April 25th is right around the corner. In 18 days we will be welcoming (or booing, whichever you prefer) the newest member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Here's the latest rundown.
Geno wants to go #1 overall. Broken legs are just as nasty in basketball as they are in football. And apparently fax machines don't work a mile high (little Denver humor there). Nobody is any closer to knowing what any team is going to do in the draft. Mike Mayock still seems confused about how to scout QB's. And Mel Kiper Jr.'s immaculate black top is still just as immaculate as it was 35 years ago. Because he brushes it with the infamous Virticoli.
A brush only made in Italy. Carved entirely out of illegal whale bone. It's perfectly balanced. With low drag and minimal torque. It leaves it's owner looking like a wildly sophisticated stallion (that's clearly the kind of info you get by being an ESPN insider).
Hard to transition from Kiper Jr.s' amazing black mane, but I'm going to try.
Most everyone by now has heard that the Chiefs are actively shopping Branden Albert. In case you didn't hear it, the Chiefs are actively shopping Branden Albert. Now you too are in the know! As reported by the Thormans, ESPN, NFL Network, and Sport's Illustrated, the Chiefs desperately want to recoup the picks they
wasted spent on Alex Smith.
This has left every media scribe with the impression that the Chiefs will draft OT Luke Joeckel #1 overall. And when I say every, I mean EVERY! As in, Borg collective agreement every! Except Akbar Gbajabiamila. He's somehow managed to slip through the Collective's assimilation. Good for him. Assimilation looks painful. And that name alone is worth saving.
Will the Chiefs draft Luke Joeckel?
It is certainly possible. Nothing is ever set in stone until that name gets announced on April 25th. But before everyone buys into the assimilated press (minus Gbajabiamila) here are a few facts to consider about Andy Reid and his draft history.
In Andy Reid's 14 years with the Eagles, he drafted a LOT OF BEEF on both sides of the trenches. I went through and tallied the totals from pro-football-reference and it goes something like:
*note - I apologize. I do not have any fancy graphs, spreadsheets, or much else in general. My desktop is a basic model that I bought for cheap because it serves my internet purposes, and had plenty of hard drive space with optimal RAM. No office or word though. Hindsight's 20/20. And I'm too lazy to look around online for something to compensate.
26 offensive linemen + 20 defensive linemen = 46 total beefcakes
That's a little bit o' beef! Now take a look at where Reid took the above mentioned positions. I broke this down into two categories. Positions taken in the 1st and 2nd round. And positions taken from the 3rd through 7th.
OT- 1 (only 1 OT has been taken in the 1st round by Andy Reid)
G- 3 (only 1 G has been taken in the 1st round by Andy Reid)
When Reid drafts his beef, he seems to favor going with defensive beef vs. offensive beef within the first two rounds 9-4. While in the later rounds, it's the complete opposite 23-10.
So what does that mean for the Chiefs? This hinges on Branden Albert. By signing his tender, Albert AND the Chiefs, are allowing themselves to check out the market. This let's them find out what his actual worth really is. This could be a rude awakening for Branden Albert.
If Albert finds his value's not as close to what he was hoping it would be, that could encourage him to nut up (and shut up), and get to work on a new deal with the Chiefs. It may not. This move will either net the Chiefs additional picks, or keep their LT, and go after much needed pass rushing help. Which is something Andy Reid covets almost as much as having a strong secondary.
Did I mention how many defensive backs Reid has drafted? Let me drop that number on you in case you weren't sure. 21. Let that sit a minute. Reid has drafted 21 DB's in the last 14 years. 16 in rounds 3-7, and 5 in the top two rounds. His offense predicates on the defense being able to shut down the opposition by blanketing the secondary level, and getting after the passer.
Which would also explain why he's drafted 16 linebackers as well.
In a day and age where the NFL is widely viewed as a QB's league, this makes sense right? Reid and Dorsey spent the majority of free agency shoring up the secondary. Expect emphasis to be placed on getting after the QB in the draft. This is the Chiefs biggest area of need IMO. According to South Park's Al Gore, the Chief's pass rush is
We need a Manbearpig rushing the passer, stat!
That guy would look pretty sharp in the Red N' Gold no?
Here's something else to think about given Reid's draft history. When looking at the top two rounds, Reid has drafted:
( a total of 13 first and second round picks used on offense)
(a total of 17 first and second round picks used on defense)
Consider this. We only have one pick in the first two rounds. Our secondary has been basically addressed. We may add another player through the draft or FA to compete at S. But for the most part that area of the team has become very crowded.
Through the process of elimination, it's safe to say that we won't be drafting a DB #1 overall. Or in the top 10 should we trade down. The same goes for RB, QB, and TE.
Reid has only taken one QB in the first round. Only one RB. Only one G. And only one OT. This does not mean they won't draft Joeckel or Fisher. But it does leave room to speculate that OT, with our 1st pick, is not a lock. And given the premium for pass rushers (in addition to the contingency that the Chiefs sent to Oregon's Pro Day), Dion Jordan has the appearance of fitting the needs that this team has in the pass rushing department.
BJ Kissel wrote a terrific article about why taking a guy like Dion Jordan makes sense here. Joel Thorman has another great article about several of the Chief's candidates here. And ArrowDread threw up this very cool Fanshot of the Sport's Science breakdown of just how physically gifted Dion Jordan really is here.
Regardless of what happens with Branden Albert, Andy Reid has shown a heavy preference of finding offensive linemen in the mid to late rounds of his drafts. He's taken 23 OL in rounds 3-7 vs just 4 in rounds 1-2. That's a staggering, yet telling, number IMO.
I think the Chief's are weighing all of their options and when push comes to shove, will they pass up on this year's version of the best OT prospect in the last decade!? Or will they keep the current incumbent starter already on the team, and draft what looks to be historically, one of the most freakishly talented athletes to ever enter the draft? We shall see.
This is all circumstantial. It may amount to a hill of beans and all be for naught. But I thought it was interesting all the same. It gives me hope that we just may not be following the Borg's collective thought (minus Gbajabiamila) and are selfishly thinking about our other needs instead. Or at the very least, thinking about finding a Manbearpig to play SILB.
Only 18 MOAR days until D-day. Hold onto your butts! It could be a ride (the D stands for Dion....which oddly rhymes with Leon?)