Welcome to the 2013 Niners Nation NFL Mock Draft! Last week I posted a call for participants in this year's mock draft, and got some great responses. The plan is to run a two-round mock, posting three picks per day. I'll be setting up a story-stream so you can follow that, but we will also be posting each pick on the front page.
What we will be doing is posting the pick, followed by commentary from the user making the pick. Then we will have some analysis from Trevor Woods and/or Nick Chiamardas.
The first pick is presented to us by guest commenter YoungAnalyst from Arrowhead Pride. He did some outside the box thinking to provide you with the Chiefs pick. With the first overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs select Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah.
Explanation: Hello Niner Nation! I'm from Arrowhead Pride and I'm here to bring you my pick, but before I do that I'm going to explain to you the three scenarios that most chiefs fans have agreed on, which may be different than what you hear outside of Arrowhead Pride ("Take Joeckel!!!!")
1. The Chiefs trade down 1-7 spots in exchange for multiple picks. Once they have traded down, IF Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel are available, they will draft the better of the two. Once they have picked a LT, and only AFTER they have secured their LT, they will trade Branden Albert to Miami for their second round and another pick to be determined. This is the best-case scenario for the Chiefs. They will receive probably a 1st, 2 2nds, and most likely a 3rd, along with a quality LT who will cost a LOT less than Albert would. If this mock allowed trading, that's what I would attempt to do.
2. The most unpopular pick is taking Joeckel with the first pick. The reason is the Chiefs like Albert, if they didn't, we wouldn't be paying over $9 million to play for us this year. I'm fairly confident if the 1st scenario doesn't happen, we will most likely sign him to a long term deal next year. The percentage of players who are signed to a long term deal the year after they are franchised is actually very high. However, if and that's a very big if, Kansas City doesn't like Albert, then this pick makes sense, but considering we're paying him $9 million this year, I'd say we probably like him.
3. If scenario 1 doesn't happen, this is the most likely to go down. The Chiefs like Albert and it would make sense to address a position of real need, which is D-Line. The Chiefs were 27th in Run Defense this past year, and while a good chunk of that was garbage time and teams running down the clock, that's still pathetic. The LBs are fine, having 3 pro-bowl LBs is going to help a lot down the road. The Secondary has been improved this offseason through FA so Dee Milliner wouldn't make sense.(We're paying a lot for our secondary) The only position left is D-Line which we have struggled with through the years. Star is hands-down the best D-lineman available in the draft and is going to help out the Run Defense a lot. This pick makes the most sense if there is no trading.
Star is a quality player and will make immediate contributions to a D-Line in need of help. Since there is no trading, this scenario makes the most sense.
Trevor Woods: Interesting choice. While YoungAnalyst feels Lotulelei is "hands down" the best defensive lineman in the draft, most draft analysts say Sharrif Floyd is the hands down best. Lotulelei's stock was hurt at the combine by the discovery of a heart condition. Floyd went on to have a tremendous combine performance, and Star wasn't able to participate in any drills. He met with the Eagles this week, so teams drafting in the top five have some interest in him. No one really knows what direction the Chiefs will go with pick one, and it very well could wind up being Lotulelei, or he could fall out of the top ten. I do not think this is the player the Chiefs will draft, but I won't count it out either. I consider Luke Joeckel and Sharrif Floyd more likely options for the Chiefs.
Nick Chiamardas: This is certainly a surprise. Don't get me wrong, Loutelelei has about as much upside as anyone in the draft. He's a big, strong, physical defender capable of paying all three positions along the line. Even though I think Shariff Floyd is the top defensive lineman, I like that YoungAnalyst avoided him given that Floyd is likely best suited for a 4-3 defense. I understand the reasoning here in going with Loutelelei, I'm just not sure I buy the Chiefs passing on Luke Joeckel. Sure Brandon Albert is a great LT, but he's only signed through the year. Selecting Joeckel and putting him at RT would maximize protection for Alex Smith. It would also give the Chiefs leverage next year should the decide to let Albert walk after franchising him this year.