Dreaming in the first round of the Draft (Chiefs)
Letís dream a little bit here.
That will make this missive no different than all the mock drafts and player evaluations you read and hear going into the draft each year. Ninety-nine point nine percent of those are built on a foundation of fantasy, based on media types and bloggers talking to other media types and bloggers and regurgitating the same flawed information.
So letís enjoy our own little flight of fancy. It doesnít cost anything but time. Letís speculate how the Chiefs could turn the 2008 Draft into the biggest opportunity in franchise history to inject new talent into the team.
Our premise is built on this: the first four choices in the Draft next week will be OT Jake Long, DE Chris Long, DT Glenn Dorsey and DE Vernon Gholston. Thatís not necessarily far-fetched since all four are considered among the top players in this yearís college crop.
That would leave the Chiefs on the clock with the fifth pick and two big names would still be on the board and available: Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and quarterback Matt Ryan out of Boston College.
Thatís when the Chiefs go Monte Hall: Letís Make A Deal.
Now, understand that our fantasy includes the use of an NFL Draft Trade chart, something used by every team in the league. Basically it assigns numerical values to each of the tradable draft choices. The idea is this: for a team trading up in the draft order, they must exchange picks that equal the value of the choice they are trying to acquire.
For instance on one chart, the fifth pick is worth 1,700 points and the sixth pick is 1,600 points. To trade up this one spot, the team moving upwards would have to come up with 100 points. Thatís the equivalent of a high fourth-round pick, which range in value between 112 and 96 points.
OK, back to our fantasy. The New York Jets and New England Patriots have the next two choices after the Chiefs. In case you havenít been paying attention, along with being divisional rivals, these two teams do not like each other. The Jets need help at every position; the Patriots are coming off their 18-1 run last year and they do have some holes to fill. However, the boys in Foxboro can be more selective.
Dream Trade #1: the Chiefs and Patriots swap out positions in the first round. For moving down two spots (a 200-point move), the Chiefs receive New Englandís third-round choice, the 69th pick (worth 245 points.)
The Patriots take linebacker Keith Rivers from Southern Cal, filling a growing hole in their defense with the best linebacker in this yearís draft.
Still drafting at No. 6, the Jets stun everyone and select defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, also out of Southern Cal.
The Chiefs are up again at No. 7 and both McFadden and Ryan are still available.
The Baltimore Ravens really want a quarterback. Steve McNair has just announced his retirement and Kyle Boller has never worked out as a top-notch starter. Sitting at No. 8, they can practically touch Ryan and they never thought they would have the chance.
Dream Trade #2: to make sure they get Ryan, Baltimore deals with the Chiefs, moving up the one spot (a 100-point jump.) In return, the Chiefs receive the Ravens choices in round four (106th, worth 82 points) and six (173rd, worth 22 points).
Now, the Chiefs sit at No. 8 and McFadden is still sitting there. Down in Dallas, Jerry Jones canít stay in his seat. He wants his fellow Arkansas man and the price at No. 8 is certainly less upfront money than drafting in the top five picks. Jones dials Kansas City and his good friend Carl Peterson and talks begin.
Dream Trade #3: to get McFadden at No. 8 (worth 1,400 points), the Cowboys give up both of their first round picks at No. 22 (780 points) and No. 28 (660 points.)
So in little more than one hour on the draft clock, the Chiefs will have dealt their way into a spot where they have picked up four extra draft choices, giving them 14 in the entire Draft. They would also have seven of the first 106 players: choices No. 22, 28, 35, 66, 69, 105 and 106.
And even after the first 106 players, the Chiefs would still have seven draft slots remaining.
Dream some more; those seven choices produce a pair of offensive tackles, a pair of cornerbacks, a wide receiver, a guard and a defensive end. The first five end up in the starting lineup. The guard and defensive end make contributions as part-time players.
OK, so what are the legitimate chances of this dream scenario coming true? Well, itís about the same as any mock draft you read hitting correctly on more than a third of its predictions. One of those deals may happen, but all three; thatís pretty far-fetched.
But consider this: if a deal comes down for Jared Allen, that could be another two high choices as well (1st-2nd or 3rd.) How about the Chiefs with nine of the first 106 players? Now that would be re-building!
Remember, itís all fantasy football at this time of the year. Dream on.