2013 NFL Draft: Five Options for Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1

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Kansas City Chiefs have several options with first pick

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Following their pitiful 2-14 finish in 2012, the Kansas City Chiefs have earned themselves the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft.

In hopes of giving themselves a better chance at avoiding an encore in 2013, the Chiefs immediately fired their head coach, bringing in former Philadelphia Eagles leader Andy Reid to usher the team into a new era. With Reid in place and a new General Manager soon to be joining him in Kansas City, there are plenty of changes on their way for the Chiefs.

One of the best ways that the new regime can put their stamp on this Chiefs franchise is by making an impact pick at the top of the 2013 NFL Draft. There are several options ranging from promising quarterbacks to dominant defensive tackles, but none are no-brainers at this point. One way or another, though, the route they take at No. 1 will drastic change the direction of this club moving forward.

More than anything, the pick needs to fit the formula that Reid has in mind. If he’s planning on winning sooner rather than later, he should consider drafting the quarterback that he feels gives him the best chance to be victorious early. If he has a long-term winning plan on the table, Reid should invest in an offensive tackle or defensive end who can be a game-changer for the next decade.

Even at No. 1, there are plenty of options available for the Chiefs. Here’s a look at the top five prospective players and what they would bring to the table for Reid and Co.

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Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State

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The defensive line has been one of the Chiefs’ biggest weaknesses over the past few seasons as top draft picks like Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe continue to flounder. Although Kansas City boasts some top pass-rushers like Tamba Hali and Justin Houston at outside linebacker, the defensive end spot needs an injection of youth and athleticism. That’s where a player like Werner comes in. The former Seminole was simply dominant throughout the 2012 season, and is rearing to make his mark in the NFL. If he can continue to outperform the competition throughout the next few months, Werner could definitely elevate himself into the Top 5.

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Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC

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Regardless of whether or not the 2013 draft class offers enough talent at the position, the Chiefs need a quarterback badly. A year ago, Barkley was seen as a top prospect, but decided to stay in school and spent his entire senior season struggling. Now battling his way back from a shoulder injury, Barkley will have to prove throughout the next few months that he’s back to full health and ready to make an impact at the next level. If Barkley has any hopes of going in the Top 10, he’ll need to shine in pre-draft workouts. If he performs up to potential, though, he could find his name in the No. 1 overall pick conversation when April rolls around.

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Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah

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Last year, the Chiefs spent their first-round pick on Poe in hopes that the defensive tackle from Memphis would be the difference maker that they needed in the middle of the defense. By what he showed throughout the 2012 campaign, there’s a good chance that Poe might not be that playmaker the Chiefs thought they were getting at No. 11 overall. A player like Lotulelei is no mere workout warrior, though; he is the real deal. As disruptive of a defensive tackle as you’ll find in the college ranks, the Utah star has the potential to be a Haloti Ngata-type player. It’s a lot to invest in one position, but Lotulelei might just present enough talent to make the Chiefs roll the dice.

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Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia

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Considered by most to be the top quarterback prospect in the 2013 draft class, Smith has the potential to be an outstanding starter at the next level. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, though, he’s far from being a sure thing as a franchise passer. Despite possessing terrific athleticism and a strong throwing arm, there are significant holes in Smith’s game that would make any team hesitant to put their future in his hands. Smith started his senior year with a bang, but fizzled down the stretch and struggled mightily in his college finale. It’s going to take an outstanding pre-draft showing to dispel doubters, but Smith could show just enough to entice the Chiefs into taking a risk with him at No. 1.

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Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M

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Yes, the Chiefs have a solid left tackle in Brandon Albert. Still, it’s not very often that a blindside blocker of Joeckel’s caliber comes along. Considered by many to be the No. 1 prospect in the 2013 draft class, Joeckel should immediately upgrade an NFL offensive line tenfold and give even the most skittish of quarterbacks some sense of security. Throughout his college career, he helped skyrocket quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel to stardom, and shouldn’t have too much trouble doing the same at the next level. If the Chiefs want a real building block to shape their future with, they should draft Joeckel.

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