The widespread reverberations from the Alex Smith trade are being felt by clubs all around the league in many different capacities. When a player at the most important position on the field is dealt to a team in your division however, the implications are magnified quite a bit. Add in the fact that the team landing Smith in a trade holds the number one overall selection in April’s NFL Draft and that only further complicates matters.
Of course the Kansas City Chiefs hope to have filled a primary need by adding Smith to their roster, but his addition takes quarterback off of the table with the number top pick come April. For the San Diego Chargers, the impact is twofold as now they will have to defend one of the league’s most accurate passers twice a year within their division and in all likelihood have their fingers crossed that one of the top three tackles in this year’s draft class still falls to them with the 11th overall pick.
For the Chiefs, they now have two apparent options at the top of the draft in Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher. Lane Johnson of Oklahoma is no slouch either as his workout at the NFL Scouting Combine wowed scouts as well making the likelihood that one of these three falls to the Chargers now very slim.
What that means is that like all teams in the draft, the Bolts must formulate a contingency plan just in case none of the linemen they covet are on the board when they select. The first option could be to find a left tackle in free agency, but that will likely be too costly for a team right up against the salary cap. Clearly the other is to find a player that can be groomed in a later round in a draft that is thought to be one of the deepest in recent memory.
If you are a Chargers fan and were hoping that the team would get one of the premier tackle prospects in this draft, blame Alex Smith. His arrival in Kansas City really puts the Bolts in a bind as the draft is now less than two months away.