Owning the first pick in April’s NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs are currently on the clock. Head coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey will have a much tougher choice than the Indianapolis Colts had last year when they took QB Andrew Luck first overall.
With no consensus top player in this year’s draft, the projections for the Chiefs have been all over the board. Everyone knows there needs to be at least one (and as many as three) new quarterbacks in Kansas City, but will any of them come from the top pick?
1. Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
Quarterback is clearly the crying need in K.C., but there’s not an Andrew Luck or RGIII in sight atop this year’s board. Maybe a passer gets pushed up into this spot at some point, but for now the value of the slot says you take the franchise left tackle in the first round and then try to pick off a quarterback to start the second round. Everybody knows Andy Reid likes to build his roster from the lines out, and with Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert eligible for free agency, Joeckel is the logical replacement.
I’m a big fan of Joeckel’s and think any team — including the Chiefs — would be lucky to have him on the left side for the next decade. He is a monster that is your starter before practice even starts.
Before any decision can be made on Joeckel, the Chiefs have to figure out what they want to do with Albert. He was a top flight left tackle last season and is going to get paid in 2013. But is it on a one-year franchise tender? Big money extension in Kansas City? Jewel of another team’s offseason?
Reid and Dorsey could tag Albert, draft Joeckel and cut ties with right tackle Eric Winston, which would put off any long-term deal for Albert at least for another season. Though it’s seemingly suggested every season, there is no reason to try and move Albert inside to guard. He’s a tackle (as he would be happy to tell you himself).
It’s understandable not wanting to “reach” for a quarterback (or any other position for that matter), but under the new rookie scale — with much smaller deals for top picks — it’s so much easier to take a risk. And with West Virginia QB Geno Smith projected by Banks to come off the board at fourth overall, how big of a stretch would it be for him to move up three spots?