I have no interest in spending another minute dissecting the dearth of mock drafts out there (even though I actually do that for fun in my spare time…seriously) in order to determine who the Chiefs might
(or possibly will
) draft. It makes as much sense as choosing to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey
with your wife because your analysis determined that’s what you think
she wants to watch. Besides, I’ve already made my bones with Scott Pioli and his draft awareness
(or lack thereof). Instead of trying to figure out what Belichick’s puppet will
do, I’d rather come out and tell him what he should
If I end up looking good with some of these picks, then hopefully I impress my man Clark Hunt and he brings me on board to duke it out in the War Room with Pioli. If I flop miserably with my recommendations, then I can still rest easy knowing that I don’t analyze prospects and pick players for a living (at least not until I get some more readers and can retire to the magical land of Kiperville or McShaytown).
I wrote these recommendations as if they are being sent directly to the Chiefs' brass on the slight chance that someone out there might know a guy who knows a guy who is the Chiefs’ Assistant to the Traveling Secretary and get it in the right hands. Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?
Nonetheless there are two projected draft scenarios I am proposing. These would both be ideal drafts based on how the Chiefs’ first round pick shapes out. Since we all know there is no such thing as an ideal draft, if we got anything close to these I would be ecstatic.
Round 1: Pick 11
Plan A: David DeCastro
, OG (Stanford)
I actually find it quite amusing how all the so-called draft “pros” out there are really debating whether or not there is enough “value” in the 11th
overall pick to take an
offensive guard. There doesn’t appear to be much debate about this guy being a stud for the next decade with most in agreement he’s the best prospect at the position since a guy who was a 7-time Pro Bowler and 2-time Offensive Player of the Year (Steve Hutchinson). Are we talking about a punter here? This is a guy who will play every down the offense is on the field and serve as the key cog in the development of the offensive line going forward. I don’t care if it’s a passing league or a running league, he can do it all. So must we really debate if it makes sense to draft a day 1 starter, probable Pro Bowler, and likely 10-year leader on your team? Sometimes guys just overthink these things and I’m really hoping Mr. Pioli fights that urge to do that on this guy. It’s not like Brian Waters and Will Shields are still anchoring the guard positions guys so I’m pretty sure you can find a way to use someone projecting to have that kind of career.
Plan B: Luke Kuechly
, ILB (Boston College)
Assuming DeCastro is gone already, or Chiefs’ brass decides they don’t see the “value” in drafting an every-down instant starter for a decade, then Kuechly is the other no-brainer in the lot. God help me if I hear the name of yet another fat LSU defensive lineman called if DeCastro and/or Kuechly were available unless it’s to say that the Chiefs decided to release Glenn Dorsey. For those that think Kuechly is a “finesse” player, I’d point to the knocks on Derrick Johnson coming out of Texas. Folks thought he ran around plays, relied on his speed too much and couldn’t shun blockers at the point of attack.
Keuchly has the same athleticism and speed that DJ possessed yet he doesn’t even carry those same criticisms. Once again I ask, where’s the problem? How does a linebacking corps of Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, and Luke Kuechly sound to you? Pretty damn amazing unless you’re an opposing defensive coordinator. Kuechly would instantly improve the passing defense (Belcher is a liability there) as well as the rush D. He has a nose for the ball and even though may not be the prototypical strong-side linebacker, his instincts, speed, strength, and ability to find the football make him and DJ a lethal pairing for years to come. One last point for the Chiefs to consider, DJ won’t be playing at his current level for too many more years. Wouldn’t it be nice to have his replacement already on the roster?
Round 2: Pick 44
Plan A: Harrison Smith
, S (Notre Dame)
I can hear the fans now complaining about using a 2nd-
round selection on a position that is already a strength. The question is, how big of a strength is it really and would Smith be able to contribute early? We have seen what Berry can become but he is coming off a season-ending injury trying to regain his rookie year form. Kendrick Lewis stepped in nicely last year but behind that the depth is dreadful. The name “Shabby” Piscatelli gives me nightmares (and hopes that at 32 years old and seriously out of playing shape that I still have a chance to play in the NFL) and Jon McGraw is older than dirt and had been put out to pasture and Donald Washington is a joke. Still feel uber-confident about the safety position? The Chiefs are one Eric Berry balky knee from that position being a liability (again). Even if both Berry and Lewis stay healthy all year, Romeo has a bit of a history with playing three safety formations and who doesn’t need more secondary help with Peyton Manning in town? Smith is a fierce hitter with great athleticism. He’s one of my biggest steals as a 2nd-round pick on draft day.
Plan B: Peter Konz
, C (Wisconsin)
Now that Kuechly helps to shore up a fantastic linebacking crew, KC should turn to the true area of help needed along the offensive line. Even though we don’t get DeCastro, Konz also instantly upgrades the line and overall depth in one shot. My concern heading into the season is that the success of the O-line is hinging on a guy who barely contributed last season and it was at another position (Rodney Hudson). I was psyched when KC drafted him in 2011 and think he can be a strong contributor in the coming years. However, he has not played a snap at center since his days at FSU and only subbed in at guard last year sparsely. Seems like a lot of faith to have the success of the O-line hinge on an unproven guy like that. This is why KC needs Konz. He fights it out with Hudson for starting center and if Konz wins it, Hudson drastically improves the depth at both the guard and center positions.
