How Kansas City Chiefs Decision to Franchise Branden Albert Changes the Draft
The Kansas City Chiefs, the team with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, has addressed its quarterback position by acquiring Alex Smith—trade to be made official on March 12—and by tagging Branden Albert moments before the deadline on March 4, they no longer have a need at left tackle.
So now what happens in the draft?
There are significantly more legitimate possibilities now than in recent memory in regards to the top pick, so let's dive into the multitude of scenarios that could play out after the Chiefs' recent moves.
Scenario No. 1 — Dee Milliner at No. 1
Dee Milliner could be the choice for Kansas City to begin the draft.
A defensive back hasn't gone No. 1 overall since Gary Glick in 1956, but that doesn't mean it can't happen this year.
Milliner being selected first was suggested by NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt in a recent tweet:
Been awhile since no clear-cut No. 1 pick. I see 5 possibilities if @kcchiefs keep it: Joeckel, Werner, Fisher, Milliner, Mingo— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 28, 2013
From there, the Eagles would almost be assured to get their choice of an offensive tackle—either Luke Jockel, Eric Fisher or Lance Johnson—but there's a chance Oregon product Dion Jordan is ultimately the pick.
The Jaguars and Raiders, the teams with the respective No. 2 and No. 3 picks—likely wouldn't be affected by the Chiefs selecting Milliner.
The Lions would miss out on the the top corner in the class, so it'd add intrigue to what they do with their No. 5 overall selection.
Scenario No. 2 — Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher at No. 1
While we won't know who the Chiefs have atop their draft board, there's a chance it's an offensive lineman.
Sure, the tagging of Albert makes it seem illogical for the Chiefs to take another offensive tackle, but if they're set on using the best-player-available approach, Joeckel or Fisher may very well be the pick.
In that case, the Jaguars and Raiders would, likely, still be unaffected, but the chance the Eagles take an offensive tackle at No. 4 would decrease.
Also, it'd be stunning if Milliner didn't fall into the Lions' laps.
Scenario No. 3 — Sharrif Floyd at No. 1
Sharrif Floyd has seen a meteoric rise up draft boards during the pre-draft process, and although he wasn't listed by Brandt as a suggestion for the Chiefs at No. 1, draft guru Greg Cosell likes Floyd more than Star Lotulelei regardless of the Utah defender's heart condition:
Like Floyd more than Lotulelei, regardless of heart issues. But Star light athletic feet w/excellent short area quickness + closing burst.— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) March 2, 2013
I will start w/Floyd. So far my favorite player on tape. Great hips, nimble. Played thru + around blocks. Closing burst. Tackle for loss DT.— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) March 2, 2013
In theory, Floyd isn't out of the question to go No. 1.
If so, the Raiders would miss out on the chance to pick Richard Seymour or Tommy Kelly's replacement, but we don't know how high Oakland's front office is on the Florida defensive lineman.
The Eagles and Lions would probably welcome this development at No. 1, as it'd likely allow them to take their choice of Joeckel, Fisher, Lane Johnson or Dee Milliner.
Scenario No. 4 — Ziggy Ansah at No. 1
Although the Chiefs pass-rush is set with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali on the edges of their 3-4 alignment, at 6'6'' and 270 pounds, it's not unfathomable that Kansas City will take the extremely raw but amazingly talented Ansah and play him as the five-technique on its defensive line.
It's not likely, but it's definitely not ridiculous.
After that, either the Jaguars or Raiders could be affected, but Barkevious Mingo is a more natural fit to what Gus Bradley is trying to do in Jacksonville, and Oakland, well, yeah, we don't know its plans.
Similar to Scenario No. 3, the Eagles and Lions would be ecstatic, as would the teams in desperate need of a quarterback if Geno Smith falls past the Raiders.
Mingo at No. 1 — As alluded to, Mingo would struggle for playing time in Kansas City to start his career, which isn't something an organization wants from a No. 1 overall pick. Picking him would likely alter the Jaguars plans which could have a major ripple effect on Round 1, especially the top half. Then again, maybe it wouldn't.
Trade back — Always a possibility. But this year, the Chiefs would have to be willing to trade back from No. 1 for much less than face value. However, after sending a second-round pick in 2013 and a third-round pick in 2014 to the 49ers in the Alex Smith deal, they could be looking for more selections.
The thing is, it's doubtful they find a trade partner
The NFL draft is perennially unpredictable, but this year, boy, it's more mysterious than ever before.
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