But no matter what happens, the decision won't be easy. So as we approach the big day, I'm going to throw out a few four-pick mock drafts to set the table for the Chiefs. Based on how things shake out, we'll take a look at the available options the team would need to consider before turning in their draft card.
In other words, let's ask ourselves:
"What would Herm do?"
Draft Scenario #1
1) Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Although it's been reported that the Dolphins have begun negotiating a contract with Long, that doesn't mean he's a lock to be taken with the first pick. A team with the #1 overall selection will often negotiate with multiple players and even try to leverage one side against the other. The Houston Texans, for example, were negotiating with both Mario Williams and Reggie Bush prior to the 2006 draft.
But in this scenario, Miami goes with Long to anchor their offensive line.
2) St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, DE, Virginia
The Rams' defense was ranked in the bottom half of the league last year in total sacks. A disruptive pass rusher like Long would go a long way towards improving that statistic.
3) Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Since Michael Vick will be scrimmaging with the other inmates at Leavenworth for the next year and a half, the Falcons are in dire need of another quarterback. Many wonder if Ryan is worth drafting this high, especially since the Falcons will have a chance to grab another top quarterback prospect in the second round.
But owner Arthur Blank is said to recognize the need for a team leader with high character, and so the Falcons take Ryan.
4) Oakland Raiders - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
With Warren Sapp's retirement, having Dorsey fall into their laps at pick #4 is a stroke of luck too good for the Raiders to pass up. They'll give heavy consideration to taking Darren McFadden instead, but many consider Dorsey to be the draft's most talented player.
5) Kansas City Chiefs - ?
If the first four picks fell this way, the Chiefs would face an interesting decision. By pretty much every conceivable measure out there, the best players remaining at this point would be Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, and Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston.
First things first, let's rule out the possibility of the team reaching on an offensive tackle. Passing on three elite talents in order to grab the second best lineman would be complete and total insanity.
Secondly, let's rule out the Chiefs trading down, even though that might be the ideal situation here. The Newark Star-Ledger recently reported that if Gholston were to fall to the fifth pick, the New England Patriots may look to leapfrog the New York Jets and move up for him. That would send Gholston to the Pats at #5, the Jets could take McFadden with the sixth pick, and the Chiefs could get both Ellis and an extra draft pick for having moved back a few spots. Talk about a win/win situation.
But that's much too easy a solution for our purposes here. So let's assume that no team makes an offer to the Chiefs' liking and they decide to stay put at pick #5.
In terms of pure talent, it's hard to imagine Darren McFadden not sitting atop the Chiefs' board. He's a dynamic player who would add a whole new wrinkle to the offense. With McFadden and Larry Johnson, the Chiefs would instantly have the best running back combo in the league, an important consideration for a team that wants to run.
Ellis could terrorize quarterbacks in Kansas City
Stephen Dunn - Getty
Finally, we have Gholston, who projects as both an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and a defensive end in the 4-3 defense the Chiefs run. Kansas City doesn't have an immediate need for a starting defensive end, but with the Jared Allen situation still up in the air that might not be the case a season or two from now.
Should Gholston be the pick, he'd likely rotate with Tamba Hali, making sure the Chiefs always had a fresh man opposite Allen. His presence would also allow Gunther Cunningham to be more creative, perhaps moving Hali inside on occasion, or blitzing Gholston off the edge like a linebacker. The New York Giants showed how beneficial it can be to have multiple options in your pass rush.
Those are the options. So what would Herm do?
If the Chiefs truly wanted the best possible player, the answer would be McFadden. But with so much money already tied up in Johnson, would they really want to add another highly paid running back to the roster? There's no question of McFadden's talent, but the financial issues make the pick seem unlikely.
With McFadden eliminated from contention, I'm pretty confident that Herm would set his sights on Ellis. Edwards saw him up-close at the Senior Bowl, and according to media reports he was wowed by Ellis' dominance. It's important to remember that the Chiefs' previous two first-round picks also stood out at the Senior Bowl, so Edwards clearly puts some stock into what he sees during those practices.
A stud defensive tackle would force offenses to pick their poison, as they couldn't double-team Allen, Hali, and Ellis all at once. And it would be a big step towards building the elite defense that Edwards wants to have in Kansas City.
5) Kansas City Chiefs - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
But that's just my opinion – what do you think Herm would do in this situation? Share your thoughts on the Warpaint message boards. Next week we'll look at an entirely different four-pick mock and examine a brand new set of options for the Chiefs to choose from.