Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs: Franchise Tagging Branden Albert Complicates No. 1 Pick

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 13:  Offensive tackle Branden Albert #76 of the Kansas City Chiefs blocks linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos during the first half on November 13, 2011  at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  Denver defeated Kansas City 17-10.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 6, 2013

The Kansas City Chiefs made the interesting decision to use their franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert just ahead of Monday's 4 p.m. deadline. It has subsequently opened a can of worms, which includes a possibly unprecedented No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft and trade rumors involving Albert himself.

Just one day after the Chiefs designate Albert the franchise player, they are reportedly considering trading him already.

As reported by Pro Football Talk, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star stated on Tuesday that KC is mulling its options, which include moving Albert to another team:

With top tackle prospects like Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher near or at the top of many draft boards, it would have been easy for the Chiefs to let Albert walk and select either one of them.

That's not to say that Albert is a huge letdown at the position—far from it. But now, everything has suddenly become very complicated.

New Chiefs general manager John Dorsey made the bold move of acquiring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for this year's high second-round pick, which makes nailing the Round 1 top choice all the more critical. Perhaps Dorsey can get a solid mid-round option for Albert, but it's not that likely given his one-year deal.

As for that aforementioned unprecedented No. 1 pick, it could be Dee Milliner of Alabama, who would be the first corner in the modern era to be taken with the very top selection.

CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan suggests that all the moves the Chiefs have made thus far open the door for this possibility. But is Milliner worth the first pick in this incredibly deep 2013 draft class, even with a 40 time of 4.37 at the NFL Scouting Combine?

It depends how the Chiefs feel on the offensive front. Having Joeckel or Fisher and Albert as bookends on the line would be fantastic, and Albert could even slide into the guard spot.

It is worth noting, though, that Milliner would form a solid corner duo with Brandon Flowers. If all goes according to plan, it could be huge in challenging the reigning AFC West champion Denver Broncos, who have the devastating combination of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside.

Another option is defensive tackle, where Florida's Sharrif Floyd could provide instant help to a very troubled defensive line, featuring top-five disappointments Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey.

That presents a whole different kind of dilemma, though, since the Chiefs have whiffed there in the past and already made a first-round investment in 2012 with Dontari Poe.

To say the least, the Branden Albert situation—and apparent trade possibilities—have shaken up the Chiefs' No. 1 pick even more. The acquisition of Smith eliminated the need for a QB, but if the Chiefs retain Albert, is there still a need for an offensive tackle?

John Dorsey plans to go with the best player on the board, and as difficult as this pick is to decipher, there really isn't anywhere he can go wrong between Joeckel, Fisher, Milliner—or anyone else.

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