Kansas City Chiefs' Best Options for the No. 1 Pick in the 2013 NFL Draft
The Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock with the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL Draft. While the Chiefs had the league's worst record at 2-14 last year, many feel like the team is already loaded with talent.
The Chiefs had six representatives in the Pro Bowl, including running back Jamaal Charles and linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson.
The quarterback position was at the front and center of the Chiefs' problems last season, but the new coaching staff addressed that by trading for Alex Smith. That trade has essentially created a cloud of doubt as to what the Chiefs will actually do with their top pick.
There are plenty of options out there that include trading the pick or simply selecting the player the team feels is the best available. Whatever Kansas City decides, it will be a pivotal decision for a team that is looking to get back to its winning ways.
Here are some of the routes the Chiefs could possibly utilize with its top pick this April.
Select Luke Joeckel
Luke Joeckel is the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft according to NFL.com, and for good reason.
The man spent his season blocking for Johnny Manziel on his blindside, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Joeckel was selected to the AP All-America Team and was a first-team All-SEC selection.
He is a superb physical specimen as well. He weighs just over 300 pounds while standing at 6'6". He was also one of the top performers at the combine in the 3-cone drill, posting a time of 7.40 seconds.
The Chiefs addressed the issue of left tackle this offseason by placing the franchise tag on 2008 first-round pick Branden Albert. However, the Chiefs are reportedly shopping Albert for a potential trade.
Regardless of whether Albert will become a staple of the Chiefs' franchise in the years to come, the offensive line is still a hole in the organization. The Chiefs released Eric Winston from a group that allowed 40 sacks in 2012.
Joeckel would be a terrific fix to that problem.
Select Dion Jordan
Dion Jordan comes into the draft as damaged goods, having incurred a shoulder injury during the Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State.
However, he is a presumed top-five pick in most mock drafts, and the Chiefs do have a need for a defensive end that can be effective in the 3-4. Jordan lined up as both a linebacker and a defensive end for an Oregon team that utilized a 3-4 system.
Jordan is fast for his position, clocking a 4.60 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. He's also tall at 6'6".
What his true position is at the NFL level is a concern, though. He may be more suited to play linebacker in a 3-4 system, and would likely play defensive end in a 4-3 system.
Plus, the Chiefs don't have a good history of drafting defensive linemen as of late. Since 2008, the Chiefs have drafted Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe with top-15 picks. Poe is the only one to have a decent level of success in Kansas City thus far, but he was only a rookie last year.
Jordan is a freakishly athletic player who can make a difference in the NFL, but it's unclear whether he would fit in with the Chiefs, who are already pretty set on defense. Plus, if the Chiefs draft another defensive lineman in the first round, an already angry fanbase may lose their minds completely.
Select Geno Smith
Geno Smith is considered the top quarterback prospect in the draft. He put up gaudy numbers at West Virginia last season and blew scouts away at the combine.
But is he worth the top pick in the draft?
It's been reported that the Chiefs are bringing in Smith for a visit to gauge his draft stock firsthand. Many comparisons are also being made between Smith and Donovan McNabb. McNabb, of course, was the first pick for the Eagles in 1999, which was new Chiefs coach Andy Reid's first year in Philadelphia.
One sign that the Chiefs are unlikely to select Smith is the fact that they made two QB transactions already this offseason. The team traded for San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith. It also signed QB Chase Daniel, the former backup to Drew Brees, to a free-agent contract.
So with two QBs signed this offseason, selecting a QB may not be in the cards for the Chiefs.
However, one sign that does possibly foreshadow Smith being drafted is the Chiefs' new general manager, John Dorsey. Dorsey was a long-time personnel man of the Green Bay Packers. There, he oversaw the development of Aaron Rodgers, who initially sat behind Brett Favre.
The Chiefs haven't drafted a quarterback in the first round since selecting Todd Blackledge in 1983. He turned out to be a bust in a class of QBs that included John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
While the Chiefs missed out on last year's stacked class of QBs as well, Smith may very well be worth the reach at the No. 1-overall pick in April.
Trade Pick for a Player and More Picks
It seems like none of the positions the Chiefs are in a great need of repairing have players worthy of the No. 1 pick.
However, there are teams that have needs that can be fulfilled by the top pick, and they may willing to give up a solidified veteran plus a few draft picks to get a that top pick.
The Chicago Bears could be a suitor for such a trade. They are in desperate need of an offensive lineman in this draft. The Chiefs are in need of a receiver to take attention off of Dwayne Bowe, whom the team reached a long-term agreement with this offseason.
If the Chiefs were to trade the pick with Chicago for WR Brandon Marshall, the Bears would also need to give up either two second-rounders or a first and a second-round pick. Remember, the Washington Redskins gave up four high-round picks to get Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 pick. The Redskins gave the St. Louis Rams the No. 6 pick last year, along with their 2012 second-round pick and two more first-rounders in 2013 and 2014.
The Chiefs also need a good defensive end to help Dontari Poe and new addition Mike DeVito on their defensive line. The Arizona Cardinals may have the answer there. Calais Campbell has been one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL as of late, according to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller.
If the Cardinals were willing to give up Campbell, plus WR Andre Roberts and a few high-value picks, maybe they could secure the top pick. That would allow them to draft Luke Joeckel, who would fill a huge need for the Cardinals at left tackle.
Best Option: Select Joeckel
Whenever a team secures a high first-round pick, speculation runs rampant as to what the team might do with it.
Will it make a trade for the pick? Will it use it? Who will the team draft with it? All those questions arise.
But with the draft less than a month away, the best option for the Chiefs and its top pick has become clear. And that is to draft Luke Joeckel.
Dion Jordan would have trouble finding his place with the Chiefs, as it is unclear whether he will end up playing linebacker or defensive end.
Geno Smith is a reach at the top pick, and the Chiefs already made two investments at QB this offseason. So even if Alex Smith fails, Chase Daniel is still young enough where the Chiefs can mold him into their franchise QB.
Obviously the No. 1 pick has a high trade value, but none of the Chiefs' other needs can be satisfied with any veteran that a team would likely part with. The Chiefs already have six players that made the Pro Bowl, with four on defense.
The receiver position is a big need in Kansas City, but there's no teams out there that have a good enough receiver that also need an offensive lineman.
Now, if the Arizona Cardinals, who need a left tackle, call and offer up Larry Fitzgerald and a bunch of picks? That's a different discussion.
But for now, the best and most realistic option for the Chiefs is to draft Joeckel. He's a stud at one of the most important positions in football, and it would be wrong to pass up on a talent like him.