Chiefs 2013 Mock Draft: Final 7-Round Predictions for Kansas City
After a 2-14 debacle of a 2012 season, the Kansas City Chiefs are starting over.
The team has a new head coach in Andy Reid and a new general manager in John Dorsey.
When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium for the first time Thursday night in New York City, it will be to announce Kansas City's first overall pick.
With that said, luckily for the Chiefs, they aren't starting from scratch.
The Chiefs had six Pro Bowlers a year ago. They were very active in free agency, acquiring two of the top cornerbacks available in Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith.
The team also took steps to shore up the most important position in football, trading for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.
In other words, this appears to be a club primed for a quick turnaround, if they can shore up their other needs with a successful draft.
Here's a look at how Dorsey, Reid and company could make that happen.
Round 1, Pick 1 (1): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Kansas City Chiefs slapped the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert in the offseason, but with Albert sent packing via a trade (more on that in a bit) and right tackle Eric Winston released, the Chiefs are badly in need of help at the tackle position.
Enter Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M, who is widely considered the most NFL-ready tackle prospect in this year's draft class.
Draftniks have been back and forth for some time as to whether it will be Joeckel or Central Michigan's Eric Fisher who goes first overall. Joeckel may not have Fisher's upside or athleticism, but his superior technical skills make Joeckel a much better "plug and play" day one starter for the Chiefs.
Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller, who calls Joeckel "the best [left tackle prospect] I've seen" calls the 2012 Outland Trophy winner "a player who can be a Joe Thomas-like presence on the edge of the Kansas City offensive line."
Not a bad start.
Round 2, Pick 10 (42): Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Acquired in hypothetical trade with Miami Dolphins.
Granted, this pick calls for a bit of optimism, but what else is draft day for if not optimism?
The Chiefs appear more than willing to part with Branden Albert for a second-round pick. With the Miami Dolphins in possession of a pair of them, and in desperate need of a tackle, the guess here is that general manager Jeff Ireland caves and surrenders the earlier of the two.
It's also entirely possible that Allen will be gone by this point, but if he isn't, the Chiefs would pounce on the Cal standout without hesitation.
Poor workouts caused by injury and a since-refuted report that Allen's drug test at the combine was flagged for being diluted have combined to ding the 6'2" receiver's stock, but Allen's loss would be Kansas City's gain.
In Allen, the Chiefs would get a polished route-runner and a great complement to Dwayne Bowe, as well as another player who will be ready to contribute in Kansas City right away.
Round 3, Pick 1 (63): Barrett Jones, OG/C, Alabama
As was clearly shown over Alex Smith's tenure in San Francisco, when he's given time to throw the ball in the right system, he can be a very effective NFL starter.
When he isn't, he can also be something of a train wreck.
Given what the Chiefs have invested in the former top overall pick, that makes it very important that the team upgrade the offensive line, especially after the personnel losses they experienced this offseason.
Bleacher Report's own B.J. Kissel, a longtime Chiefs scribe, sees Barrett Jones of Alabama as an excellent fit here, tweeting recently that Jones is a "versatile lineman" and "technician" that is "the kind of guy you'd feel good about in 7 years as he's still starting somewhere on OL for you."
Jones is a two-time All-American performer, the 2012 Rimington Award winner as the nation's top center and the 2011 Outland Trophy winner.
Jones played every position on the offensive front during his time in Tuscaloosa, and the 6'4", 306-pounder could fill a number of roles for the Chiefs.
Not only would Jones, at the very least, afford some badly-needed depth at center behind Rodney Hudson, who missed 13 games due to injury a year ago, but Jones could also likely step in immediately at left guard, where 2012 starter Jeff Allen was among the worst players at his position in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
If Jones makes it to the third round, his ability to be the offensive-line equivalent of a Swiss Army knife would be an great addition in Kansas City.
Round 3, Pick 34 (96): Jonathan Bostic, LB, Florida (Compensatory Pick)
The Kansas City Chiefs have a trio of solid linebackers in Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
Kansas City added Akeem Jordan and Zac Diles in free agency, but they are much more depth additions than impact players.
Florida's Jonathan Bostic is a prototypical SILB, a 245-pound wrecking ball of a player that NFL.com calls "an absolute hammer in the middle of the defense, especially against the run."
