KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s becoming an annual occurrence with a projected top draft prospect sliding while waiting in the green room at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Johnny Manziel on stage with fellow draft prospects before the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
And the 2014 NFL Draft proved no different on Thursday night, putting Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel within a pick of the Chiefs at No. 23.
But the Cleveland Browns leapfrogged the Chiefs in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in order to draft Manziel at No. 22.
The move effectively took the decision out of Kansas City’s hands.
Still, an intriguing situation would’ve occurred had Manziel fallen in the Chiefs’ lap: Pull the trigger with one of the draft’s dynamic playmakers or pass?
The answer may never be publicly known, as Chiefs general manager John Dorsey wouldn’t address a “what if?” game during his post-draft news conference.
“That’s a hypothetical because he went before us,” Dorsey said when asked if the Chiefs would’ve drafted Manziel. “That wasn’t even in the equation.”
Nevertheless, national reports in the days leading to Thursday night indicated the Chiefs were potentially in the market for an early-round quarterback due to slow contract extension talks with Alex Smith.
However, Chiefs coach Andy Reid refuted the speculative reports.
“That’s not true,” Reid said. “When you’re sitting at the 23rd pick, you’re looking at everybody.
“Absolutely, we check the quarterbacks out, but by no means was it Alex (Smith’s) play or contract or anything else. That had nothing to do with it. We looked at every position across the board. That’s how we went.”
Any hope of the Chiefs head coach answering what would the Chiefs have done if Manziel was available at No. 23 were quickly dashed.
Like Dorsey, Reid wouldn’t directly answer when offered that scenario.
“He’s a heck of a football player,” Reid responded with a smile. “He’s a heck of a football player.”
Entertaining trade offers
The Chiefs had options at No. 23, not just with players but apparently opportunities with potential trade partners before the team eventually selected outside linebacker Dee Ford.
“I would tell you the phone was ringing,” Reid said. “Probably for the kid that went before us (Manziel). They don’t tell you exactly who they want, but the phones were ringing at that time. I’m sure they were working both us and Philadelphia. That’s how it went.”
Dorsey echoed Reid, saying the Chiefs had “five or six teams” calling as it got closer to the Chiefs’ pick.
However, the Chiefs apparently didn’t like what was on the table.
“At the end of the day when you take the player, the compensation offered and you really think about what’s best, you go with the player,” Dorsey said. “The compensation didn’t outweigh what the player’s value was. We felt that the player’s value was the best thing for us.”
Notes: The Chiefs still have a need at wide receiver, but Dorsey repeated a pre-draft view on the position’s depth … “All along we said the wide receiver position has extended depth,” Dorsey said. “Not only in the first round, but in the second and third” … A report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter indicated Tamba Hali “weighed in at 284, 20 pounds over his optimal playing weight” last week, but Reid wasn’t concerned … “I’m not worried about Tamba’s weight,” Reid said. “Nobody works harder than Tamba” … The Chiefs enter Day Two of the draft currently without a second-round pick … Barring the acquisition of a second-round pick, the Chiefs next selection will be the 87th pick overall of the draft in the third round.