Round 3: Pick 74
Plan A: Mike Martin
, DT (Michigan)
I think this dude is extremely underrated as a DT prospect. How many times do the Chiefs have to swing and miss with “high ceiling” guys at the position before they take
someone who produced at a high level for a big-time program and gets after it? Let’s hope the answer is not any longer. Martin is undersized and has a relentless motor. I’ll take that over a Combine Warrior with no production. He could be what the Chiefs envisioned Dorsey to be at a much cheaper price.
Plan B: Trumaine Johnson
, CB (Montana)
It’s time to go after some help and depth in the secondary and Johnson is a nice pick-up in the 3rd round. He’s a small-school guy with a large frame and great athleticism. He has decent speed and is a natural man to man corner which the Chiefs covet. He may have a bit of a learning curve adapting to NFL caliber receivers but it’s time to build the depth in the secondary and he has some potential to take over for Routt after some ramp up time.
Round 4: Pick 107
Plan A: Omar Bolden
, CB (ASU)
The only doubt here is if Bolden has recovered from the torn ACL that kept him off the field in 2011. He was a playmaker and top man cover CB prior to the injury so you’re taking a risk on a guy who may not be back to his true form, however, a 4th-round pick is more than worth the gamble.
Plan B: Josh Chapman
, DT (Alabama)
Another injury risk, Chapman has the strength, motor, and toughness that KC needs in their D-line. The question is how he recovers from the January knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. While I realize there are a lot of injury risks on this list of proposed picks, the fact is that they were all excellent players prior to their injuries. Chapman is no exception. Aside from playing almost the entire 2011 college season on a torn ACL, he has great strength and shows tremendous leverage. He is what KC needs out of it’s D-line.
Round 5: Pick 146
Plan A: James-Michael Johnson
, ILB (Nevada)
Even though KC missed on nabbing Kuechly in the 1st
round, they get another ILB who could step right in and play along DJ in the middle. Arguably a better “fit” in KC’s
defensive scheme, he’s a big, athletic body who can take on blockers and also get to the football. He’s an instant upgrade over Belcher.
Plan B: Marvin McNutt
, WR (Iowa)
While he may not be one of the true “burners” or breakaway guys in this class of WR’s, McNutt has shown he is a big body that runs precise routes and can make the tough catches. I think of him like Jon Baldwin light, which isn’t bad for a 5th-round pick. The thought of adding him as a No. 4 WR makes me giddy.
Round 6: Pick 182
Plan A: Nicolas Jean-Baptiste
, DT (Baylor)
What’s better than Jerrell Powe in the middle of your defense? Having 2 Powe’s to rotate in and out so that they don’t die of exhaustion. I think NJB could be a situational NT that helps this defense and with some time to learn the intricacies of the position, may surprise people.
Plan B: Nate Potter
, OT (Boise State)
He’s a project that with some time to fill into an NFL build could become a solid player along the line and add some much needed depth. The intangibles, footwork, and technique are there so why not take a shot at a guy that just needs to fill out a bit more to become a complete player? He can’t be worse than Barry Richardson was. Seriously, it’s physically impossible for him to be worse.
Round 7: Pick 218
Plan A: Austin Davis
, QB (Southern Miss)
He’s a smallish QB who can run and has a very quick delivery. He had good production and is a natural leader. Scott, we know you like QB’s with a ton of college experience and Davis has that and more. He is worth taking a flier on to give some time to learn and see what he turns into.
Plan B: James Hanna
, TE (Oklahoma)
The guy is an athletic stud with great size and quickness. He didn’t have great production in college but saw limited opportunities as a receiving TE in the Oklahoma offense. Even though KC picked up Kevin Boss and has Moeaki coming back from (another) injury, you can never have too many quality, athletic TE’s.
Round 7: Pick 238
Plan A: Levy Adcock
, OT (Oklahoma State)
Once again I will evoke the Barry Richardson standard by saying that Adcock simply cannot be any worse. He is by no means a premier tackle prospect but has some intriguing upside. He has good size and athleticism but lacks the true strength to ward off NFL bull-rushes. I’ll still take a guy like that with the intangibles and footwork to succeed and hope he adds some of the missing pieces.
Plan B: Kellen Moore
, QB (Boise State)
Moore is the definition of a “game manager”. He had incredible production in college but lacks the true size and arm strength to be a great NFL QB. Guess who else was? Chad Pennington. Yes I know I’m going to the “Chad Pennington comparison to any guy in the draft with a weak arm” well, but it’s due. Moore is a flat out winner and already approaches the game like a pro. Guys like that are the ones KC needs to fill out the roster with.