Kansas City Chiefs Tag LT Branden Albert, What Does This Mean for the Jaguars and the Draft?


October 14, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert (76) points as he gets ready to block against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a tricky situation.  The second overall pick isn’t as valuable as it is in “normal” draft years.  Usually there are a consensus top three or five players that are expected to go to the top picks in the draft, but this year, with such a deep draft class, there isn’t someone who is head and shoulders above the rest.

To compensate for that, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to trade for San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Alex Smith. With no clear top quarterback, Andy Reid and company wanted to make sure they got a commodity in which they knew what they were getting.  Smith may not be the sexiest pickup in recent memory, but he does give the Chiefs some stability.  So, with the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, it was expected that the Chiefs would pick an offensive lineman like left tackle Luke Joeckel to protect their new investment.

Until they placed the franchise tag on Braden Albert.

While the tag only ensures the services of a player for the next season, the Chiefs may be looking to trade out of the first overall pick now that they no longer need to be there to pick a premium left tackle.  The Jacksonville Jaguars, who have many needs on their roster, would be happy to leverage their second overall pick into a trade for more picks, but if the Chiefs are open to moving back, as they are now in a position to do so freely, the Jags are put into a more difficult spot.

Teams may be able to leapfrog over the Jaguars if they fall in love with a player at the top of the draft.  As the draft is so deep and their is little expected to be little difference between the players at the top of the their positions, it may be tough to find a team that is so in love with a player that they hope to secure him at number one overall.  It will be more difficult to find a second team who is happy to trade with the Jaguars at number two in order to get the second best player available.

As there are no consensus top picks in this year’s draft, the Jags are now in a tough situation.  The way the Chiefs have managed their potential free agent and draft prospects in order to be put in a position of power – I’m certain they are fine staying at number one, even if they have more desire to trade back – is impressive.  Though, through it all, the Jags are now in a far less advantageous position.

It will be interesting to see if a team is eager to trade up in this year’s draft, but right now it looks like the trade will probably be made with the Chiefs rather than with the Jags.

– Luke N. Sims

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