Kansas City Chiefs Complete Mock Draft with Trades
I've now returned to once again help my beloved Kansas City Chiefs.
When I wrote that article, I had no idea I would be watching a two-win Chiefs team this season or that the Chiefs really needed all that much fixing. In fact, one fellow Chiefs fan said that I should not have used the term "fixing" in the title of my article because the team only needed "improving."
So Clark, if you are out there reading this (and I'm sure you are), feel free to take my draft suggestions to heart this year. After all, I did hit on Doug Martin in last year's column.
In retrospect, maybe I should have used an even stronger word than "fixing," as Clark Hunt now has plenty to both fix and improve upon this offseason.
As you may have noticed, I left the word "fixing" out of my title this year in hopes that things will be a bit different at this time next season.
Without further ado, the Chiefs are now on the clock.
Round 1 (1st Overall): Trade Down
The Chiefs need at quarterback is as big as any team in the league, so their first pick must be a new signal caller, right?
Not so fast.
It's no secret that this draft is devoid of the can't-miss quarterback prospects last year's crop showcased so, if the Chiefs can find good value for a move out of the top spot, they should do everything in their power to pull off the switch.
Because there is no obvious top quarterback prospect in this draft (Geno Smith is not Luck or RG3), the value of the first pick is not going to be nearly as high as last year, when the Rams were able to turn the second overall pick into the sixth overall pick, plus two future first-rounders and a second-round selection.
The Chiefs should be willing to trade the first overall pick for slightly less than it would typically go for due to the lack of elite talent available.
With that in mind, the Chiefs find a team that is even more desperate than they are when it comes to the quarterback position: The New York Jets. The Jets have publicly stated they are going to move on from the Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow (whoops, did I forget Greg McElroy? Sorry) era.
The value in having the first pick this year is simply being able to select the quarterback of your choice, even if that quarterback is a slightly mid-level prospect in a watered-down class in comparison to recent drafts.
So while the Chiefs are giving that power up and may live to regret it if Geno Smith or Mike Glennon turn out to be All-Pro quarterbacks (I doubt it), it is a chance they should be willing to take and a move they should be willing to make.
In this trade proposal, the Chiefs would get the ninth overall selection in the draft, as well as the Jets first-round pick next year, and their second and fourth round picks this year. New York would receive the first overall pick in return to use on whichever Greg McElroy backup they see fit.
Round 1 (9th Overall): Trade Down Again
The Chiefs best option is once again to trade down and this time they find a suitor in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who want to move ahead of the Tennessee Titans in order to pick the draft's top corner, Alabama's Dee Milliner, assuming the Lions don't take him with the fifth pick.
Kansas City sends the ninth overall pick to the Bucs in exchange for the 13th overall pick and the Bucs third-round choice. By trading down again, the Chiefs gain more picks, while still enabling themselves to get a player who can greatly help them in the future.
The Chiefs net gain for trading down twice would consist of the 13th overall pick this year, the Jets first round pick next year, their second and fourth round picks this year and the Bucs third-round pick this season.
Round 1 (13th Overall): Alabama Guard Chance Warmack
When I was a kid, I always hated it when the Chiefs spent an early pick on an offensive lineman because it wasn't an exciting selection. Besides, what good does an offensive lineman do me on Madden?
Now I've grown wiser in my old age and learned that the only exciting football is winning football.
Kansas City should take Warmack, who is widely considered the best guard prospect in years, as he will help solidify their youthful, talented offensive line. The Chiefs have their bookends at tackle with Eric Winston and Branden Albert.
Yes, they need to re-sign Albert. Hopefully they won't make the same mistake they made when they let Brandon Carr walk by letting more of their top homegrown talent get away this offseason. The Chiefs have a top-10 left tackle in Albert so they must keep him.
Since Ryan Lilja has retired, you would expect that the Chiefs' starting guards in 2013, as things stand now, would be Jon Asamoah and Jeff Allen. Both are young and talented, but neither as talented as Warmack. Allen would likely be the odd man out in this scenario but, for the first time in a while, the Chiefs would have some solid depth on their offensive line.
If Rodney Hudson can stay healthy next season, he should be the team's starting center, although more depth is needed there as well.
So why should the Chiefs draft a guard when they already have Asamoah and Allen and other positions of seemingly greater need? The value. Warmack is just too good to pass up in this situation. ESPN's Todd McShay says that Warmack is "one of the best guards I've ever evaluated," and many others share his sentiment.
Warmack has the potential to be the next Brian Waters and, by pairing him with Albert on the left side of the line, the Chiefs would be set for at least the rest of this decade.
Round 2: North Carolina State Cornerback David Amerson
With their offensive line now solidified through the Warmack pick and the asumption that Smith and Mike Glennon are no longer available, the Chiefs once again wait on the quarterback position in order to maximize their value.
Amerson is one of the top corners available in this year's draft, as he gives the Chiefs a couple of attributes they sorely need across from Brandon Flowers: his size (6'2", 193 lbs.) and his ability to be a ball-hawk.