Not only would Bostic be an excellent complement to Johnson, but the Chiefs would be able to start the youngster off in a limited role in base packages while he acclimates himself to the NFL.
To be able to find this sort of contributor with a compensatory pick is like finding $100 on the sidewalk. Easy money.
Round 4, Pick 2 (99): Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Once you get to the fourth round or so of the NFL draft, there are essentially two kinds of picks.
There are reserve players that teams draft not only for depth but also for their ability to contribute on special teams.
Then there are "homerun" picks, players with significant upside who fall on draft day due to injury issues or other red flags.
Sometimes teams will find stars in both of these categories, and Mathieu definitely falls into the latter section after being kicked off the team at LSU for failing multiple drug tests.
However, Mathieu is also an immensely talented player who was the 2011 Bednarik Award winner as college football's top defensive player.
The Chiefs added Sean Smith in the offseason and are set outside at cornerback with Smith and Brandon Flowers. However, the team still has a need in the slot, which just so happens to be the position that the 5'9" Mathieu projects to be best suited at in the NFL.
Add in Mathieu's return ability, and this is a risk worth taking for the Chiefs.
Round 5, Pick 1 (134): Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
As I stated earlier, it's imperative that the Kansas City Chiefs assemble a solid offensive line in front of Alex Smith.
In the later rounds of the 2013 NFL draft, Kansas City has a shot at finding another potential starter if they are willing to once again roll the dice on a player from Louisiana State.
Offensive tackle Chris Faulk was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2011 at left tackle for a Tigers team that advanced to the BCS National Championship game, but a knee injury cut short the 6'6", 323-pounder's junior season after only one game.
It's very possible that Faulk will be off the board by this point, but it's also a real possibility that questions about Faulk's knee and footwork will cause the beefeater to fall to the fifth round.
If so, the Chiefs should count themselves as fortunate, because Faulk is the sort of big-bodied road grader that would be a great fit at right tackle in the man-blocking scheme that Andy Reid favors.
Round 6, Pick 2 (170): Joe Kruger, DE, Utah
If there's one area in which the Chiefs need to add talent that hasn't been addressed to this point in this mock draft, it's the defensive front.
The team signed free agent Mike Devito in the offseason, and while Devito is a serviceable pro, he's certainly not a difference-maker, and Tyson Jackson has been a huge disappointment to this point in his NFL career.
Granted, in the sixth round, you probably won't find a future Pro Bowler, but in Utah's Joe Kruger, the Chiefs could get a solid player whose production and play improved in each of his seasons with the Utes.
The younger brother of Cleveland Browns linebacker Paul Kruger, Joe is a 6'6", 269-pound end that NFL .com calls a "highly athletic and powerful" player with "plenty of upside as a 3-4 defensive end."
Mock drafts have Kruger pegged as anywhere from a fourth- to seventh-round pick, so the All Pac-12 honorable mention performer would be a nice value in this spot.
Hey, it's draft day. Glass half full.
Round 6, Pick 36 (204): Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State (Compensatory Pick)
The Kansas City Chiefs signed tight end Anthony Fasano in free agency, but Fasano is much more of a blocker than a receiving threat.
With Tony Moeaki in the last year of his contract, it makes sense for the Chiefs to look to the future at tight end late in the 2013 NFL draft.
Ohio State's Jake Stoneburner is a versatile player who spent time at tight end, wide receiver and H-back during his career in Columbus. The 6'3", 252-pounder isn't incredibly quick or athletic, but Stoneburner is a capable and sure-handed receiver.
Andy Reid also has something of a history of drafting tight ends late, as none of the players at the position currently on the Philadelphia Eagles roster were taken before the fourth round.
Round 7, Pick 1 (207): Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers
Running back Jamaal Charles appeared to be fully recovered from his torn ACL while rushing for a career-high 1,509 yards in 2012, but Charles also racked up a career high in carries.
The Chiefs could stand to improve their depth behind him.
That brings us to Rutgers tailback Jawan Jamison, who gained nearly 1,400 total yards for the Scarlet Knights last year, despite battling an ankle injury for much of the season.
Jamison is cut from a similar mold as Charles—a shifty runner who is also capable of hurting opponents as a receiver out of the backfield.
Granted, Jamison isn't as explosive as Charles, but he could serve the Chiefs well as a reserve ball-carrier who could spell Charles from time to time without forcing a change in game plan.