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There isn’t much separation between Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher.

When the Chiefs traded away a second-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional third rounder next year for the right to watch Alex Smith be something in the vast wasteland between safe and spectacular, we were given at least one draft certainty: they’re not taking Geno Smith first overall.

That trade was the first of many moves that followed among the teams in the top 10 in which they scrambled away from the West Virginia Smith. For the Chiefs, the ramifications of their trade with San Francisco will impact more than just the quarterback position.

Whether his name is Luke Joeckel (likely) or Eric Fisher (a little less likely, but still pretty damn likely), the Chiefs will use their first overall pick tomorrow night on a left tackle. That’s one of the so very few certainties we have in this draft where nothing is what it seems. But once that happens, Branden Albert — the Chiefs’ current left tackle — becomes expendable…for the right price.

Talks have been starting and stalling with the Dolphins as the Chiefs seek a second-round pick (of which Miami has two) in exchange for Albert, and to therefore recoup the second rounder they lost to San Fran. It’ll all be a nice and neat little domino tumble if it happens that way, but a year from now, we’ll still return to the same questions.

Was passing on one Smith (Geno) in favor of another (Alex) the right move? And was jettisoning Albert in favor of a younger if unproven tackle wise? We don’t have the benefit of hindsight yet, but that didn’t stop me from asking those questions and more to Patrick Allen from Arrowhead Addict.

1. Since the Alex Smith trade, the debate throughout the draft process concerning the Chiefs has centered around the top two left tackles: Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. Where do you stand?

I’ve been a big Geno Smith fan since well before the Alex Smith trade. I am not sure it makes sense to trade a proven tackle to draft an unknown tackle, albeit a younger, slightly cheaper one.

But I also understand that the Chiefs’ brass has their opinion of the Smiths, both Alex and Geno, and they’ve put their money on Alex. So at this point, I think they have to deal Albert to get their second-round pick back and take the best tackle on the board. That will probably be Joeckel. It isn’t a terrible strategy but I am not thrilled with it either.

I think the Chiefs will very much regret not taking Geno.

2. And about that Smith trade. Clearly it will significantly impact the Chiefs’ early draft direction, as they no longer possess two picks in the top 35. Now that it’s been finalized for over a month, are you happy with the trade, and the Chiefs going with Alex over Geno?

Like I said above, no, not really. I am not happy with it because I’m not sold on Alex Smith. What I wish would happen, is that the Chiefs take Geno Smith No. 1 overall anyway while thumbing their nose at draft convention, which let’s be honest, is far from full-proof. Teams whiff on the draft all the time, yet most of them keep operating the same way.

Here’s what I know. QB is the most important position in all of sports, and the Chiefs haven’t had a good one in a long, long time. As a result, they suck. I would rather have them swing and miss on drafting and developing their own QB instead of continue to swing and miss while taking castoffs from other organizations.

I think sitting Geno Smith behind Alex Smith for two years would be a brilliant, old school football move. But NFL teams no longer seem to have the guts to stick a first-round quarterback on the bench for seasoning, let alone the No. 1 overall pick.

3. Will the Chiefs attempt to trade back into the second round? Waiting 62 picks after selecting first overall isn’t ideal for a team with the worst record in 2012. However, outside of left tackle there are few truly glaring holes after free agency.

I think they will do everything they can to get back into the second round, and I think they will succeed by dealing Albert to Miami.

4. Will some running back depth be pursued sometime in the mid-to-late rounds?

Perhaps. KC has a couple of talented young backs in Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray. If Reid and general manager John Dorsey liked what they saw on tape, they may not draft a ball carrier. Then again, I wouldn’t be shocked if Reid wanted another back who’s a better fit for the West Coast system to back up Jamaal Charles.

5. What other needs should be addressed?

The Chiefs need an inside linebacker. The depth at the position isn’t very good, so that could be a problem area. Otherwise, they just need to add as much depth as possible. I’d guess they will give WR a look on Day 2.

Comments (1)

  1. I do not agre with your thoughts about the trade for Alex Smith. If the trade were not made, they would be stuck drafting a QB at number 1 (there are no qbs in this draft worthy of that spot.) Overdrafting, as we will see in this draft is going to happen fat too often this season due to the fact that the talent level is mediocre. Geno Smith is not a number 1 guy. Hypothetical…do not trade for Alex Smith. Sign Chase Daniels as a back-up, draft Geno Smith (another un-proven qb), use your second pick for an ILB. OR….trade for a proven QB in the west coast system, trade your over-paid franshise player (who has yet to make a pro-bowl and missed 3 games last season with back issues) and draft the best available LT No.1. I think it’s a no-brainer, guys. If they kept Albert for one more season and drafter Geno, they would be in the same position next year only without a LT and a second year qb.

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