2013 Chiefs draft needs: Is Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel the sure-fire No. 1 pick?

John Harris

LAST SEASON Rush Offense - 149.7 ypg (5th)
Pass Offense - 169.6 ypg (32nd)
Total Offense - 319.3 ypg (24th)
Scoring Offense - 13.2 ppg (32nd)
Rush Defense - 135.7 ypg (27th)
Pass Defense - 220.8 ypg (12th)
Total Defense - 356.5 ypg (20th)
Scoring Defense - 26.6 ppg (25th) MOST PRESSING NEEDS Offense: Quarterback, Tackle
Defense: Defensive end and inside linebacker


1st round Geno Smith, West Virginia (6-2, 218) 2nd round Mike Glennon, N.C. St. (6-7, 225) 3rd round Tyler Bray, Tennessee (6-6, 232) 4th round Zac Dysert, Miami, OH (6-3, 231)

The decision isn't simple, but it is straightforward. Do the Chiefs think the future of this organization is better off in the hands of Geno Smith, Nick Foles or Alex Smith? They could draft a QB at No. 1, but does it make sense when there is no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III at the top of this draft? 

Trading for Foles would make sense, given his connection to new Kansas City head coach Andy Reid and the apparent lack of fit into Chip Kelly's new offense. However, Philly isn't making it easy for Kansas City. Then, there are the rumors about Alex Smith. Apparently, a deal is already in place for Alex Smith but it won't be announced until March 12th. As such, we'll have to wait to see if the Chiefs are the team on the other end.

Geno Smith has been the No. 1 QB on my board for a while. He's a film rat, which will impress every team that interviews him. He can make every throw but he's not quite a ready-made, plug-and-play No. 1 pick like Andrew Luck was last year. The quarterbacks Reid has selected have been tantalizing from an arm standpoint, which makes Mike Glennon a good fit at the top of the second round. He has a cannon, although his release is long. But he'll spray it all over the place until he finds a rhythm in a game. It's questionable whether Tyler Bray gets out of the first two rounds, but if the Chiefs have passed on quarterback until then, Bray has excellent value. The inconsistency will drive teams mad, but as a third rounder, he may not carry the pressure to start right away. Think of him as a 6-foot-6 version of Jay Cutler.

RUNNING BACK The Draft Board

5th round FB/RB Lonnie Pryor, Florida St. (5-11, 227) 6th round FB/RB Zach Line, SMU (6-0, 232)
FB Tommy Bohanon, Wake Forest (6-1, 246) 7th round FB/LB Zach Boren, Ohio St. (5-11, 238)

Jamaal Charles is one of the best backs in the league so running back isn't a need. That said, having a multipurpose combination back would complement him well. Signing Peyton Hillis last year was supposed to provide a different sort of look at running back, but that hasn't panned out. The Chiefs should look at fullback or those combination backs later on day three in the draft.

Lonnie Pryor didn't get a ton of touches at Florida State, but he made the most of his opportunity in the Orange Bowl and won MVP honors. Zach Line doesn't have the speed and quickness to be an every-down back, but he did run for 1,200+ yards in consecutive years. Zach Bohanon would be a hammer to lead Charles through the hole and Zach Boren is the same, although he spent the last part of his senior year on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker.


4th round Josh Boyce, TCU (5-11, 206) 5th round Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech (6-2, 204)
Aaron Mellette, Elon (6-2, 217)
Connor Vernon, Duke (6-0, 196) 7th round Kenbrell Thompkins, Cincinnati (6-1, 193)

First step is to get Dwayne Bowe re-signed. The Chiefs may place the franchise tag on him to ensure that Bowe doesn't hit the open market. The second step is a bit trickier given Jon Baldwin's mercurial nature. He only had 20 receptions last year, but then again, none of the Chiefs flourished in the passing game. But re-sign Bowe, roll the dice with Baldwin and look for late-round options to supplement that duo? Sounds like a good plan.

