From the FanPosts -Joel
Are we there yet? This draft season has lasted entirely too long. It has been long enough for the draft fortunes of several players to rise and fall. While most of us are overly tired of the wait, the days of the mock drafts are soon coming to an end at least for the 2014 season. I mean we've come to the point where Todd McShay and Mel Kiper agree that KC will take Marquise Lee. Isn't that like the third sign of the apocalypse? I do know this probably means Marquise Lee will not end up in KC.
While most of the debates and conversations center around who the Chiefs will pick at #23, many of us hope that Dorsey can work some magic and pick up a few extra picks. Dorsey even hinted that this could be an option in his interview on KCChiefs.com
"As the course of the draft goes on, if there’s a favorable moment to trade back and get some picks, we’ll consider that and we’ll do that, but we’ll never pass up a really good player either."
Typically, this speculation of draft trades is all the rage in the age of Madden. However, we know it takes two to tango. Matt Verdame did an excellent job of showing Andy Reid's history of making trades in his article "Chiefs' Andy Reid's history of trading first round draft picks". While Dorsey is the guy making the calls on the draft, you know he would love to have more picks. Every GM would love to have more picks. It's the currency that gives them the opportunity to get the guys they need, the guys they want.
So what does this mean for KC? Sitting in the lower half of the first round is prime position for a couple of reasons. Let's begin with the Houston Texans at the #1 pick. Their GM, Rick Smith, today said that he knows who he wants at #1. However, he also spoke of moving back:
"Where the game is played is if there's an opportunity to move and, in this case, obviously to move back if somebody else wants to come up to that first pick," Smith said. "Then you weigh what the opportunities are versus who the individual is that you want to take and what that value is relative to the value that somebody might be offering you."
Jadeveon Clowney is the consensus #1 rated player. Yet we all know that QB is the consensus #1 position in the NFL and this is the difficulty for Houston. Unless some team blows you away with a massive amount of picks (i.e. the STL. - Wash. trade in 2012), you have to take the transformational defensive talent. Also, the last few days a couple of interesting rumors have surfaced with regard to the Texans:
5/1: The Texans are considering passing on a quarterback in the second round because they believe a first-round prospect will fall to them at No. 33.
4/28: The Texans are expected to draft Jadeveon Clowney despite the Atlanta trade rumors, according to Chris Mortensen. "The coaches cant wait to get their hands on him."
While Walter had a typo on the first quote (meant passing on QB in the first), the premise is a good one. The big physical QB O'Brien wants should be there in the second round or they could trade up into the bottom half of the first round --- enter KC's pick at #23. However, before we get to this, let's look at another team in the top five that needs a QB: Cleveland.
Head coach Mike Pettine certainly sounds like he would rather take a QB later:
"Certainly it's an ideal situation if you can get that quarterback later in the draft and that way you're drafting a position player at four. But we're in the business of staying true to our sequence, that if our fourth-best player or somebody rated above that is there at the fourth pick that we'll feel comfortable turning the card in regardless of what the position is."
What this is all driving at is that the QB talent isn't truly viewed as top five. Every one of the QBs have questions about them. Not enough to drive them out of the first round but certainly you would rather not take them in the top 10 if you could get higher rated skill position players like Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson, etc.
Now we have all heard how deep this draft is and if you don't think there is much difference between the top 5 QB's then why not wait until the second round? Why trade up? Consider what Draft Guru Mike Mayock has to say about the QB's in this year's draft:
Ten quarterbacks have first-, second- or third-round grades, according to Mayock. That's the most he's ever had, but just about all of them need a "redshirt" year. Aaron Murray and Manziel could be the only two that can start right away in the NFL.
If the NFL views the talent the way Mayock does then the new CBA is ideal for drafting QB's later in the first round. Especially in the age of "win now" having only two draftable QBs that can start right away means you need more time to get them ready. Enter the new CBA. Sports Agent Joel Corry gives us some interesting insight into the new CBA. These details are great for teams outside of the top ten in the draft. First, we see this:
Narrowly missing out on being a top-10 pick has significant financial ramifications that aren't immediately apparent. When J.J. Watt was the 11th overall pick of the 2011 draft, he signed a four-year deal worth $11,237,498, which was $764,148 less Blaine Gabbert's four-year deal as the 10th overall pick. Watt's 2015 salary, his option year, is $6.969 million. If Watt had been drafted one pick higher, his 2015 salary would be $10.633 million, a difference of $3.664 million.
The two tiers of option year salary creates added valued for those picks right outside of the top 10. Not only are the salaries for these picks lower than top 10 picks, there's additional future savings with the option year.
So beginning with pick 11, you can get some significant savings on the contracts of your pick. So if you aren't truly sure about a QB being a franchise guy, you can lessen the salary cap and cash risk by taking them later. However, that's not the only reason. The second reason is the fifth year option the new CBA provides for first round picks. Corry makes this statement:
Under the old CBA, teams near the bottom of the first round would look to move back into the second round to get a player they were targeting at a better financial value. Teams may be looking to do the reverse because of the fifth-year option, especially with quarterbacks.
The San Francisco 49ers would have the luxury of time with Colin Kaepernick's contract extension if they had traded into the bottom of the first round instead of the top of the second round to draft him. Instead of 2014 being his contract year, the 49ers would have a fifth year for him in 2015 at $9.686 million. The extra year would have allowed the 49ers to a get a better idea of whether Kaepernick is an above average or potential franchise quarterback.
So teams like Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland (who will probably hold fast at #26 for their QB but may need to move up to get who they really want), Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Oakland all might need to jump up into the first to get their guy. The run on QB's could start at #11 with Tennessee (who just declined Locker's 5th year option) and it has been speculated that the Rams might be interested in a QB at #13. Then there is this tidbit about Teddy Bridgewater:
Appearing on SportsCenter Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter called the Vikings "a team to watch" for Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Schefter indicated he wouldn't necessarily expect Minnesota to draft Teddy at No. 8 overall, but they could be willing to trade back into the end of round one to secure him. The Vikings made a similar move to land Cordarrelle Patterson last April. In other Bridgewater news, Schefter stated NFL teams never viewed him as a truly elite prospect "behind closed doors," despite media speculation to the contrary. "I don't know that he was ever viewed as a No. 1 overall pick," Schefter stated. We expect Teddy's "sweet spot" to be in the 24-39 pick range. May 1 - 12:27 PM
Rotoworld - Teddy Bridgewater
It might be that the Vikings think they could trade back with the 49ers, who have been rumored to be on the rise for one of the top wide receivers. The trade speculation for San Fran has been around their neighbors in the Bay, yet much of this would depend on who their target is. The key to remember for the teams up top of the draft is that if you fall back too far you could miss out if / when the run on QBs start.
Losing can make teams desperate and this would be the best case for KC. As Dorsey pointed out with his draft philosophy:
"Be patient and don’t overvalue players, because they’ll eventually fall to you, if you have a degree of patience," Dorsey said. "The sole objective of the draft is to make sure you hit on all of your draft picks and so as you go along these rounds, you’re going to take the best player that will help and contribute to this team and will add some more depth to this roster."
Whether we trade back or not is hard to say but the new CBA makes the conditions very favorable for KC. The crazy thing is with the depth in this draft, you almost feel more comfortable with the #23 pick as opposed to last year's #1 pick. It really seems that there are a lot more options, however, don't expect a blockbuster deal to move down. Joel Corry leaves us with this nugget:
"Teams wanting to move up in the draft should be able to get good deals in a trade because of the difference in option year salaries," an AFC front office executive said.
So are we there yet? I'm tired of all this waiting.