Okay, I will start by saying, "I know I know I know I know. We're one day past the regular season, 2011, so why are you already looking at next season, J?" Well, that's a very good question. I guess it deserves a two-part answer: 1) I can't sleep, and 2) I'm actually pretty jacked up about the opportunities that next year may bring.
So, without further adieu, let me give you a step-by-step approach that will never, ever happen... but I'm going to put it in words anyway. I'm not going to get into any kind of mock draft, although I will reveal who our first pick should be. Please feel free to blow the following scenario out the sky when you finish reading...
Step 1 - Trade Cassel to anyone who wants to take a flier on him for as much as the Chiefs can get in regards to a draft pick. I know this step will already give me grief with at least 50% of you, but I'm sorry. The guy has had his chance to develop into a $63 million QB and he just hasn't been able to get it done. Orton was picked up for pennies (well, NFL pennies: $2.5 mil) halfway through the season and even a blind man can see the offense has stopped sputtering and actually has some life.
Step 2 - Acquire Matt Flynn from Green Bay. It sounds so much like musical chairs with these quarterbacks, but short of outright cutting Cassel (which would be insane because, to the right team, he does have some value), this is the best way to get the right people in the right places. With any luck, the pick we get for Cassel can be traded to GB and we're not out anything at all as we pick up Flynn, except for excessive cap space that was eaten by Cassel and can now be spent elsewhere.
My reasoning for steps 1 and 2: In this years college draft, there are two potential franchise QB's: Luck and RG3. Both will be gone by the 10th pick. The Chiefs do NOT need to be reaching for another Brodie Croyle scenario, although Kelli is more than welcome to stay as long as she wants (hi Kelli). The solution is simple: don't reach. Instead, pick up a guy who is in the league now and has shown he's got plenty of upside.
Step 3 - Re-sign Orton. What we have now is a good ole competition and QB. May the best man win.
Step 4 - With the 10th/11th pick of the 1st round, the Kansas City Chiefs select Trent Richardson - RB, Alabama. I know everybody's thinking I'm crazy, but just keep reading and you'll understand...
Jamaal Charles is one of the best running backs in the NFL. That has never been a question. However, when JC went down at the beginning of the season, so did the Chief's chances of a repeat year. We have no plan B. So, I propose the following: instead of a plan B, how about drafting another plan 1-A to compliment JC. Could you imagine that two-headed monster at running back? If one goes down (quick, knock on wood so it won't happen), we're not near the predicament we were stuck with this year. Jackie Battle? Really?
Step 5 - In the second round, the Chiefs should draft the best offensive tackle on the board. It doesn't matter if the pick is a LT or a RT. Albert is getting better at his position so I don't have a problem with either pick. If I had input in the matter, I'd go with the franchise LT. According to the numbers I see from Bewsaf, Albert seems like he would be a better fit at RT anyway as much as he blows DE's off the line in his run blocking. I also think it's safe to say he'd be a slight upgrade over Richardson?
Step 5 is a very important step. If a LT is selected in the draft and that LT is good enough to be an upgrade over Albert, it strengthens the line significantly on both sides. New guy protects the QB's backside and Albert becomes the road-grater on the right side.
Step 6 - Draft an OG in the third round. Hudson will probably move to C and we need depth behind Lilja and Asamoah.
Step 7 - Draft a NT in the fourth round. Why isn't Powe playing? There's got to be a reason and it's obviously not looking good for him.
Other positions of need: TE, OL (depth), ILB (to compete against Siler/Belcher)
Like I said at the beginning of this post, the Chiefs will NEVER let this scenario play out. They've invested too much money in Cassel and Pioli will go the safe route by drafting a lineman... which is fine. He obviously knows more about football than I do, so if he goes that route, I'm good with it.
However, wouldn't it be cool if they use this approach? Instead of 1 slam dunk OT, they get:
1) a promising QB who has studied behind Aaron Rodgers for the last 4 years and will be able to compete for the starting job.
2) a very good rookie RT or LT
3) the number one RB on the board in Trent Richardson
Okay, I'm done. Start slamming this scenario.