We’re just hours away from the NFL Draft, and we still don’t know who the Kansas City Chiefs are taking with the No. 1 pick.
Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel has been the consensus pick among experts for months. But last night reports came out that they’re going to take Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher instead.
Either way, the team is staying mum about it, and that’s a bad sign.
The Chiefs have been on the clock since January. As we saw last year with Andrew Luck last year, Cam Newton in 2011, Sam Bradford in 2010, and Matthew Stafford in 2009, NFL teams that know who they’re picking No. 1 overall tend to leak the news days or even weeks in advance.
If you love a player and think he’s a can’t-miss prospect, there’s no real incentive to string out the drama.
The only reasons you keep your pick under wraps are: 1) you aren’t in love with any one player, 2) you don’t want to give up leverage so they can trade down, 3) you legitimately can’t decide who the best player is.
Let’s go through each of those:
1. The fact that they’ve yet to commit suggests that they don’t see either Joeckel or Fisher as a sure thing. That is backed up by the broader consensus among experts that this draft is weak at the top. ESPN’s Todd McShay, for example, has Joeckel falling all the way to No. 11 if the Chiefs don’t pick him.
2. There are whispers that they’d be willing to trade down if the offer is right. In a sense, it’s smart for KC to stay pockerfaced about who they’re picking if they don’t love either player. You never know if a team that’s enamoured with Joeckel or Fisher is waiting to swoop in and make an offer at the last minute.
Committing to Joeckel would deter teams that love Fisher from making you a trade offer. And committing to Fisher would deter teams that love Joeckel from making you a trade offer.
Instead, they’ve left their options open.
3. There are also rumours that, even at the this late hour, the Chiefs are legitimately torn on who to pick. That’s not a good sign at all.
As we said, they’ve been on the clock for months. If they’re still wavering at a time when most teams picking No. 1 overall in the past have long decided who to pick, it means neither player really blew their socks off and convinced them that he’s the best player in the draft.
In short, there’s a ton of doubt surrounding the situation, and that’s a bad early sign for how this pick will pan out.
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