The Kansas City Chiefs are at a pivotal spot right outside of the top ten — the perfect place in the 2012 NFL Draft for a player who unexpectedly tumbles out of the first tier of players taken. It happens every year, and the Chiefs know that a prized prospect could fall to them in the right circumstances. Peter King of Sports Illustrated has another use for that pick: trading it to the highest bidder for Ryan Tannehill.
In King’s latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, the NFL analyst believes the Chiefs will not pull the trigger should the Texas A&M quarterback fall. Instead he has the Chiefs utilizing the position to gain some additional draft assets to a team desperate to trade up. King writes:
In the unlikely event Tannehill makes it out of the top 10, I believe he’ll be the 11th overall pick. That spot belongs to the Chiefs. I don’t see the Chiefs taking Tannehill. I see Kansas City taking the best offer for the pick, and there will certainly be offers for that pick if Tannehill slips. Still, the most likely scenarios are Tannehill to Cleveland at four or Miami at eight. But why 11? Because teams around the league know how much Seattle loves Tannehill.
And you can write this down: If Tannehill were to be there at 12, Seattle would take him, even though the Seahawks just paid medium dollar for Matt Flynn in free agency. That’s how much Seattle loves him. "At Tannehill’s workout,‘’ one source told me, "[coach] Pete Carroll was giggling like a schoolgirl watching him throw. His attitude was like, ’What are we even doing here? He’ll never be there for us.’ ’’
The Chiefs have worked out Tannehill privately and the word is that he’s also visited the Kansas City area this offseason. Thus it’s still a possibility that Tannehill emerges as the Chiefs pick, should he remain available. The Chiefs have publicly stated that they want to increase the level of competition at quarterback with Matt Cassel, and while they’ve signed Brady Quinn already, that hardly seems the move that anyone expected.
But if King is right, then the Chiefs could look later in the draft for another quarterback — perhaps Brandon Weeden or Russell Wilson — for the chance to trade down and acquire more picks. They did the same last year and gained a third round pick that became Justin Houston in the move from No. 21 with the Browns (Phil Taylor) to No. 27 (Jon Baldwin).