Leading up to the NFL Draft, practically ever mock draft in the western hemisphere is forecasting that the Kansas City Chiefs will spend their number one pick, third overall, on Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.
The selection would be likely be a solid choice for the Kansas City Chiefs' first-year general manager Scott Pioli, as this was one of the team’s weakest positions in 2008, and the rumors that KC is switching to a 3-4 defense in 2009 are beginning to materialize.
So it’s a foregone conclusion that Curry will be wearing arrowhead red this fall, correct?
Not so fast.
The Chiefs are not the only club that covets Curry, as he’s widely considered not only the best linebacker in the draft but the best overall defensive player, so other teams might consider moving up in the draft to select him.
What contingency plans do the Chiefs have if Curry is off the board by the time they pick? Let’s take a look at some options.
While improving the linebacker position is a huge need in Kansas City, upgrading the offensive line is also a priority.
The Chiefs drafted tackle Brandon Albert in the first round last season, but there are still plenty of holes to fill along one of the weaker lines in the league.
The Chiefs will likely take a long look at Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe or Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith.
The Chiefs have just acquired Matt Cassel as the team’s new quarterback, and keeping him healthy and upright will be job one for the Chiefs o-line in 2009 and beyond, so taking a tackle makes plenty of sense here.
Another priority for the new regime in KC will be to obtain a quality receiver to line up opposite of Dwayne Bowe.
New Chiefs head coach Todd Haley ran a high-powered passing offense in Arizona in 2008, with such talented wideouts as Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston at his disposal, so improving depth in the receiving corps is a must.
Thus the temptation to select Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree might be too great to resist.
Crabtree is a playmaker who would be valued on a unit short on playmaking abilities. He is a big, tall target with great hands that would look good on the opposite end of Cassel’s passes.
Another possible scenario for the Chiefs could be trading out of its third spot entirely.
By giving up their second round pick to the Patriots in the Matt Cassel-Mike Vrabel trade, the Chiefs are not slated to pick it’s second player until the third round, No. 67 overall. With a team full of needs, waiting from No. 3 to No. 67 might not be an option, and trading down to pick up more picks is quite plausible.
Even if Curry is still on the board when the Chiefs pick at No. 3, look for the club to entertain all offers before finally selecting him.
Again, with Curry widely considered to be the best defensive player, the smart money is on him becoming the Chiefs first-round pick.
But after looking at other team needs, it is very conceivable that the club would consider trading out of the pick, if it would give them the chance to fill other holes on the roster. If the Chiefs are going to improve on last year’s 2-14 campaign, a talent upgrade is long overdue for many positions.
There’s no doubt that the club covets Curry, but making a draft day deal to pick up more selections is a definite possibility at Arrowhead Stadium.