Over at Big Cat Country, one of their moderators asked their fans, "which Chiefs player should Jaguar fans want?" When I read over the article and responses, I asked myself the next logical question: which Jaguars player (if any) would I want on the Chiefs? So, I toddled over to the Jaguars' official roster page (you could also check out their depth chart if you prefer to visualize things that way) and found a few candidates:
(Format: Name, position, experience.)
1. Tyson Alualu, DL, 4th year. First things first: it's pronounced AH-lu AH-lu. Now that we have that cleared up:
Argument for: Alualu is versatile, lining up at both DT and DE his first three years. He's been their best defensive player the last three years, and tied for the team lead in sacks with 3.5 last season. That's not very many, but some context is in order. The Jaguars have an awful pass rush, so if he was surrounded by better players in the front seven (like, say a Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, and Dontari Poe), and a better secondary (you know, like Eric Berry, Brandon Flowers, and Sean Smith), those numbers might make a jump. Objectively he's a better player than Tyson Jackson, and would be a better player at the DE spot.
Argument against: He's technically more of a 4-3 DT than a 3-4 DE, but he's versatile enough to handle a switch without too much of a problem. Besides, Sutton has no problem moving his linemen all over the line. He's also on the fourth year of his contract, which means his rookie deal is just about up. You'd have to pay him sooner than anyone else on this list. Also, while Jackson isn't the best 3-4 DE in the world, the other players fill bigger needs for the Chiefs.
2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Rookie.
Argument for: Look, let's not pretend we're not all intimately familiar with Joeckel. He was the second overall pick in the draft this year, and a lot of experts thought he was a lock to go first overall. Positionally, there are concerns about Branden Albert's health (back), and he is playing this year on the franchise tender so he may not be around after this year. Joeckel would pair with Eric Fischer to give the Chiefs their two bookend tackles for the next ten years. Can't ask for much more than two guys who are (basically) number one overall picks, right?
Argument against: The biggest argument against is that he's a rookie, and we don't really know how good he's going to be yet. We know that Alualu is a great D-lineman, but we don't know how good (or bad) Joeckel is going to be. Also, if you're ranking the Chiefs' needs right now, OT isn't the biggest one.
3. Cecil Shorts III, WR, 3rd year. Let's give it up for Mount Union (D-III), everybody!!
Argument for: As it stands right now, wide receiver is by far the Chiefs' biggest need. Shorts is a home run threat, and last year he racked up nearly 1,000 receiving yards (979, to be exact) on only 55 catches with 7 TD's. Obviously the TD numbers will fluctuate, but he was second in the NFL with four catches of 50-plus yards last season (three TD's) and second in the NFL with five TD catches of 20-plus yards. He would bring a dynamic weapon to the offense.
Argument against: There isn't a lot to dislike about Shorts. He could add a dimension to the Chiefs' offense that they currently lack and he'd be a "good story" guy, someone you want to root for. But. If I could have any player on the Jaguars' roster, and I'm taking a WR, I'd rather have...
4. Justin Blackmon, WR, 2nd year.
Argument for: Blackmon clearly fills the Chiefs' current biggest need: a legitimate No. 2 receiver across from Dwayne Bowe. He's clearly more talented than Shorts, and along with Bowe and Charles would give opposing DC's nightmares (can you imagine trying to gameplan for Bowe, Charles and Blackmon?). As only a second year player, he would fit in with the Chiefs core for years to come. The Chiefs also have enough veterans on the team to keep him in line. Yes he's suspended for the first four games of this season for smoking pot, but last time the Chiefs took a chance on a player with a history with marijuana it worked out ok for them. I'd bet on the Chiefs' infrastructure to keep Blackmon on the straight and narrow.
Argument against: I'm not going to pretend like him being a head case isn't the biggest concern with this kid. A lot of talented players didn't make it because of those six inches between their ears: Vince Young, Pacman Jones, Rolando McClain, Titus Young, Aaron Hernandez (too soon?). So the Chiefs would have to commit to helping him stay out of trouble. Other than that, he's the best fit.
Considered, but ultimately rejected: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, 8th year. MJD is probably the Jaguars best, most consistent player, but his drawbacks outweigh his positives. First, he's already 28, with 1,570 rushing attempts and another 300 receptions. That's a lot of punishment for a player his size to take in seven years. He's going to break down sooner rather than later. Second, because he's been in the league so long, you're paying him premium dollar immediately. And if you're only getting two (three if you're lucky) good years out of him, that's not the most return on the dollar. Taking the franchise view, someone like Blackmon or Joeckel makes far more sense, as they're on a great contract and can be with the team (and useful to the team) for a decade or more.
Ultimately for me, the choice would have to be Blackmon. He would fill the Chiefs' biggest need, he has the most potential, and he would give the Chiefs a legitimate third playmaker after Bowe and Charles. I also have no doubt Ried and the team's veterans would be able to keep him in line. He's the best choice when you consider price, amount of time he'd be with the team, age, and what he brings to the table.