On Monday, preeminent draft guru Mike Mayock participated in a pre-Combine conference call that lasted more than 2.5 hours. Tirelessly answering question after question, Mayock demonstrated once again a computerized recall of names and teams and needs.
With plenty of interest focused on what will happen at the top of the draft, Mayock eventually was asked to identify the players he believes to be worthy of the first overall pick, held by the Chiefs.
Mayock said there are four: Alabama guard Chance Warmack; North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper; Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel; and Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher.
Warmack is Mayock’s preference. “People will tell me I’m crazy, that a guard can’t go No. 1,” Mayock explained. “I think he’s the best player in the draft, so I would argue that.”
The list doesn’t create the kind of sizzle to which we’ve become accustomed at the top of the draft. And for good reason. There are no quarterbacks regarded as worthy of being the first overall pick this year.
Mayock realizes that the Chiefs’ needs could be influenced by their decision regarding tackle Branden Albert (who could actually move to guard if a guy like Joeckel is drafted with the first pick). Still, Chiefs coach Andy Reid learned the hard way in 2012 the importance of having a high-end offensive live. With a cluster of high-quality blockers at the top of the draft and a rookie wage scale to keep the total cost far less than what it would be to sign Albert to a long-term deal, the Chiefs could opt for the lineman whom they decide they like the most.
And then they’d hope that the rest of the teams agree with G.M. John Dorsey’s assessment that none of the quarterbacks merit a first-round selection. Which would push all of the quarterbacks to the Chiefs at the top of round two.