4) The draft value chart can be thrown out the window.
The thought of the Chiefs trading down and picking up more selections along the way is one of the draft’s most appealing possibilities. But thanks to the weak state of the top 10, the top picks aren’t worth as much as they normally are.
Reports say the Detroit Lions have called teams in an attempt to move their #1 pick. The St. Louis Rams have said they’re willing to listen to offers for the spot at #2. Other teams in the top 10 have reportedly made attempts to move back, as well.
That means the Chiefs can’t afford to be a slave to the value chart if they want to move down. It’s common sense – your house might have been worth $500,000 a few years ago, but if the foundation has since cracked, the roof is damaged, and the yard is turning to swampland, are you still going to expect someone to pay $500,000 for it?
There’s no guarantee that teams will be interested in moving up to the top of the draft as it is. So if the Chiefs can actually find a partner who might be willing, do you expect the team to overcharge them?
Take, for example, the Philadelphia Eagles. With two first-round picks and the recent revelation that the team has taken an interest in offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, Chiefs fans have zeroed in on the Eagles as a popular trading partner. Since Monroe will be long gone by the time Philly picks in the late first round, logic would suggest they’re at least considering the idea of moving up.
For the sake of discussion, let’s say the Eagles are interested in the Chiefs’ pick. If you look at the draft value chart, the #3 pick is worth 2,200 points. If you add up the value of the Eagles’ two first rounders (#21 and #28) and their second-round pick (#53), it equals 1,830 points. That’s well short of 2,200.
In other words, to follow the values set by the chart, the Eagles would have to gut their entire draft to move up that high. That’s not going to happen. If Philly – a team with two first-round picks – can’t afford to do it, there’s little chance of anyone outside the top 10 being able to move into the Chiefs’ spot. That drastically reduces KC’s chances of moving down.
But Scott Pioli undoubtedly knows this, which is why you can expect the value chart to be tossed aside.
Going back to our Eagles trade scenario, let’s say that in exchange for the #3 spot, Philly offered the Chiefs both their first-round picks and their third rounder. That deal wouldn’t come remotely close to satisfying the trade chart. But do you really think Pioli would dismiss it for that reason?
That deal would allow the Chiefs to pick up two late first rounders, which – if you recall Mayock’s opinion that players just as good as those in the top 10 will be available around pick #20 – could prove to be better value than the #3 pick itself. The second of those two selections would basically replace the pick the Chiefs traded to New England, and they would add an extra third-round pick in the process. Plus, using one of those first rounders, Pioli could try to trade back again and acquire even more picks.
Such a trade would be blasphemy for those who swear by the value chart. But by making such moves, Pioli could end up landing the Chiefs a glut of extra draft picks, easily coming out ahead in the deal.
The notion of trading with the Eagles is attractive because they hold more than one pick in the first round, but the value chart theory holds true no matter who the other team is. If a team is willing to take less than the chart suggests, it makes them a more attractive trading partner and opens up far more possibilities.
So when you’re daydreaming about possible draft-day trades over the next two weeks, don’t be a slave to the value chart, because Pioli surely won’t be. Of course, if the Chiefs are talking about a trade with a division rival like Denver, all bets are off.
5) The Chiefs have to draft someone.
For all the talk about draft value, and who is or isn’t worth taking with the #3 pick, the sad truth is that no matter how badly the Chiefs want to trade down, they might not be able to move from that spot. Trades into the top five are rare as it is, and with a weak class at the top of the draft, there’s no assurance that another team will want to jump that high and take on the financial responsibilities that go along with a top pick.
The one player who may be an exception to that is USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. If Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford goes #1 to Detroit, the amount of quarterback-needy teams and the lack of top quarterback prospects may create a situation where teams are willing to overspend to make sure they get their man.
But would they want to move up as high as #3 for Sanchez, insuring they would have to pay him more than the Falcons gave Matt Ryan last year? Obviously, it would depend on how they’ve rated him.
It Stafford does go #1, the Chiefs may be able to guarantee themselves a trade-down by drafting Sanchez themselves and dangling him in front of the teams who need a quarterback. At least one of the teams hoping a quarterback falls to their spot should be willing to work out a deal, and the Chiefs taking Sanchez off the board would allow them more time to field offers and negotiate terms than the standard 10-minute draft window.
But unless that risky and fairly cut-throat scenario plays out, the Chiefs may be stuck drafting with the third pick. In the event they are, we all know the cases that have been made against certain players:
- Linebackers shouldn’t go high, especially if they aren’t pass rushers.
- It would be absurd to draft a right tackle (or to move Branden Albert).
- Michael Crabtree isn’t on the level of other receivers that have been taken in the top three.
- It’s too early to take B.J. Raji.
We could go on all day.
But if the Chiefs are stuck at #3, all of that will have to be set aside. The Chiefs will have to take somebody, and in all likelihood that person won’t be good value for the #3 spot in the draft.
We just have to hope that they make the pick count.