Draft Scenario #2
2) Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan
The highest rated offensive lineman in the 2008 class was signed Tuesday.
1) St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, DE, Virginia
With the draft's second pick, the Rams add an outside pass-rush threat to complement the aging Leonard Little and 2007 first-round selection Adam Carriker.
3) Atlanta Falcons - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
New Falcons' coach Mike Smith knows something about strong play on the defensive line, having run the Jaguars' defense that held the Chiefs to a measly 10 rushing yards last October. Dorsey could be the Falcons' version of John Henderson, if not better.
4) Oakland Raiders - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
The Raiders surprise some with their first pick, opting for Ellis in the hopes that he'll fill the hole left by Warren Sapp. Lane Kiffin's familiarity with Ellis from their days at USC helps give the defensive tackle the nod over Darren McFadden and Vernon Gholston.
5) Kansas City Chiefs – Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Depending on how the Chiefs feel about the remaining players, the above could be something of a worst-case scenario. With McFadden, Gholston, and Matt Ryan likely sitting as the top three players on KC's board at this point, the major question would revolve around the Chiefs' feelings toward the Boston College quarterback.
If they consider Ryan worthy of the fifth pick no matter the circumstance, he becomes something of a no-brainer in this scenario. I prefer to think the Chiefs would like to give Brodie Croyle another year, behind a hopefully improved offensive line. But if the chips fall this way and Ryan is the best player on KC's board, it may be difficult to pass.
If the Chiefs aren't sold on Ryan as a franchise quarterback, he becomes a non-issue. But the team would still have a tough decision to make. Even if Jared Allen isn't traded by Saturday, there's been enough talk of the Minnesota Vikings trying to sign him to an offer sheet after the draft that Kansas City would need to keep that possibility in the back of their minds.
If Allen is traded or otherwise leaves, taking Gholston as a replacement would seem the obvious move. But the popular assumption is that the Ohio State pass rusher would work best as an outside linebacker – the teams most interested in him run the 3-4 defense. Knowing that, would the Chiefs pick him to be a hand-on-the-ground defensive end?
If Kansas City doesn't feel good about Gholston fitting their scheme, the remaining option is McFadden. The Arkansas running back would almost surely be the highest rated player on KC's board, but the drawbacks of selecting him have been well documented.
If the Chiefs aren't sold on Ryan, don't think Gholston will fit, and can't justify McFadden, they obviously would look for a trade-down partner. Luckily, there should be a number of teams interested in those three players, so it shouldn't be difficult for the Chiefs to move back.
That would allow them to take an offensive lineman such as Branden Albert or Ryan Clady without having to reach at the #5 spot. Or perhaps Herm Edwards would break from tradition and use his first round pick on one of the draft's top cornerbacks. Maybe the Chiefs would look at Keith Rivers, the linebacker from USC, who many project as an ideal fit in a Cover 2 defense.
Like last week, however, trying to work out a trade is too easy an answer for our purposes. We'll assume the Chiefs can't get an offer worth taking and stay at #5.
What would Herm do?
If the Chiefs are sold on Ryan he becomes the obvious choice. But I don't think Kansas City likes Ryan as much as they let on with their presence at his pro day.
I tend to think that show was more for the benefit of other teams – for example, if the Atlanta Falcons thought Baltimore was their only competition for Ryan, they could trade back a few spots and still grab him before the Ravens pick at #8. That could mean a team like New York or New England moving up to grab a player the Chiefs covet.
But with the Chiefs expressing an interest in Ryan, it could help force the Falcons' hand. If Atlanta is serious about taking Ryan, they may have to pull the trigger with the third pick, helping another top player slip one step closer to #5.
So with Ryan out of the equation, it's down to Gholston and McFadden. Obviously, the Jared Allen situation will play heavily into this decision.
Aside from Gholston projecting to a 3-4 defense, there's been a fair amount of criticism coming his way for taking games off and not dominating lesser competition. That isn't to say he's not a good player, but if Allen was traded and the Chiefs had an extra selection, would they have to use the #5 pick on Allen's replacement?
Not necessarily. They would still have a shot at a number of talented defensive ends later in the draft. Perhaps they would use their extra first round pick on Florida's Derrick Harvey, as many are assuming the Vikings will do if they don't acquire Allen. Phillip Merling of Clemson, Quentin Groves of Auburn, and Gardner-Webb's Brian Johnson – a small school defensive end in the mold of Jared Allen – would all be possibilities in the second round and beyond.
Many would question it, but I think Herm would go with McFadden in this situation. He'd be the best player the Chiefs could take, and would instantly add a whole new dimension to Chan Gailey's offense.
What do you think? Make your thoughts heard over on the Warpaint message boards and I'll be back before the draft with the final edition of "What Would Herm Do?"
What Would Herm Do? Draft Scenario #2
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