulnerable positions have all been addressed.
The Chiefs are at the stage where they are looking to upgrade at a position or add depth as opposed to looking for a solution for a position. The only position the Chiefs may look at as needing a solution, quarterback, doesn’t have an immediate fix available in the draft. If there were an immediate solution, we wouldn’t be trying to figure out who the Chiefs would take with the top pick.
Moreover, there isn’t a guy in this draft who is leaps and bounds better than everybody else. This isn’t breaking news by any stretch but it is a reality that plays into the idea trading the top pick would be an option. If the Chiefs were to trade down, the difference between Luke Joeckel, Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd, and Dee Milliner isn’t much greater than Eric Fisher, Sheldon Richardson, Kenny Vaccaro, and Jonathan Banks. This isn’t a Andrew Luck to Ryan Tannehill situation. The Chiefs are still going to get quality players at positions of need. In fact, trading down may allow them to fill more of those needs than they can now.
If you’re looking for trade partners, look at Chicago, Miami, and St. Louis as possibilities.
CHIEFS SELECT LUKE JOECKEL: 40%
At this stage of the game, the possibility of Kansas City trading Albert to a team like Chicago, Miami, or St. Louis is very high. While the free agency market is flooded with left tackles, Albert would probably be considered the best available in tackle in the market if he was made available for trade. The cost to get Albert will be cheaper than the cost to get the top overall pick as a first rounder probably wouldn’t be involved.
Trading Albert would do two things for Kansas City: Open cap space and solidify the position at a lower cost for the next four or five years. Joeckel isn’t Joe Thomas but he has the potential to be a more well-rounded tackle than Albert. If the Chiefs can still get quality left tackle play at a lower cost for a longer period of time, they should do it. Especially if it can replenish the picks lost in the Smith trade.
CHIEFS SELECT DEE MILLINER: 5%
It is true that no corner has gone number one overall in the history of the draft, but times are changing in the NFL. The modern game is built around the passing game, both the ability to go down field on offense and prevent big passes on defense. The Chiefs have a capable pass rush but are weak in the secondary. Milliner would be a major piece in solving the secondary puzzle. Adding a second corner and adding another safety in free agency would give the Chiefs both a strong secondary and pass rush.
Further, a move like this would put the Chiefs in a better position to beat teams like the Chargers and Broncos, who each have pass heavy offenses and good quarterbacks to run them.
CHIEFS SELECT SHARRIF FLOYD: 4.999%
Most point to Andy Reid affinity for selecting big men with his first round pick as a reason for selecting a linemen in mock drafts at this pick for the Chiefs. But I truly believe John Dorsey is running the show when it comes to the draft. I don’t think Dorsey accepts the job if he is just a puppet who does whatever Reid wants. Dorsey is here to draft and find players, Reid is here to coach.
What makes this pick likely is that the Chiefs will likely lose Glenn Dorsey to free agency so there is a hole on the staring defensive line to fill. Floyd isn’t as physically gifted as Dontari Poe, but he is a much more accomplished football player than Poe was. And at 6-3, 300 pounds, it isn’t as if Floyd is a physical slouch.
Floyd’s game is built around stopping the run. His size and strength would translate well to what the Chiefs want to do and would open up Poe to become more of a pass rusher, something he is better suited to do.
CHIEFS TRADE FOR DARRELLE REVIS: .001%
This isn’t going to happen. I just wanted the excuse to point out that a 49ers official said they had a .001 chance of trading for Revis on a scale of 1-10. I just want to point out that .001 is not on the 1-10 scale and that the 49ers official who said this is dumb. Also, the 49ers are dumb for not spending one or two of their 15 picks to get the best defensive player in the game.
Things are changing rapidly with the Chiefs so this is bound to change by next week. In fact, go ahead and expect it to change as by this time next week free agency would have just gotten underway. This is going to be an interesting seven weeks.