We all know the John Dorsey model when it comes to the first round of the NFL Draft. Since he has been in Kansas City his first round pick has seemingly been a replacement for another player on the roster at a premium position hitting free agency soon.
It's not a perfect rule but:
2013: OT Eric Fisher - Branden Albert
2014: LB Dee Ford - Tamba Hali / Justin Houston
2015: CB Marcus Peters - Sean Smith
Dorsey drafts for need like all teams (despite what they say) but also with the future in mind. He does seem to be looking down the road with some of these picks or it's just a huge coincidence.
So which players and position fits the Dorsey model for the 2016 NFL Draft?
Dontari Poe, Defensive Line
He's in the final year of his contract, the fifth year option from his rookie deal. This is a tough deal because of the factors at play here. On the one hand, Poe is damn near impossible to replace. Hardly any defensive linemen play the number of snaps he does. He's a true freak of nature. You probably need two players to replace him since the Chiefs don't really have a true backup nose tackle because he never comes off the field. On the other hand, Poe's so good that his next contract is going to be bonkers. I absolutely do not want to lose Poe but it's a totally defensible position for Dorsey to draft for that possibility. Dorsey said months earlier that the Chiefs will get to Poe's contract, whatever that means.
Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle
Fisher's fifth year option decision is due after the draft. The Chiefs are waiting until after the draft to make that decision. I don't want to pay Fisher $12 million in 2017. If he were willing to agree to an extension that brought that number down significantly, I would be interested because I do see Fisher as a player on the rise, consistently getting better. However, if the contract is an issue - as in if he wants to be paid like Joe Thomas - the Chiefs can simply draft his replacement, pay that guy $8 million over four years instead of $8-plus million per year for Fisher. I don't think the scenario where the Chiefs draft Fisher's replacement has been talked about enough.
Eric Berry, Safety
I don't see this one as likely as the others because of the external factors here, namely that Berry is an all-time Chief and I just can't see them parting ways. However, he partially fits the model of replacing an important player hitting free agency. Where he does not fit is that safety is not one of the so-called premium positions. Maybe the way the Chiefs view of safety is colored by the number of times they have five or more defensive backs on the field - meaning that a third safety could be near a full-time player - but historically we do not call safety a premium position.