Chiefs could be thinking CB at No. 1
Milliner one of many now in play for first overall pick
The Big Board won't change based on the flurry of moves by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, but the possibilities with the No. 1 overall pick expanded significantly as the franchise eliminated two of its most pressing offseason needs -- wide receiver and offensive tackle.
Don't cross Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher , the top two offensive tackles in the draft, off the list for the Chiefs yet. Offensive line play, and specificially strong tackles, has been an emphasis of each the Chiefs new pillars of power, GM John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid.
Branden Albert's back issues, the belief that he might be a better guard than left tackle, and Reid's background as an offensive line coach and one that believes blocking is a necessity (with apologies to Michael Vick's still-healing psyche), the elite, franchise-caliber left tackles are still very much in the picture.
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Also consider Reid called the shots in Philadelphia. And he couldn't possibly have too plentiful a stock of pass rushers -- Eagles fans don't want to hear the names of Jerome McDougle and Brandon Graham .
He also never won without elite talent at defensive back (Bobby Taylor, Troy Vincent, Brian Dawkins).
Chiefs' safety Eric Berry isn't a suspect starter, but he also hasn't lived up to the billing as a top-10 pick to date.
The top defensive back in the 2013 draft is Alabama's Dee Milliner , a junior who has the tools to slide into a starting spot instantly. A cornerback has never been drafted No. 1 in the history of the modern era.
Dorsey's background with the Packers implies he'll lead off the draft by selecting the best available prospect. NFLDraftScout.com unanimously agrees that is a left tackle -- but is split whether Joeckel or the more physically mature Fisher is tops on the board.
The Chiefs' needs remain plentiful. But a trade won't be easy to consummate. In a draft with no individual prospect worth fighting for, why sacrifice other assets to jump up to No. 1?
Kansas City might be thinking it can move back -- and still get either Joeckel or Fisher.
It's doubtful the Chiefs can find a trade partner to move back in the first round, no matter how much they'd hope to regain a second-round pick (dealt last week to San Francisco for QB Alex Smith ). Dorsey and Reid have to consider roster depth with all decisions on draft day. Without a trade, they'll go first off the board and then all the way to the third round without making another pick.
What positions are the greatest need after signing Albert and Bowe?
Defensive end: We're talking five-technique and, yes, we know the Chiefs have been down this road before only to find themselves disappointing in two LSU defensive linemen with doomed futures in K.C. Veteran Glenn Dorsey will become an unrestricted free agent and Tyson Jackson will likely be released -- he currently counts over $14 million to the Chiefs cap for 2013. They found a nose tackle last year in Dontari Poe , but he should have two new linemates in the base three-man line.
Inside linebacker: Three of the four linebackers in the Chiefs' defense went to the Pro Bowl in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston outside and Derrick Johnson inside. But the suicide of Jovan Belcher left the Chiefs without their three-year starter at the other inside spot. Their defense against the run needs a big banger to help Johnson inside.
Cornerback: When Brandon Carr left for Dallas in free agency last year, the Chiefs tried to replace him with former Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt . That failed miserably and Routt was released at midseason and that pushed Javier Arenas into the starting lineup. It didn't take long for him to prove he's better suited to the nickel role.
Backup quarterback: Based on the NFL average and the career of Smith, the Chiefs are going to need a competent second quarterback that can be productive and successful.
For more NFL draft news and analysis, follow Jeff Reynolds on Twitter at @ReynoldsJD.
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