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Thursday, March 7, 2013
More thoughts on Albert and the top pick

By Bill Williamson

One of the more interesting storylines in the NFL is what the Kansas City Chiefs are going to do with the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft.

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Despite using the franchise tag on their left tackle, the Chiefs could still draft a blue-chip lineman such as Eric Fisher.
The issue got more intriguing Wednesday night when the team cut solid right tackle Eric Winston. It put back in the play the possibility of the Chiefs drafting either Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher with the top pick. Both players are left tackles. Joeckel is considered a slightly better prospect by many analysts, but Fisher is also highly regarded. The possibility of either player being the top pick seemed to lessen Monday when the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert. But now either player could be taken to replace Winston at right tackle and to provide insurance if a long-term deal isn’t reached with Albert.

Here are some more thoughts on the issues:

Scout think Joeckel and Fisher can play right tackle: I reached out to Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. This is what he said: “I think they can both play on the right or left. Fisher actually started four games at right tackle in 2010. I also think both are Day 1 starters regardless of where you play them.”

Albert isn’t the answer at right tackle: Forget the idea of Kansas City taking Joeckel or Fisher to play on the left side and sliding Albert to the right side. Albert is adamant that he is a left tackle. Teams usually don’t place a $9.7 million franchise tag on a right tackle. That type of commitment is reserved for left tackles. Plus, like most franchised players, Albert is not overly happy. The Chiefs do not want to further upset him by changing his position.

Albert could always be traded: The Chiefs can always decide to draft Joeckel or Fisher to play left tackle, plug the hole at right tackle with someone else and trade Albert. There would be a market for him. The Chiefs would like to recoup the second-round pick given up in the Alex Smith trade. I’m sure several teams with a high second-round pick would be interested in Albert. You don’t think the Chargers would give a second-round pick for Albert? I’d even think he could be a late first-round pick in the right situation. That way, the Chiefs could also save a load of money. I’m not sure how likely such a scenario is, but it is a possibility.

Andy Reid will be tempted: New Kansas City coach Andy Reid likes to draft big folks. In Philadelphia, Reid took an offensive or defensive lineman in the first round eight times. So, taking a player and plugging him in at right tackle wouldn’t make Reid blink.