Trade: Rams send the #2 and #241 (7th rd) overall picks to Kansas City for the #23, #87 (3rd rd), #163 (5th rd), 2015 1st rd pick, 2015 5th rd pick, Ron Parker, and Tyler Bray.
The Rams have been considered a strong candidate to trade out of the #2 spot because they own a pair of 1st rd picks. With this trade, they strengthen their draft options, but also add some quality young prospects at QB and CB where there have been some questions for them. It's a great trade for the Rams that sets them up to be in a strong position again next year as well. They chip in a 7th rd pick...well, because they just have too many and need to get rid of some.
The Chiefs, on the other side of the deal, shock the NFL and their fans by getting aggressive in a year where most wouldn't expect them to. The Chiefs have only 6 picks this year and a number of needs/concerns that they could be addressing with those picks. Ron Parker and Tyler Bray are the deal sweetners here. Both have potential to be contributors, but neither is essential to the Chiefs success. The 2014 NFL Draft is supposedly the deepest in 30 years, but it also features some of the top end talent in 30 years. There are a number of players available this year that would be legit #1 overall picks in many other years. Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Johnny Manziel, Khalil Mack...they could all make their own cases as to why they deserve to be the #1 pick this year, and would each have been a legit #1 overall pick just last year. So who is it that got the Chiefs to jump?
1st (#2 from STL): Teddy Bridgewater - QB - Louisville:
Both Andy Reid and John Dorsey know the value of a great QB, and as of right now, Alex Smith is not under contract after the 2014 season. Teddy Bridgewater has the makeup to be just the kind of QB that Reid and Dorsey are looking for. Watching Bridgewater play is like watching a pop-warner game where one kid has clearly developed much faster than those around him. What really sets Bridgewater apart is that he already plays the mental game well. He makes reads, calls audibles, looks off defenders, and picks up blitzes. Those are the things that NFL coaches usually expect to have to teach their incoming QBs. Bridgewater also has a good physical game. He doesn't perform at an elite level in any particular physical area, but he does everything very well. He has good velocity, arm strength, and accuracy. He can move around the pocket and pick up yards with his legs if he needs to. His game translates extremely well to the NFL. The only real knock on him is that he didn't face a lot of top competition in college, though he did have a very impressive victory over Florida at the end of the 2012 season. With this pick, Andy Reid gets his QB and John Dorsey continues to show that he is not afraid to take risks to make the team better.
4th (#124): Dri Archer - WR - Kent State:
Andy Reid was a big admirer of Dexter McCluster, so going after a faster version of the guy makes a lot of sense here. Archer has phenomenal speed and quickness that makes him a dynamic weapon in the open field. His size is worrisome, but in the 4th rd, a team can overlook that. Archer also provides a boost to the return game. His experience is as a KR, but his body type and athleticism looks better geared towards PR. He's also been successful as a RB which gives Reid, Pederson, Chilly, Ault, and whatever other hired guns we have in the offensive gameplan a pleathora of options.
6th (#193): Jonathan Dowling - FS - Western Kentucky:
All remains right in the world as we have not missed out on Dowling. The Chiefs get the steal of the draft here with a talented play maker. Dowling has a world of potential that just needs the right structure. He's got the skill set and the understanding to fill in at any S spot for us. A big hitter with good ball skills and a strong desire to prove he's better than everyone he faces.
6th (#200): Brandon Thomas - OG - Clemson:
Andy Reid and John Dorsey combine for one of the more interesting reputations when it comes to offensive linemen. Brandon Thomas fits the bill. A LT that doesn't translate well at that position in the NFL, Thomas does have a lot of talent. He's a biggun that can still get bigger, which makes him an ideal candidate to slide inside. His recent injury has crushed his draft stock, and he is unlikely to be much of a contributor this year. But with the 200th pick...the value outweighs the risk. Thomas could end up being our future starting OG...and a damn good one at that.
7th (#241): Larry Webster - DE - Bloomsburg:
The more I look into this guy, the more I like him. Big, strong, fast, athletic, and still developing. This kid has major potential. That doesn't mean he will ever meet it...but the potential is there. He has the rare frame and body type that would allow him to become either an OLB or DE in the 3-4. The build is there to pack on weight, or to keep lean and fast. This former basketball player should have all the scouts screaming at their GMs to make the move. Hopefully the Chiefs make their case better and faster than their counterparts.
Top 5 UDFAs
Connor Shaw - QB - South Carolina: A gamer. It's important to keep churning the bottom of the roster, and with the Smith and Bridgewater at the top of the QB picture, Chase Daniel's spot on the roster just became that much less secure.
Lorenzo Taliafaro - RB - Coastal Carolina: Cyrus Gray should know that his spot is an open competition. Taliafaro is the kind of young player that can take it from him.
Zack Kerr - NT - Delaware: We need to find some way to let Poe catch his breath and not get worn down. Kerr doesn't bring the same kind of tools as Poe, but he's a mountain of a man and can at least compete for that backup role.
Quincy Enuwa - WR - Nebraska: We still need to churn the bottom of our WR corps. Regardless of any speculation or optimism, noboy at the bottom of the WR depth chart has done anything to keep their job. It's time to make them work harder.
Brandon Dixon - CB - Northwest Missouri State: He's got the size and speed, but he will be a work in progress. Al Harris will have to earn his money with this one, but he's got the potential to be a contributor.
Whether you love, hate, or just accept Alex Smith, there are two undeniable facts about him: 1. He is the current starting QB for the Kansas City Chiefs. 2. His contract is up after this season. Outside of that, everything about his future with the Chiefs is just speculation. And with that kind of uncertainty, there should certainly be at least some thought given to going after our QB of the future. I happen to think that the guy we want might just be Teddy Bridgewater. Is it an expensive trade? Hell yeah it is. But good teams usually don't get their choice of QBs without making some kind of sacrifice. Unfortunately, the Chiefs are pretty terrible when it comes to being terrible as we always pick the wrong years to do it. So that means it's time to get aggressive and go after the guy we want.