New Chief coach Andy Reid faces an interesting decision.
It's a bold statement, but one that makes a lot of sense for an organization that's only made three playoff appearances in the past 15 seasons. Further, since 2007 the Chiefs have gone 29-67. If you do the math, Kansas City has only won 30 percent of their games over the past six years.
Sure, new head coach Andy Reid could keep the top pick and draft QB Geno Smith or OT Luke Joeckel. It wouldn't necessarily be a bad move by any means, but by trading away the initial pick the Chiefs could get a lot more bang for their buck in April. The theory makes even more sense if the team can land a trade deal for San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith.
That may just happen, too. Yahoo! Sports blogger Doug Farrar suggested on February 24:
"According to multiple reports, the San Francisco 49ers have wrapped up a trade that will put quarterback Alex Smith in a new city. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported via Twitter that the 49ers have sewed up negotiations with a willing trade partner. The interested team is not yet known, though Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com says that from everything he's heard around the scouting combine this week, the Kansas City Chiefs have a deal for Smith that is "all but done."
It's a move that simply makes sense. The Chiefs desperately need a proven winner at quarterback, and there is an obvious choice available: Alex Smith. Further, Smith is a player who should have little trouble fitting into the offensive scheme Reid plans to run at Arrowhead. Sorry, Matt Cassel, your days are likely numbered as a Kansas City Chief.
Ahead of free agency opening March 12, there are two other big questions in Kansas City:
Can WR Dwayne Bowe and Chiefs management come to terms on a deal?
Will Reid decide to try to re-sign OT Branden Albert, coming off a significant injury?
The answers to those two questions, as well as whether Reid lands Smith in a trade, will lead the way to the ultimate decision of whether or not the Chiefs decide to trade the No. 1 draft pick (possibly giving up a second- or third-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft).
Answering questions about possibly taking QB Geno Smith, Reid told NFL.com's Mark Sessler, "Most of the questions have been asked about the quarterback position, but it's important that we go through and evaluate everybody. You don't go for need, you go for who the best player is—or who you perceive the best player to be."
The 14-year NFL head coach knows what he's talking about. He's going to target the best player available with each pick as he looks to rebuild the Chiefs into a winner. Assuming Smith becomes a Chief prior to the draft, the big question becomes: Will Reid opt to take Joeckel with the top selection or trade down to pick up a few more quality draft slots?
A strong case can be made for either move. Joeckel would be a great pick, and one Kansas City could build around moving forward. On the other hand, far more intriguing would be exactly which players the Chiefs could target if they land additional selections in this year's NFL draft by trading down.
One team that may well be interested in trading up for the top pick in the upcoming NFL draft is the Buffalo Bills (currently holding the No. 8 overall pick). The Bills aren't exactly sold on the future of starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, so they could well be interested in moving up to secure the services of QB Geno Smith. It might not be a bad decision.
Let's play "what if" for a minute, assuming the Bills trade for the top pick and that the 49ers pick up a second-round pick from Kansas City for Smith (pick No. 34). Currently, Doug Marrone's Bills have the No. 8, No. 41 and No. 71 picks during the first three rounds. One would have to assume Buffalo would be forced to give up not only their No. 8 pick, but potentially at least the No. 41 pick, if not both picks No. 41 and No. 71.
By just obtaining the No. 8, No. 41, and No. 71 selections, then the Chiefs would hold the No. 8, No. No. 41, No. 63, No. 71 and No. 96 picks in the 2013 NFL draft. In sum, Reid would have five of the top 100 selections of the draft (and also have gained a great quarterback). While Joeckel would likely be off the board by pick eight, three quality offensive linemen should still be available with pick eight: Alabama OT Chance Warmack, Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson and Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher.
As aforementioned, there are multiple areas that need to be addressed by Kansas City in the upcoming draft. By trading for Smith at QB and obtaining either Warmack, Johnson or Fisher at OT, the Chiefs would possibly have four more draft picks to focus on before pick 100 even rolled around.
Back to reality for a second, this scenario is just that: one potential scenario for the Chiefs. However, it sure does seem to make a lot of sense if the Alex Smith trade works out for Kansas City.
So, Andy Reid, what's going to be your sell to GM John Dorsey?
We'll find out soon enough.