Kansas City currently has no corners on their roster who can match up with bigger receivers and Amerson would hopefully fill the role of No. 2 corner that Stanford Routt was unable to.
Amerson had a bit of a down-year this season (only five picks after collecting 13 interceptions the year before) and, because of this decline in production, his draft stock has slipped some. The Chiefs can benefit from that and scoop up a potential impact corner with their first pick in the second round.
Round 2 (Pick Acquired from Jets): Georgia Quarterback Aaron Murray
Assuming Brady Quinn does not make a triumphant return to Kansas City next season after the Chiefs tab Charlie Weis to their next offensive coordinator, someone is going to have to play quarterback.
Murray might not be ready to start right away and it's probably best that he doesn't, but the hope would be (as with many quarterbacks selected after Round 1) that he will be able to start sometime down the road.
Murray, at 6'1, doesn't have great height and, in the past that has scared off NFL teams, so he could fall a bit on draft day. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson should have quieted those concerns for many, but it will be interesting to see where he is projected after the combine, should he choose to come out this year as a Junior.
Murray put up some eye-popping numbers against Nebraska's No. 1 ranked pass defense in the Capital One Bowl, throwing for 427 yards and five touchdowns. His numbers were a bit inflated by plenty of yards after the catch, including an 87-yard touchdown on a wide receiver screen, but Murray was impressive nonetheless.
The 22-year-old still has plenty to work on, but his near-elite arm strength and great competitiveness should be attractive to the Chiefs, as they look for a quarterback to lead their franchise into the future.
Round 3 (Pick Acquired from Dolphins): Marshall Wide Receiver Aaron Dobson
The wheeling and dealing isn't done, as two picks in the second round isn't enough. The Chiefs put the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe for the second straight season and ship him to the Dolphins for their second and fifth-round picks in this year's draft.
The Dolphins currently have two second-round picks, so they would likely be willing to move their original second-rounder in order to greatly upgrade their receiving corps for Ryan Tannehill next season.
Dobson could step right into the lineup and replace Bowe immediately. He isn't a household name because he played in the MAC for the Thundering Herd like this guy, but he would become make a name for himself in Kansas City.
Dobson has great size (6'3", 200 lbs.) and terrific hands and, when you throw in his basketball background, you get this guy.
OK, so maybe he won't be the next Randy Moss; he doesn't appear to have quite the top-end speed of his predecessor at Marshall, but he should be an above-average starting receiver in the NFL.
Dobson's biggest knock right now is his route-running ability, which isn't uncommon for a guy of his size (cue the Jon Baldwin entrance music!), but his route running skills are adequate at the moment and can be improved upon at the next level.
Dobson could seize the opportunity to be the Chiefs No. 1 receiver should Baldwin continue to flame out.
Round 3 (Pick Acquired from Bucs): Stanford Linebacker Chase Thomas
The Chiefs continue their string of selecting solid football players (that's the idea, right?) with the pick of Stanford outside linebacker Chase Thomas.
Thomas has been a key member of the Cardinal defense over the past four years and would bring some much-needed fire to the Chiefs defense with his competitiveness and work ethic. He won't be the most athletic outside linebacker in the league, but he should be an all-around solid player and positive presence in the locker room.
The Chiefs need more depth at outside linebacker and the players they've drafted at the position in recent years do not constitute quality depth.
Some may argue that this is too early to be drafting for depth but, if the Chiefs are serious about contending, this is the kind of selection that will help them build a successful franchise heading into the future.
Round 3: Kansas State Linebacker Arthur Brown
Brown has been a great player for Bill Snyder and Co. at Kansas State and he should be a solid player at the next level as well.
He is a bit small at his current size of 6'0" and 224 lbs., leading many to believe he could be an outside linebacker at the next level. If he were to bulk up some, he could end up next to Derrick Johnson in the middle of the Chiefs 3-4 defense and have the ability to move around at different linebacker positions as well.
Brown could potentially start for the Chiefs at middle linebacker and his versatility should make him a hot commodity come April.
His size is likely the only thing holding him back at this point. Like the Murray pick, this could make him a steal for the Chiefs, should he fall to the third round, as some are projecting.
Round 4: Texas A&M Wide Receiver Ryan Swope
The Chiefs need to add toughness to their football team and Swope is about as tough as they come. He will never win any footraces with Jamaal Charles, but he will go over the middle and make a big play in the receiving game if asked (just ask him: he will, I promise).
Swope could bring some consistency to a Chiefs receiving corps that has been lacking in that regard. This would be another strong selection for the Chiefs, as they continue to look for players that will bring their all every Sunday.
Contrary to popular belief, Johnny Football didn't throw the ball to himself this season. Swope was one of the Heisman winner's top targets, grabbing 64 passes for 809 yards and seven touchdowns this year.
Round 4 (Pick Acquired from Jets): Florida State Kicker Dustin Hopkins
A kicker in the fourth round? Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a minute!
I won't go all Al Davis on you and say that the Chiefs should draft one in the first round, but Ryan Succop's inability to consistently make 33-yard field goals scares me.
