KANSAS CITY, Mo. – We might never know for certain, but if the Kansas City Chiefs had this year’s third-round draft pick they lost because of their tampering case, they might been the new team of quarterback Paxton Lynch.
The Denver Broncos instead drafted Lynch, the quarterback from the University of Memphis, in the first round. They were able to maneuver up five spots to pick Lynch because they had a third-rounder to send to the Seattle Seahawks. The Broncos sent their first-round and third-round picks to the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s plenty interesting that the Broncos believed they had to get to the 26th spot, two spots ahead of where the Chiefs were scheduled to draft in the first round on Thursday night, in order to secure Lynch.
The Chiefs had an interest in Lynch and could have made the same trade with the Seahawks, except they didn’t have a third-round pick. It was stripped by the NFL as part of the penalty for tampering last year with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was then a prospective free agent.
It’s worth noting that the Broncos might have believed the team they really needed to jump in order to get Lynch was the Cardinals, who had the 29th pick and an aging starting quarterback in Carson Palmer. If that’s the case, Seattle with the 26th pick was a logical trading partner because the Chiefs at No. 28 certainly weren’t going to trade them the pick that provided the Broncos with their future starting quarterback.
The Seahawks would have traded with the Chiefs instead of the Broncos had each team offered a third-round pick. The Chiefs’ third-round choice would have been a few spots ahead of Denver’s. Also, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey is friends with his Seattle counterpart, John Schneider.
It’s unclear whether the Chiefs would have made the trade. But with Lynch off the draft board, they bailed from the first-round altogether, sending their first-round choice to the San Francisco 49ers.
“There were two players that we really kind of focused in on," Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said in explaining reasons for the trade. He wouldn’t identify those players.
“It didn’t work, so let’s go and let’s move this thing forward.”
The Chiefs could have trumped Denver’s deal with Seattle by giving the Seahawks a second-round pick in order to move up. But that would have been irresponsible (that’s too much to give to move up two spots at that point in the draft) and foolish (Lynch would have cost them their first-round and second-round picks in a year when they didn’t have a third).
Now the Chiefs will have to play against Lynch twice each season eventually, if not in 2016.
“He’s a fine football player," Dorsey said of Lynch. “You have to line up a play against somebody and [the Broncos] chose to come up and do their thing. He is a big, strong-armed guy.”
The Chiefs were angry about losing their third-round pick going into the draft. They’re going to be angry about it for years if Lynch goes on to become Denver’s next great quarterback.