Alex Smith Traded to Chiefs: KC's Next Move Should Be Unloading Draft's Top Pick
Deal has been agreed upon between Chiefs and 49ers. Compensation unclear but I'm told again Chiefs have made a clear commitment to Smith.— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) February 27, 2013
The deal cannot become official until March 12, however, which is when the new league year begins.
The 49ers—who now have 15 selections in the upcoming NFL draft—continue to stockpile picks (the 34th overall pick in this year’s draft and a conditional high-round pick in 2014, according to Tim Kawakami of MercuryNews.com), while the Chiefs get the upgrade they desperately needed at the quarterback position.
Though the amount of compensation may trump the news of the deal itself, the move creates a bigger question as to what the Chiefs plan on doing with the No. 1 overall pick.
While there may be no clear-cut choice at the top of the draft, the depth of talent in this year’s crop of college athletes places a higher value on picks outside of the first round—making the 34th overall selection a coveted spot to be in.
Acquiring a viable quarterback was top priority for the Chiefs this offseason, as Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn completed fewer than 58 percent of their passes for just 2,937 yards and eight touchdown passes in 2012. The two also combined to commit 28 turnovers.
Over his last two seasons under Jim Harbaugh, Smith completed over 64 percent of his passes while throwing 30 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. San Francisco was 19-5-1 in games he started.
Giving up such premium draft picks indicates that new head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey believe that Smith can right the ship under center in Kansas City. The concerns of plugging holes along the rest of the roster are now the team’s focal point.
This year’s draft was crucial for the Chiefs to find players that could make an immediate impact at various positions—namely cornerback, inside linebacker, safety, defensive end, wide receiver and offensive guard. Not having a second-round pick will now force this team to work harder in obtaining those pieces.
While free agency is the likely source, Kansas City could recoup even more draft picks if Dorsey can find a willing partner for this year’s top selection. Even if the deal doesn’t present as much value as in years past, the Chiefs aren’t losing much by scaling back a bit and acquiring some picks later in the draft.
Though it all hinges on what the Chiefs’ plans are with left tackle Branden Albert, Kansas City would do well in any case to trade the No. 1 overall pick.
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