McShay, Kiper Split In Latest Mock Drafts

The Kansas City Chiefs have mostly been pegged to be taking either Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel or a quarterback with West Virginia’s Geno Smith. But what if Andy Reid and John Dorsey decided to go with a defensive lineman with the first pick?

ESPN’s Todd McShay looks at a scenario in which Kansas City could be in the market to beef up their line on defense, while Bristol’s other draft guru, Mel Kiper, is still riding the Joeckel train.

McShay: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

The biggest question at the top is whether the Chiefs think highly enough of any of the 2013 quarterback prospects to go in that direction with this pick. The second question is whether OT Branden Albert will return to Kansas City. Assuming the answers to those questions are no and yes, respectively, Lotulelei makes most sense. The Chiefs have a need for a 5-technique (DE) in their 3-4 scheme, and he is an ideal fit. Lotulelei has great size and natural tools, especially strength, but he is not just a space-eater. He makes plays versus the run and can help collapse the pocket as an inside power rusher.

Kiper: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

At this point the Chiefs could be weighing at least a handful of players for this spot, if they stay here. As of now, at No. 1, a quarterback shouldn’t be in the mix. So I think fans needs to consider that K.C. could be looking to secure the best available player here, period. From there, they either consider a QB with their first pick in Round 2, or perhaps the option of trading into the late first to maximize value. As for Joeckel, at this time he probably represents the best guaranteed production on the pick value. A gifted technician at left tackle, he is already capable of handling good NFL pass-rushers, and could hold down the position for 10 years. Regardless, the Chiefs will be thinking about total draft value and strategy, not just a single pick here.

I agree the Chiefs should be thinking about “total draft value” and to me that means doing what it takes to move the first pick to another team in the top 10. This way they can still get the quarterback they want while adding much needed pieces later in the draft to give Reid all the help needed to turn things around quickly.

Both Lotulelei and Joeckel are instant starters next season in Kansas City, but there could be a way to find that down in the first round a bit while also filling bigger needs.

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