In two months, the Kansas City Chiefs will have a lot of things figured out prior to the draft.
Will San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith be a Chief?
Will offensive tackle Branden Albert and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe return?
Grabbing Smith and re-signing Albert and Bowe will dictate the direction the Chiefs will go into April's draft. The Chiefs are reportedly targeting Alex Smith over West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. That leaves Kansas City with one obvious choice, depending on how things go as the offseason progresses.
In this slideshow, I will predict the Chiefs draft in seven rounds. You can follow along and compare my other mock drafts to this one.
Dec. 31 prediction: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Jan. 20 prediction: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Jan. 30 prediction: Geno Smith, QB. West Virginia
Kansas City's top priority should be to bring in a new quarterback this season. If the reports of bringing Alex Smith are true, don't bring Geno Smith in for competition. A quarterback taken with the No. 1 pick should not be competing for a starting role, especially if he's taken over every player in the draft.
If the Chiefs truly believe Smith is going to be their guy, then they need to avoid drafting quarterbacks in this draft and focus on helping Smith improve. It all starts with the offensive line.
Smith would love to have an offensive tackle like Luke Joeckel to protect his blind side.
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid said that they will draft the best player available with the top pick. In that case, all signs point to Joeckel, who was a top performer in the 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle, coming to Kansas City.
This all, of course, depends on how negotiations go with Albert's agent. At that point, Kansas City's plans with the No. 1 pick becomes interesting.
Until then, it is likely that Joeckel is taken if the Chiefs address the quarterback position before the draft.
Dec. 31 prediction: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Jan. 20 prediction: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Jan. 30 prediction: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Te'o, who had a disappointing 40-yard dash and has dealt with the girlfriend-hoax scandal off the field, is not projected to go as high as many had thought.
Te'o looked good in his other workouts and is looking to move forward as a professional football player.
The Chiefs have two good outside linebackers in Houston and Tamba Hali and a strong inside linebacker in Derrick Johnson, all who played in the Pro Bowl. The Chiefs could use Te'o's aggressiveness and go into the 2013 season with a really dangerous group of linebackers.
Dec. 31 prediction: CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State
Jan. 20 prediction: Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina
Jan. 30 prediction: Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
Assuming the Kansas City Chiefs land Alex Smith, the Chiefs should trade away their third round pick, at most.
It is worth noting that Bleacher Report's Matt Miller suggested that the Chiefs would trade the fourth-round pick away, along with a pick in 2014, for Alex Smith.
Dec. 31 prediction: Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Jan. 20 prediction: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
Jan. 30 prediction: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
Robert Alford finished in the top five among all cornerbacks in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump and broad jump. But what sets him apart from other cornerbacks is that he comes from a small school.
He came up with four interceptions and was named to the first-team All-Southland Conference as a senior.
Alford would be a huge steal in the fourth round and would give Kansas City a great cornerback to work with opposite of Brandon Flowers.
Dec. 31 prediction: Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
Jan. 20 prediction: Tanner Hawkinson, T, Kansas
Jan. 30 prediction: Tanner Hawkinson, T, Kansas
Fans usually like to see a local player get drafted. For the Chiefs, Tanner Hawkinson would be a good local player to snatch.
Hawkinson, who holds the record at Kansas for 48 consecutive starts, had the fifth-fastest 40-yard dash and placed in the top 10 in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuffle.
He paved the way for some good running backs at Kansas this past year, including James Sims, who rushed for over 1,000 yards despite being suspended for the first three games of the season.
Dec. 31 prediction: Graham Pocic, C, Illinois
Jan. 20 prediction: Lonnie Pryor, FB, Florida State
Jan. 30 prediction: Lonnie Pryor, FB, Florida State
Lonnie Pryor made a lot of noise in the Orange Bowl to help Florida State topple Northern Illinois. Pryor earned the Orange Bowl MVP this past season but didn't play at a high level all season.
The Chiefs, a team that didn't have a traditional fullback last season, should look to bring in Pryor and give him an opportunity to work with Jamaal Charles.
Dec. 31 prediction: Tanner Hawkinson, T, Kansas
Jan. 20 prediction: Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State
Jan. 30 prediction: Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State
Other than Charles, the Chiefs have let some running backs go over the past couple of seasons and want to build some depth behind their star back.
Zac Stacy possibly made himself a player worth drafting after an impressive combine. He finished second in the three-cone drill and tied for fourth for most bench-press reps among all running backs and fullbacks.