Nov 26, 2011; Auburn, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Dee Milliner (28) returns an interception for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tide defeated the Tigers 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Odds: Welker to Denver Adds Pressure to Chiefs Secondary


Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) runs with the ball after a catch against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Note: Every Wednesday night from now until draft day KC Kingdom will put odds on various Kansas City Chiefs draft questions, including what they will do with the top overall pick.

Two days into free agency and one thing is very clear: The secondary needs help. Here is why…

Kansas City has already signed Dunta Robinson to a deal before the opening of free agency, but the Denver Broncos signing of Wes Welker really puts the Chiefs in a bind. Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Eric Decker provide a serious matchup problem for Kansas City, and that doesn’t include what Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen can do from the tight end position. While Kansas City has a strong roster on paper, they need more help in the secondary if they are going to compete with Denver for a division championship.

The top three wide receivers for Denver top the top three projected corners for Kansas City.

Brandon Flowers defends Thomas
Robinson defends Decker
Javier Arenas defends Welker

If Robinson was signed to play safety, then Jalil Brown gets thrown into the mix. The need to add another corner is very clear when it comes to trying to beat the Broncos.

The good news is the draft and free agency still provides some solutions, and since we last presented you odds of what Kansas City will do with their top pick the dynamics of the draft have changed.

Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the huddle with teammates during the second quarter of the AFC divisional round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

First, Jacksonville has declared serious interest in drafting Geno Smith second overall. Coincidently, Buffalo has released Ryan Fitzpatrick and rumblings that they are interested in Smith has been floated. Additionally, many have sent Smith to Arizona in mock drafts as a team that could use his services. This makes three teams potentially interested in Smith which means Kansas City would hold leverage in a trade for the top overall pick to ensure Jacksonville does not come away with Smith with the second overall pick.

Next, Miami may be interested in trading with Kansas City for the top draft pick so they can select Luke Joeckel to replace Jake Long at left tackle. The Dolphins have extra second and third round picks to make a potential trade happen.

Finally, the draft is flush with defensive back talent. Kansas City should be able to find talent at the corner back position. This varies between which evaluation service you prefer, but almost all of them agree that 10 to 14 of the 100 best players in the is draft play cornerback. Depth at cornerback could allow the Chiefs to not have to worry about landing one of the top remaining free agents like Sean Smith.

All of this is predicated on the Chiefs trading down from their top overall pick in order to acquire more mid-round selections. What happens if the Chiefs cannot trade down from their number one pick? Here are the odds of who Kansas City might take.

Nov 19, 2011; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (73) tackles Furman Paladins running back Jerodis Williams (30) during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Florida Gators 54-32. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sharrif Floyd: 40% chance

Improving the pass rush will go a long way towards slowing down the Denver offense. When Baltimore was able to flush Peyton Manning out of the pocket in the playoffs, they were able to create poor decisions and turnovers. Most notably they were able to force the interception in overtime that led to the game-winning field goal by getting Manning to flee the pocket.

Floyd could help create a better pass rush by combining his physical skills with Dontari Poe‘s on the defensive line. If Poe and Floyd can collapse the opponent’s offensive line then edge pass rushers like Justin Houston and Tamba Hali will become far more dangerous. The more sacks, pressures, knockdowns, and hurried passes the defensive front can force, the less time Robinson, Arenas, and Brown will be asked to cover receivers who may be considered superior to them. An improved pass rush can make a secondary look a lot better than what it is.

Oct 20, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A

Luke Joeckel: 40 % chance

The Chiefs will likely hold three picks between pick number 63 (third round) and their second overall pick in the fourth round assuming they get a third round compensation pick for losing Brandon Carr in free agency last year. If that is the case, and considering the depth of the cornerback position in the draft, the Chiefs may choose to stay where they are in the draft and take the best available player at number one overall. As of now, Joeckel appears to be that guy.

Drafting Joeckel would solidify the Chiefs offensive line and neutralize Denver’s own pass rush led by Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Dee Milliner: 10% chance

Milliner looks to be heading into the draft as a top five pick, which would make him the first defensive to be taken in the top five since Charles Woodson. Milliner is not Woodson, but he is the best cornerback available in the draft. Drafting Milliner would help add the depth Kansas City needs in the secondary to try to slow down Denver’s upgraded passing offense.

Ultimately, trading down is the best play for Kansas City, but that may not be something that is available to them. Selecting any of these three players would go a long way towards beating Denver and winning the AFC West.

Tags: Dee Milliner Kansas City Chiefs Luke Joeckel Sharrif Floyd Wes Welker