Poll: Who should the Chiefs take with the number one pick?

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Remember when the final seconds ticked off the clock in Denver back in December and the Chiefs shuffled off the field, embarrassed from their 38-3 season-ending loss tot he Broncos?  You turned off your television in disgust and since then, only one thought has dominated your mind.

Who will KC take with the first pick in the draft?

Don’t deny it!  I know that’s all you’ve thought about, day and night, agonizing over who the team will take.  You’ve dissected all the candidates.  You’ve analyzed the team’s needs.  You’ve argued with friends (and strangers) over the merits of taking a quarterback over an offensive lineman or vice versa.  And now it’s time to predict what the Chiefs will do Thursday night.

And so…with the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select…Eric Fisher.

That is my official prediction, and here’s why.  Personally, I love Luke Joeckel.  I think Luke Joeckel is going to be an All-Pro left tackle.  He defended the blind side of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Texas A&M Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.  But Fisher has more upside then Joeckel.  Sure, Joeckel played in the SEC against powerhouse teams like Alabama, Florida and LSU while Fisher played sub-par competition in the MAC at Central Michigan.  But Fisher graded out better in individual drills at the combine and projects to also be an All Pro offensive tackle.  Talent-wise they appear to be dead even.

So, you know the real reason why the Chiefs will take Fisher?

Branden Albert.

The franchise-tagged, $9 .8 million dollar left tackle has publicly stated he does not want to play any other position.  If the Chiefs don’t cut a deal with the Miami Dolphins for a second round pick and keep Albert, they can’t draft Joeckel.  Joeckel has never played right tackle and Albert refuses to do so.  The team would be stuck with two top-flight left tackles when only one can play. 

Fisher, though, has played some right tackle in college.  He has publicly stated he would be willing to play right tackle if asked.  So here’s what I think the Chiefs will do.  I think they will draft Fisher, have him play right tackle next year, trade or cut Albert in 2014 and then move Fisher to the left side.  Plus he’s insurance should Albert get hurt next year.  Since the difference between Joeckel and Fisher is very, very small, I see the Chiefs taking Fisher with the first pick for his versatility.  Now…if the Chiefs do trade Albert before draft day, I would expect them to take Joeckel with the first pick.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. 

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs trade the first pick to another team for more draft picks.  If that happens, who knows who they end up taking.  It’ll all be based on where they land in the first round and who’s available.

As for the later rounds, we know the team’s major needs: offensive tackle, inside linebacker, defensive tackle, and wide receiver.  They also need depth at the running back and safety positions.  I expect the Chiefs to take a quarterback in the late rounds, someone like Matt Scott of Arizona or EJ Manuel of Florida State.  By the end of the draft, all these weaknesses should be addressed.

Andy Reid has come into Kansas City and completely transformed this team.  He acquired depth through free agency and now, after a three day minicamp, he knows what this team needs.  Okay, fine, drafting an offensive tackle with the first pick is not sexy.  It’s not fun.  It’s not exciting.  But it’s necessary to put together a playoff caliber team.  We need a group of talented big men to protect new quarterback Alex Smith, give him time to throw so we can move the ball down the field and score some points.  Drafting a great offensive lineman Thursday night will solidify the line for years to come and help them get into the playoffs this coming season.

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