Draft Or Trade: Tough Choices For The Chiefs

Craig RossContributor IApril 23, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 1:  Arrowhead Stadium is shown during the San Francisco 49ers game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 1, 2006 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Niners 41-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The 2009 National Football League Draft brings a certain hope in the hearts of the Kansas City Chief fans around the world. A new regime with past success has each Chief fan sitting on the edge of their seats searching for the newest information coming out of one Arrowhead Way.

The prospect of reaching the Super Bowl after 39 years has an added value to each of the seven picks that the Chiefs organization has to work with. A newly revised stadium would love to field a playoff team.

Can this immediate turn around happen? Ask the second year regime in Miami and they would say yes.

Ask Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel, and Zack Thomas and they say yes! This immediate turn around of a young team that hasn’t learned the art of winning is a task. Bringing in the right players who can play now will further the opportunity for this success.

Scott Pioli answered one of the greatest needs by filling the quarterback position with a player that he drafted in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. With the signal caller position now filled (a positive battle of Tyler Thigpen and Matt Cassel), the Chiefs need to fill the holes left by the previous staff.

The trade of Jared Allen may have brought the answer to the left tackle (Branden Albert) position, but the obvious bland defensive play of Glenn Dorsey (50 tackles, 41 solo, and one sack) left the No. 5 pick of the 2008 draft as extremely questionable. The Chiefs were last in total sacks (10, yes 10 total and 5.5 sacks less than Jared Allen’s total in 2007) and set the NFL record for the lowest sack total in 16 games contested.

A strong defensive sack presence is critical. The Chiefs alternating defensive structure of a 4-3 and a 3-4 for this season will emphasize the linebackers immensely. The much talked about pick of Aaron Curry would solidify an incredible mix of talent and experience in the linebacking crew with Derrick Johnson, Mike Vrabel, Zack Thomas and Aaron Curry.

Solidifying the offensive line is equally critical in building the offensive numbers that the Chiefs of a few years past enjoyed. A possible move on Jason Smith to solidify the left tackle position would allow Albert to move to the right.

A future middle offensive lineman is needed. The offseason signing of Mike Goff to strengthen the right side and compliment the Pro Bowler Brain Waters on the left was very good for the meantime, but depth is needed.

Knowing that these are the draft day scenarios, let’s look at the possibility of accessing more picks or players through a trade. Scott Pioli is already making his mark as the architect of the new Chiefs.

Intricate moves and veteran players are bringing a totally different attitude to a team that has been faceless for many seasons. The idea of trading the third pick overall, though very seldom sought after, is intriguing. The added desire for Aaron Curry could possibly attract a bidder.

The early rumors had Kansas City trading Tony Gonzales to Atlanta and of recent rumblings to Philadelphia. The minimum trade value should be a second or Tony would be given away for free.

Both teams would increase their offensive strike capability ten fold creating new defensive match situations and big smiles to Matt Ryan or Donovan McNabb (as of this writing I am now updating this trade as Tony Gonzales has been traded to Atlanta for their second round pick in 2010). This now represents another scenario, the lack of targets for the Chiefs quarterback.

Bobby Engram is an added veteran, but the addition of tight end Sean Ryan does not give the Chiefs that “go to” threat. A deal for Anquan Boldin would give the Chiefs a serious threat at wide receiver.

The Cardinals are requesting a first and a third for Boldin. A better scenario for the Chiefs would be the third overall and a fourth (pick 102) or a future draft pick.

The Chiefs are well under the cap and signing Boldin is very realistic. Is the cost too much?

Pioli would have to evaluate return on cost invested. Without viable targets, Cassel or Thigpen are going to be hurt.

Being added as the “fifth” team that Carolina’s Julius Peppers would be traded to, it could be a prettier scenario for the Chiefs although highly unlikely. The Panthers do not have a first round pick and only two picks in the first 100, 59 and 93.

The Chiefs could give Carolina their first (No. 3), their fifth (139) and a 2010 draft pick and answer the Jared Allen problem in one move. Problem. Does Julius add the Chiefs to the list?

As the time before the draft closes in, the moves are starting to happen. The one fact that stands pertinent is that Scott Pioli is bringing in a totally new feel to the Kansas City Chiefs and the fans are watching intently.

Excitement fills the air in Arrowhead again and the ratings for the draft will definitely increase in Chiefs fans households on Saturday. With the move to Atlanta for future Hall of Famer, Tony Gonzales takes hold in Chiefs fans minds. One thing is for certain; disgruntled Chiefs Brian Waters and Larry Johnson might bring more of something new. Hummmmm!