Josh Boyce got everyone's attention after a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine, but he had me sold long before that. He was TCU's bona fide deep threat but after his starting quarterback left school, he became the team's best offensive weapon in piling up 50 receptions over his last eight games. If not Boyce, Connor Vernon is the most polished receiver on this draft board and will catch anything thrown at him.

TIGHT END The Draft Board

3rd round Jordan Reed, Florida (6-2, 236)
Travis Kelce, Cincinnati (6-4, 255) 4th round Gavin Escobar, SDSU (6-5, 254) 5th round Matt Furstenburg, Maryland (6-3, 242)

Tony Moeaki struggled in his return from a season-ending injury in 2011. Unfortunately, there's not a ton of quality depth behind him. Given the fact that Reid effectively utilized pass-catching tight ends throughout his time in Philly, it won't be a shock for Reid and GM John Dorsey to look at this athletic crop of pass catchers to complement or compete with Moeaki, even in the middle rounds of this draft.

Jordan Reed is a former quarterback who looks more like a beefed-up receiver than he does a tight end, but he's a weapon for sure. Reid coached Travis Kelce's brother in Philly and that could help persuade Reid to take a leap on the young tight end from Cincinnati. Gavin Escobar didn't run exceedingly well at the combine, but he plays much faster and has tremendous pass-catching skills. Matt Furstenburg is an intriguing prospect who didn't get any acclaim at Maryland because the Terps struggled so badly the past couple of seasons. But he's a wonderful athlete who catches the ball well and makes something happen after the catch. He'd be an excellent value pick in the fifth round.


1st round LT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (6-6, 306) 3rd round G/T Brian Winters, Kent St. (6-4, 320) 4th round T David Quessenberry, SJSU (6-5, 302) 6th round T Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas (6-5, 298)

The Chiefs offensive line has the potential to be excellent, but it's also enigmatic. It opened holes in the run game for Jamaal Charles to run for over 1,500 yards after tearing his ACL in 2011, but it also gave up 40 sacks – one of the worst numbers in the league. That said, the makeup of the 2013 offensive line is seemingly set with the exception of left tackle. Branden Albert is an unrestricted free agent and will attract attention on the open market due to the position he plays. Albert's back injury doesn't appear to be an issue as he passed a physical recently, but the question may come down to economics. Albert will look for a deal in the four- to five-year range at around $35-40 million. If the Chiefs allow him to walk and target Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, it'll cost them four years and approximately $22-24 million. Plus, Joeckel is an eight- to ten-year Pro Bowler, while Albert may never get there. Adding Foles/Alex Smith and Joeckel changes the Chiefs' offensive paradigm going forward. Joeckel started from Day 1 at Texas A&M and it was clear that he was destined to be a top-five pick. He never got help from tight ends or running backs in pass protection. He redirects to twist stunts well, handles speed rushers as well as he does power rushers and can create downhill running lanes by controlling the edge. He's a definitive upgrade at left tackle over Albert. If the Chiefs pass on Joeckel, then there are still excellent options on the board later in the draft, including Brian Winters. The former Kent State star played left tackle but projects best inside at guard. But that versatility in the third round would provide adequate depth the Chiefs need. In the end, the best option is to let Albert walk, draft Joeckel and trade for a quarterback, but we'll see which path the Chiefs head down.


2nd round DE/DT Datone Jones, UCLA (6-4, 283)
DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St. (6-3, 320)
DE Margus Hunt, SMU (6-8, 277)
DT/DE Kawann Short, Purdue (6-3. 299) 3rd round DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina (6-3, 313) 4th round DE William Gholston, Michigan St. (6-6, 281) 5th round DE Everett Dawkins, Florida St. (6-2, 292) 6th round DE Quinton Dial, Alabama (6-5, 318) 7th round DT/DE Abry Jones, Georgia (6-3, 313)

It's not as if the Chiefs didn't put a premium on the defensive line under former GM Scott Pioli. His final first-round pick of former Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe proved to be more about potential and value rather than actual production, which was seemingly the case for a number of Pioli's selections. Either way, former No. 3 pick Tyson Jackson has one year left on his deal, but given the player-friendly aspect of the contract, it's highly unlikely that the team brings him back. Additionally, former LSU star Glen Dorsey is an unrestricted free agent. This draft is wrought with defensive line prospects, but there isn't one that has No. 1 pick value.

