What Would Herm Do? Final Draft Scenarios

With the Jared Allen trade officially in the books, the Chiefs have a whole new set of options at the top of their draft. And with things looking a little clearer now that the first pick is set, we'll take a look at the scenarios that are most likely to play out on Saturday.

Final Draft Scenario #1

1) Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan

2) St. Louis Rams - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

3) Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

4) Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

This may be the best possible way the chips could fall for the Chiefs. The Rams appear to be leaning towards Dorsey, who the Falcons are also said to covet. But without the big defensive tackle available here, the Falcons pull the trigger on Ryan, since they can't guarantee he'll still be there if they trade down below pick #5.

The Raiders would have McFadden, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, and Sedrick Ellis to pick from at the top of their board. Really, they could go with any of those players, but the offensive explosion McFadden offers is too much for Al Davis to pass up.

And with the Chiefs now in the market for a pass rusher, the best two in the draft – Long and Gholston – remain on the board at pick #5. In the last edition of "What Would Herm Do?" I had the head coach opting for Darren McFadden over Gholston, so this decision would seem like a no-brainer. Obviously, if I don't think Herm would take Gholston over McFadden, I wouldn't have him taking Gholston over Chris Long.

And that's true – if things shake out this way, I think Long would be the Chiefs' pick. But when I explained the thought-process of why I didn't think Herm would go for Gholston last time, I think I came off more negatively towards Gholston than I intended.

So just to be clear, Gholston would be a good choice for the Chiefs. Many have referred to Chris Long as a "safe" pick because teams know what they're going to get from him. The same can't be said for Gholston. The major criticism he's drawn is that he doesn't show up in all his game film, taking plays off and perhaps just being lazy.

But when he does show up, he does it in a big way. Gholston's combination of speed, strength, and athletic ability give him the largest upside of any player in this draft. In fact, he may have the largest upside of any player who's come out of college in several years. And, don't forget, Gholston came out a year early, so he didn't even reach his peak at Ohio State.

Taking Gholston over Long would be a risky move. Knowing Herm, Carl Peterson, and the Chiefs, I can't see them taking that chance. Then again, trading Jared Allen was a risk. If a team can get Gholston to play to his potential, he'll be a better player than Long. He could be better than almost every other pass rusher in the league.

Sometimes, teams have to gamble to be great.

Final Draft Scenario #2

1) Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan

2) St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, DE, Virginia

3) Atlanta Falcons - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

4) Oakland Raiders - Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State

With the Rams making the second of their two likely decisions, the draft quickly turns into a worst-case scenario for the Chiefs. The Raiders would surely debate between Gholston and McFadden, but the final factor in their decision could revolve around what Herm would do.

The Chiefs aren't likely to take McFadden, but they'd surely consider Gholston if he was there. It's one thing for a team to pass on a player they like, but if passing means you have to play that same guy twice a year, that's another story altogether. That fact alone could lead to the Raiders opting for Gholston.

In this scenario all the top pass rushers are gone. Incidentally, ESPN's Mel Kiper has the top of his final mock draft playing out this way. He has the Chiefs taking Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey at #5, which would be an enormous reach - before the Allen trade, the Vikings were hoping Harvey would still be there at #17.

What would Herm do if things fell like this? Well, we'd definitely find out what the Chiefs think of Matt Ryan. If they aren't sold on him, we'll see if they stick to the best player available philosophy and take McFadden.

And if they don't go that way, USC's Sedrick Ellis may be back in the picture in more ways than one. Not only would he be a solid pick for the Chiefs at this point, but according to Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc. the New Orleans Saints are including 2006 Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown in their ongoing efforts to move up from pick #10 to grab a top defensive tackle. If that trade has been proposed to the Chiefs, it may be a tough offer to turn down.

Of course, other than the first pick, nothing about these scenarios are set in stone. The Rams could take Vernon Gholston. Perhaps the Falcons will take Matt Ryan even if Glenn Dorsey is still available. Maybe the Raiders will take a tight end or a kicker.

Tomorrow, we'll see how things will play out for real.

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