The Kansas City Chiefs have been on the prowl this offseason, making move upon move since Andy Reid has been hired as the team’s head coach. Not only were they active in bringing in new free agents, but they shockingly came out and re-signed a lot of their own key pieces from the previous regime, including Branden Albert and Dwayne Bowe.
So, where do the Chiefs go now? You can see on our Chiefs team needs page that this team has addressed a wide variety of needs. Even after releasing right tackle Eric Winston, one of the best in the game at his position, the Chiefs were able to go out and snag one of the more underrated free agents available in former Vikings guard/tackle Geoff Schwartz who can play either right tackle or guard for this team.
At this point, the Chiefs’ top pick is up for serious debate. I think the front-runner has to be offensive tackle, so let’s take a look at a potential scenario for the Chiefs as we move closer to draft day.
1. First Round, 1st overall: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Of the Chiefs’ needs remaining, offensive tackle is the most pressing I think. I don’t know that quarterback is completely out of the picture here, but that would put intense pressure on Alex Smith to perform immediately or be benched again, just like he was as a 49er. I think Joeckel best fits what the Chiefs are doing, and Andy Reid has always placed emphasis on building with early picks being spent on players who fight in the trenches. That being said, I think this is the pick that makes the most sense. Investing your greatest asset in protecting Alex Smith, who was not probably the most talented player they picked up this offseason, but definitely the most important. He has proven over the last two years that given time, he can be an accurate passer. The key is going to be making him the best player he can be, making his job as easy as it can be.
2. Third Round, 63rd overall: Bacarri Rambo, FS, Georgia
One of the issues facing this Chiefs team is at the safety position. There have been rumors that newly signed Dunta Robinson will see reps at safety, but the Chiefs will have to utilize a TON of nickel and dime defensive looks facing teams like the Denver Broncos, who continue to add elite talent in the passing game. Rambo is a guy I have been very high on, and a player who could be a starter for the Chiefs sooner rather than later. He’s an instinctive safety who can do a little bit of everything, and I think he’d be a very intriguing pairing with Eric Berry on the back end of a defensive backfield that already includes Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, and Dunta Robinson.
3. Third Round, 96th overall: Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama
The Chiefs tragically lost inside linebacker Jovan Belcher last year, and aside from Derrick Johnson, there’s not really an inside linebacker on this team’s roster. Nico Johnson is a favorite of mine who is a really good run-stuffing linebacker coming from an elite program. The Crimson Tide have chugged out NFL talent ever since Nick Saban took over that staff, and Johnson has experience as a starter/leader in a 3-4 defense. The value of ILBs in this year’s draft is very low, and I think getting Johnson at this point would be a huge steal for the Chiefs.
4. Fourth Round, 99th overall: Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
Andy Reid used a seventh round pick last year on a guy in Bryce Brown who hadn’t hardly played since being a top prospect coming out of high school. I think with the Chiefs, he could look to make a similar move in going after Christine Michael, one of the workout warriors of this year’s offseason. Michael has a load of talent but has some character/motivation issues. He was benched at A&M in favor of Ben Malena, but he’s a 220 pound back who runs a 4.54 second 40 yard dash. He is the kind of guy who could provide some pop to the Chiefs’ running game but keep that added element of speed.