Datone Jones has been on my radar screen for a while. He's one of, if not the, quickest defensive linemen off the snap and can create a ton of havoc from inside or outside, which makes him a valuable chess piece at the end of the first or early in second round. Johnathan Hankins doesn't always bring effort, but 6-3, 320 pounders that can move out to 5-technique in certain sets don't grow on trees. Margus Hunt is one heck of an intriguing prospect. Since November, he's steadily raised his profile. His ability to rush the edge at the beginning of the season was non-existent, but that's changed completely as he now dominates rushing from the outside.

LINEBACKER The Draft Board

2nd round ILB Arthur Brown, Kansas St. (6-0, 241)
ILB/OLB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers (6-1, 241) 3rd round ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (6-1, 241)
OLB/ILB Sio Moore, UConn (6-1, 245)
OLB Sean Porter, Texas A&M (6-1, 229)
OLB Chase Thomas, Stanford (6-3, 244)
OLB/ILB Zavier Gooden, Missouri (6-1, 234) 4th round ILB Kevin Reddick, UNC (6-1, 243)
ILB Kiko Alonso, Oregon (6-3, 238)
OLB Keith Pough, Howard (6-2, 239) 5th round OLB Travis Johnson, SJSU (6-2, 243)
OLB Lerentee McCray, Florida (6-2, 250)

Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are set on the outside and Derrick Johnson is one of the league's best playmakers inside. The spot opposite Johnson is wide open though and a definitive need this offseason. Inside linebackers aren't typically readily available in free agency, but this year is different. Whether the Chiefs sign an inside linebacker or not, they'll need to build depth there in the draft, perhaps as early as the second round.

Te'o's draft stock took a big hit Monday after a disappointing 40-time. Still, if he's available later in the draft, the Chiefs would have to take a long hard look at him. With an extra 10 to 15 pounds on Arthur Brown's frame, the Kansas State product will also be squarely in the Chiefs' crosshairs. Brown's size was the major obstacle in whether he could be a late first/early second-round pick. With his instincts and ability to go sideline to sideline at the same size as Te'o, he's a better overall prospect and a better fit in Kansas City.

SECONDARY The Draft Board

2nd round CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (6-2, 215)
CB Johnthan Banks, Miss. St. (6-1, 185) 3rd round CB Jamar Taylor, Boise St. (5-11, 192)
CB Jordan Poyer, Oregon St. (6-0, 182)
CB Robert Alford, SELA (5-10, 186) 4th round S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia (6-1, 212)
S Shawn Williams, Georgia (6-0, 212) 5th round CB/S Tyrann Mathieu, LSU (5-9, 178)
S Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse (5-9, 217)
S Duke Williams, Nevada (5-11, 201) 7th round S Cody Davis, Texas Tech (6-2, 204)

The secondary could use a draft weekend upgrade; the starting cornerback spot opposite Brandon Flowers in particular. The former Chiefs regime couldn't, or didn't, want to re-sign Brandon Carr and it left a massive hole for Javier Arenas to fill.  The Chiefs would be better served bumping Arenas inside to a nickel/slot corner spot and finding a bona fide perimeter corner in either free agency or the draft.  The safety duo of Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry is more than adequate, but depth is limited.

If Arthur Brown and Xavier Rhodes are all on the board at the top of the second, the Chiefs will have a difficult decision to make. Rhodes' ability to press at the line of scrimmage, combined with his ability to match receivers with his speed, should translate to him going late in the first or early in the second round. That said, the wiry Johnthan Banks is expected to go in the second round and would fit Bob Sutton's defense well. Banks' first half of the season was top 15 worthy, but the second half of the season was fifth round-esque. If healthy, he fits perfectly at the top of the second. Jamar Taylor, Jordan Poyer and Robert Alford have second round grades, but one should fall to the top of the third round. Bacarri Rambo had a multitude of off the field issues, but in the fourth round, he's a virtual steal. Well, that is if he's matured into a true professional.

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