“[T]he tackle market sure has some good leftovers,” King wrote. “Super Bowl left tackle Bryant McKinnie, Sebastian Vollmer, Eric Winston, Andre Smith (likely to stay in Cincinnati), and, if some team wants to trade for him, Kansas City’s Branden Albert. The Chiefs will listen to offers for him.”
An Albert trade would likely mean a high second round or first round pick in the draft and would go a long way towards recouping what the Chiefs gave up to San Francisco in the Alex Smith trade. In the event Kansas City could land a second first round pick, expect them to take that pick and trade down into the second round while accumulating extra mid-round picks for this season or next.
Trading Albert says two things:
One, Kansas City is more than willing to draft Luke Joeckel with their top pick. There is still a chance the Chiefs would trade down to accumulate more picks and risk not getting one of the top two tackles, but if Albert is traded you can go ahead and mark down that John Dorsey will select Joeckel.
An interesting side theory would be the Chiefs willingness to start Donald Stephenson at left tackle and start newly acquired Geoff Schwartz to play right tackle. When Stephenson was drafted by Scott Pioli last season it was assumed Stephenson would be the heir to the position in 2013 because Albert would be let go in free agency. Mike Mayock said this after he was drafted by Kansas City in the third round: “Boy is he a talented developmental left tackle. If you keep this kid working hard, get him in a good locker room with a good offensive line coach, which I think Kansas City has, this kid can pan out nicely.” In other words, people had a big upside for Stephenson and thought he could be something better than what his draft position would suggest.
If Andy Reid and Dorsey believe in Stephenson, trading the top overall pick or selecting a defensive player at number one would still be very much in play.
Second, Kansas City wants more draft picks. For all of the free agent signings and Pro Bowl players on the Chiefs roster, Dorsey and Reid are not satisfied. It is clear there is still an absence of dynamic talent on the offensive side of the ball after Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. Free agency isn’t going to bring in the kind of talent the Chiefs need to fill that void, only the draft will. Even then, it is normally the top 50 picks that produce the highest caliber players.
If Kansas City is going to make the roster leap it needs to make to overtake the Denver Broncos they are going to need as much top-end talent as possible come out of their draft. Right now, the Chiefs are sitting with a top first round pick and nothing else until pick 63. Trading Albert does nothing but help the Chiefs, especially if they stay at number one overall. The drop off between Albert and Joeckel will be minimal – if anything at all – and allow Kansas City to picks in the first and/or second round, depending on how they decide to wheel and deal.
The Chiefs still need another weapon on offense, a starting middle linebacker opposite Derrick Johnson, and another piece in the secondary, on top of potentially needing a starting offensive tackle if Stephenson and Schwartz cannot fill the two vacancies. To get that done the Chiefs will need more picks. Trading Albert will get them there.
Here are three deals that may make sense for the Chiefs and other teams:
- Albert to Miami for two second round picks (42nd and 54th overall) OR Miami’s first round pick (12th overall)
- Albert to Chicago for the Bears first round pick (20th overall)
- Albert to Cincinnati for the Bengals two second round picks (37th and 53rd overall) OR first round pick (21st overall)