Here we go. It's the off-season and we are all gearing up for Free Agency and the Combine, followed in a couple months by the Draft. It is the time of speculation. Assumptions are made about cap space, available players, best fits, potential cuts. There are so many variables that will impact our beloved Chiefs. The articles are flowing rapidly regarding the problems with the Defense and what can be done to fix it. Mock drafts abound, yet we know that currently these only give us something to daydream about.
The key to helping us get a firm understanding on the future is information. While this time of year is usually about subterfuge, the bits of information we can glean from around the league might be beneficial in helping us to craft thoughts about what Dorsey might do.
In perusing several mock draft sites, I've noticed that the Philadelphia Eagles (who happen to pick #22) should be in the market for help in their secondary. Most notably, the pundits and gurus believe that they will select a Safety. I've seen Calvin Pryor selected there often. However, I stumbled upon this interesting note:
2/5: General manager Howie Roseman told Reuben Frank that he doesn't want to go into the draft needing a safety. Philadelphia Eagles Draft Rumors
This could be a smokescreen, could mean the Eagles don't like the draft options at safety or could be an off the cuff statement by a GM. For the Chiefs, this has several points for consideration. First, Nate Allen is a free agent safety for the Eagles. Who by all indications had an ok year and might possibly be brought back. If Allen is not pursued by Philly, who needs help at Safety, doesn't that make you reconsider bringing him to KC as anything more than a back-up? Second, doesn't this give you a strong inclination that the Eagles will be active in the shallow safety free agent market, thereby giving KC an idea that Philly's plans could have a direct bearing on ours?
Speaking of safeties, I think we can all agree that the crown jewel of free agency is Buffalo's Jarius Byrd. While we can dream about him coming to KC, I think most of us know that he wants to break the bank and we aren't flush with cap space as we were last year. However, it's this little tidbit from John Clayton that caught my eye:
I get the feeling that the Bills' days of letting very good players go may be over. I say that with no guarantee Buffalo will keep Byrd. If the Bills let Byrd, Eric Wood and others get out of town, then my read on the team is wrong. For years, it seemed as though the organization preferred to trade away potential high-priced players toward the end of their rookie contracts instead of simply paying them. You saw the results -- disaster. I believe the current organization is trying to build something. You can't build if you trade away some of the best players. This current management teams needs to win credibility. Keeping top players is the best way to do that. The Bills made good strides in signing Mario Williams. Now there seems to be a plan.
If Buffalo is able to keep Byrd, even after their very public spat last off season, that pushes another safety up the list for the other safety-needy teams to fight over.
It's not only the obvious rumors / information as we've seen above. It's information about players at positions that might not seem to impact the Chiefs currently. For example, I picked up this interesting piece from Rotoworld:
Steelers beat writer Mark Kaboly believes Notre Dame NT Louis Nix might not make sense for the team in the first-round."Unless he can stay on field as sub package rush (defensive lineman) it is a waste," Kaboly tweeted, adding there is no value at nose tackle in the first round for the Steelers. Our own Josh Norris thinks there are flashes of Vince Wilfork in Nix's game, since he can reset the line of scrimmage and make plays past or at the line of scrimmage. Run defense is also a major weakness for the Steelers, forcing them to devote more attention and players to stopping it.
Louis Nix DL-Fighting Irish
If Louis Nix were to slide out of the first 22 picks, that could mean that a player the Chiefs targeted at 23 was gone earlier (i.e. Hageman, Tuitt, Pryor, etc.) The assumption among draftniks and mocks is that Nix is a 1st rounder. Any downward movement in his draft stock could affect KC.
Speaking of downward draft stock, what happens if one of the QB's has an Aaron Rogers-type fall. Does this intrigue QB guru Andy Reid? I bring this up, because as many of you, I enjoy the Fanspeak mock draft and several of the most recent ones that I have simulated have given me the option to draft Johnny Football at #23. THen I found these statements:
NFL Films' Greg Cosell believes if an evaluator only watched Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel's games against Missouri and LSU, "you'd rate him almost undraftable."LSU defenders previously stated the employed a "mush rush" tactic when facing Manziel, meaning keep gap and lane discipline while constricting the pocket. With that said, teams that consider drafting Manziel will watch every single one of his collegiate games and pinpoint where he wins and where he loses. That can be said for every top quarterback prospect.
Johnny Manziel QB Aggies
2/11: "Broke down a dozen TAMU games & can say I see no justification for taking Johnny Manziel w/1st pick; too many floaters, forced passes, etc." - Tony Pauline.
Like most people I figure Manziel will be drafted in the top 15. However, should he fall and a team like Jacksonville or Cleveland take a non-QB with their first pick, it could be prime for KC to trade back. This is a very deep draft and it seems primed for a lot of deals to be made. In searching for statements regarding this draft I came across this and it seems to give an indication of what the team eight picks in front of us might be doing:
Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert called the 2014 draft class the deepest he has seen in 30 years.The Steelers have a pick in each round, totaling seven, but they might look to add more. As will everyone else. Colbert added there is "also a bigger chance of failure because there are a lot of the underclassmen who aren't ready for this yet," meaning the NFL. The Steelers have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.
CJ Mosely LB Crimson Tide
However this is also a word of warning with regard to this draft. Big risk - big reward. Finally, I'm always intrigued by the draft deal making process. Too often, I think fans overvalue or undervalue the worth of their picks. It really is all about supply and demand. The Rams are in the catbird seat once again, yet it's the team that they fleeced last go around that might be interested in moving back into the first and KC would be in a great position to wheel and deal.
2/10: "According to sources, one team that could be on the move up this year is the Washington Redskins. Sources with the Redskins tell WalterFootball.com that they believe some good talents are going to fall to the Nos. 30-34 range. Washington's first selection is the second pick of the second round, so moving up into the Nos. 30-32 range could cost as little as a mid-level third-day pick." - Charlie Campbell
Hopefully, this gets you thinking a little more about all of the other cogs and gears that impact are beloved Chiefs. I know Dorsey will leave no stone unturned in getting us to the promised land. Let's just hope a few of the other franchises make the moves that open the door for our plans rather than close them.