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Despite giving the franchise tag to Branden Albert, some still think that Joeckel could be the top pick of the draft. Is that the wisest decision for Kansas City?
The team that most people are looking to in terms of this year's NFL Draft is obviously the Kansas City Chiefs. After all, they are on the clock. However, things definitely got a lot more complicated this week after the Chiefs traded for quarterback Alex Smith (and gave up their second-round pick this year in addition to a 2014 pick) and gave the franchise tag to tackle Branden Albert.
But they were going to take Geno Smith? But they were going to take Luke Joeckel? Yes, it gets rather complicated when the supposed two best prospects in the draft and the ones most mocked to Kansas City... have seemingly already been replaced.
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However, just because Kansas City is likely planning on keeping Albert, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's going to play at left tackle. The Chiefs still have space on the offensive line to fit a variety of needs and Joeckel is still thought by many to be significantly better than Albert. Both in the long-term and now. Rob Rang of CBS Sports still has Joeckel as the pick in his latest mock draft:
Throughout their respective NFL careers, head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey have preferred taking the best player available approach on draft day. Their trade for quarterback Alex Smith allows them to do so in 2013. Joeckel was beaten by fellow offensive tackles Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) and Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) in the athletic drills at the combine but offers the three-year starter is the more polished and tested blocker who compares favorably to Matt Kalil, selected No. 4 overall by the Vikings a year ago. Joeckel would fill the hole at left tackle if incumbent starter Branden Albert is moved to right tackle or inside to guard.
A thorough explanation indeed. However, the Chiefs just as easily could take a defensive lineman without ruffling as many feathers or overpaying for a right guard or right tackle if Albert is moved away from protecting Alex Smith's blindside. Still, Joeckel isn't terribly unlikely, and a lot will change between now and April's draft.
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