In order to get the best kicker available, and quite frankly one that is very, very good, they probably must give up a fourth round pick for him.
By taking Hopkins, the Chiefs land a tremendous kicker from Florida State with a big leg (stop me if you've heard this before) but, as previously mentioned, they won't have to take him in the first round!
Hopkins made 25 of 30 field goals this season, was 13 of 14 from inside 40 yards (your time is up Succop) and was an impressive five of six from beyond 50 yards. His only miss from beyond 50 yards came in the Orange Bowl when he clanked one off of the right upright, a kick that was nearly three-quarters of the way up the crossbar nonetheless.
Wave goodbye to Mr. Irrelevant. It's time for the Chiefs to get more consistent across the board, including at kicker.
Round 5: Utah Defensive End Joe Kruger
Since Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson could both leave in free agency this offseason and Ropati Pitoitua is too difficult to pronounce, I think it's about time the Chiefs draft a Joe.
Joe Kruger recently announced his intentions of entering the NFL draft early, even though he is not expected to be a top pick. Kruger is the brother of Ravens linebacker Paul and Utes defensive tackle Dave.
The youngest of the Kruger boys has a well-built 6'7, 280-pound frame that would fit nicely on the Chiefs 3-4 defensive front.
Here's to hoping Shaun Smith can teach him a thing or two next season.
Round 5 (Pick Acquired from Dolphins): Ohio State Safety Orhian Johnson
Assuming the Chiefs don't waste anymore fifth round picks on converted tight ends trying to play defensive end following a college career in which said players' own fans barely recognized the name, this seems like a good spot to replace Kendrick Lewis.
Lewis is a former fifth-round pick, so he should understand when he is replaced by the team's latest fifth-round selection.
Maybe Johnson won't replace Lewis; at least not right away, but I can dream can't I?
The Chiefs sorely need some safety help that they have failed to find since Jon McGraw era and Johnson would be able to provide that.
Eric Berry gives the Chiefs a safety that can mix it up in the box and Johnson, who doesn't particularly like to get anywhere near the box, would be a good complement to him.
If you're tired of watching overweight, old-man Antonio Gates run by Berry again and again, Johnson would be a refreshing addition. He is solid in coverage, with the ability to match up with opposing tight ends like Gates.
His 6'2 frame would be welcomed by the Chiefs secondary and their land of the little people. I'm aware Berry is 6'0", but Flowers and Arenas are still hassled while trying to board Space Mountain.
Round 6: Illinois Center Graham Pocic
Ryan Lilja is so old (he's only 31?) that he began forgetting to snap the ball near the end of the season and had no choice but to retire. Even though Lilja was a guard filling in at center for the injured Rodney Hudson, the fact that Lilja was ever under center shows that the Chiefs have a hole at the position.
If only the Chiefs had some extra cap space laying around last season to improve their depth...
This is a weak class in terms of center and I thought long and hard about giving the Chiefs Iowa center James Ferentz with this pick (don't make me explain why), but then I snapped out of it and went with Illinois center Graham Pocic instead.
Pocic would be a developmental prospect for the Chiefs with the opportunity to reunite him with former Fighting Illini teammate Jon Asamoah.
The Chiefs badly need to add depth on the offensive line this offseason and adding Pocic would be a good start.
Round 7: Alabama Tight End Michael Williams
Wait, the Chiefs had just one pick last round?
I tried to offer Pioli back to the Pats for their sixth-round pick, but Belichick hung up on me because the Pats don't have a sixth round pick, obviously.
Ideally, the Chiefs would find another pass-catching tight end since Tony Moeaki's ability to stay healthy is less-than-questionable and Kevin Boss will be a free agent once again after missing most of the season with a concussion.
Williams isn't much of a receiving threat at all, but it's the seventh round, so what do you expect?
Williams is, however, a very good blocker and, if you can find someone who is exceptional at one trait in the seventh round, you should take a hard look at that player.
What Do You Think?
None of these moves or picks will likely end up happening, as the Chiefs will more than likely select Barkevious Mingo (yes he played at LSU and yes, he is a defensive end) with the first overall pick.
The Jets will probably end up trading half of their draft, including their first round pick, to the Seahawks for Matt Flynn instead; the Bucs will likely stay put at No. 13 after dragging Ronde Barber (or maybe it will really be Tiki) out onto the field for another season at the age of 38; the Dolphins will just sign Bowe instead after the Chiefs fail to do so.
It was fun while it lasted, so what do you think, Chiefs fans?
Is Geno the answer or does trading down make more sense? How would you feel about Kansas City taking a guard with their first pick?
One move not included here was trading a pick for Flynn or Alex Smith because I think there is a decent chance that one or both could end up getting cut if teams balk at the idea of trading for them. If not, maybe the Chiefs offer up a fifth-round choice for Smith.
A lot could (and will) change between now and April but, if the Chiefs could pull off these moves in the 2013 Draft, I believe they would be on the fast track to recovery in 2013.