Star Lotulelei to the Chiefs Still Makes Perfect Sense with the First Pick
After releasing right tackle Eric Winston, the Chiefs would be well-suited to draft an offensive lineman with their first overall selection.
Luke Joeckel, at this point, is the trendy pick, but the fact remains that Kansas City needs to draft a day-one difference maker with the selection (considering they'll have no second round choice) and Joeckel, who'd invariably play right tackle, wouldn't be enough of an impact player at No. 1.
On the contrary, consider Star Lotulelei.
One of Andy Reid's main prerogatives throughout his coaching career has been to build a young, talented defensive line. He did it in Philadelphia with Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, so don't be surprised if the new coach elects to add Lotulelei to Dontari Poe in the middle of the Kansas City defensive front.
Lotulelei could team with Poe to be one of the best 3-4 defensive line tandems in the NFL. and if the former's heart condition checks out alright then Kansas City could be a force to be reckoned with up front.
To reiterate, the Chiefs' team doctors will need to assure Andy Reid and the Chiefs staff that Lotulelei's heart is completely healthy. If the defensive lineman is ready to go, he'd be a good fit right away.
Some will say that Sharrif Floyd has more natural talent than Lotulelei, which is true. That said, Floyd would waste away in the team's 3-4 scheme; he's a much better fit as a 4-3 defensive tackle and Kansas City won't give him that opportunity.
Recently, Todd McShay actually mocked Lotulelei to Kansas City, so this pick is a possibility.
Todd Mcshay's latest mock draft has (DT) Star Lotulelei going #1 to #Chiefs— Alex Gold (@AlexGold) March 6, 2013
Contrary to popular belief, the Chiefs actually got good play from their offensive line in 2012. Both Ryan Lilja and Jon Asamoah were elite-level guards while Branden Albert, who will be back, had a very good year.
Plus, Andy Reid's West Coast offense doesn't require a top-notch right tackle. With Alex Smith under center, the team will utilize short routes and simple pass concepts to move the ball efficiently down the field.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the Chiefs' aggressive pursuit of a new deal for defensive end Glenn Dorsey or the contract they gave Tyson Jackson are reasons to believe that Reid won't go for a defensive lineman at the top of the draft.
Reid loves depth on the defensive line and his signing of Cullen Jenkins in Philadelphia didn't prevent him from drafting Fletcher Cox in the first round.
Lotulelei is the best pick for Kansas City and makes sense from a roster standpoint as well; he should hear his name called first in April's selection process.
Now follow me on Twitter for more updates @EliNachmany.
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