Every year the level of attention paid to the pre-draft process by NFL teams becomes greater, which means that teams are becoming better each season at running misdirection plays on the media. Teams are linked to specific players that never pan out. Positive or negative scouting reports are leaked. Trade rumors are floated. And almost none of it comes to fruition.
The Kansas City Chiefs will find themselves on the clock at No. 23 overall on Thursday night if no trades are made. From that spot, they've been linked to multiple safeties, defensive linemen, a guard, and every wide receiver ever made (it seems). Then again, Teddy Bridgewater rumors have surfaced with Chris Mortensen's recent report, which just stirs the pot even more.
If you've been around for a while, however, you know this happens every year. Here's a quick refresh of the back and forth in recent seasons:
2013 NFL DRAFT
The 2013 NFL Draft is the closest in the rearview mirror. While the memories are likely fresh, the reality is that the frenzy of potential rumors really wasn't that outlandish. Since the Chiefs had the first overall selection yet were not going to select a quarterback after the Alex Smith deal, most rumors had the team going back and forth from Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher.
Still it did not stop certain rumors from breaking through, including the never-ending Chiefs-Dolphins trade rumors that centered around Branden Albert for stretches at a time. Speaking of stretches, there were the Dee Milliner to Chiefs rumors, and the Geno Smith to Chiefs rumors.
2012 NFL DRAFT
The previous season, in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Chiefs were honing in on a number of potential defenders -- from safety Mark Barron to linebacker Luke Kuechly. Interestingly enough both were taken before the Chiefs were on the board, so they went with Dontari Poe. But there was a period of time where several mocks claimed the Chiefs were going to make a move for Ryan Tannehill, and that was followed by buzz around a Chiefs' private workout and pro day attendance. Oh yeah, there was that David DeCastro guy, too.
2011 NFL DRAFT
In 2011, the Chiefs ended up trading down in the draft in a deal with the Cleveland Browns. The selections gained turned into WR Jonathan Baldwin (bust) and pass rusher Justin Houston (boom). But every draftnik kept predicting an offensive lineman for the Chiefs -- whether it was Nate Solder, Gabe Carimi, or Anthony Castonzo. For a while, defensive linemen also crept in as potential picks, like DT Stephen Paea.
The most interesting rumor from the 2011 NFL Draft comes from the (n)ever-reliable Walter Football who broke a rumor that the Chiefs were interested in vaulting up the draft order to grab wide receiver Julio Jones. Right rumor. Wrong team. The Atlanta Falcons did just that in a draft day trade to No. 5 overall, but the Chiefs grabbed their receiver interest at the bottom of the first instead.
2010 NFL DRAFT
The best news of this draft for Chiefs fans is that they rolled with safety Eric Berry at No. 5 overall rather than the oft-rumored connection with linebacker Rolando McClain (and here), who retired from the NFL for the second time in recent weeks. Other potential picks could have bolstered the Chiefs offensive front with picks like Bryan Bulaga, Trent Williams, and Russell Okung.