When the Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock next month, most draftniks assume they will select an offensive tackle to plug the huge hole on the right side of the line. ESPN’s Todd McShay started out thinking that way, but has since bounced around.
He started out by projecting OT Jonathan Martin and then went over to the defensive side of the ball with LB Luke Kuechly. In his latest mock, McShay is back on offense, but not for a tackle. Instead he projects a player that would have to be seen as a luxury pick.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
This is a best-athlete-available pick. The Chiefs have bigger holes along the interior offensive line and at nose tackle, but even though running back is a low priority in this scenario they can’t pass on the chance to get one of the elite players on the board at No. 11 overall. Should they look elsewhere, Memphis DT Dontari Poe would be an option with his ability to shore up the defensive front.
If Pioli doesn’t trade out of this spot and Richardson is still on the board, you can make an argument for this pick. Pairing him with a recovering Jamaal Charles would be a nasty 1-2 punch that would take pressure off the quarterback (no matter who that ends up being).
With that being said, I would much rather the Chiefs address offensive line or linebacker here. It’s not a knock on Richardson, who is a beast, but more of an indictment of the options at right tackle and inside linebacker next to Derrick Johnson.
A few big moves in free agency along the line or at linebacker would make this a pick no one could argue with. Teams with glaring needs can’t afford luxury picks, but take care of those needs in free agency and the Chiefs immediately are in a completely different situation.