Its been a downward spiral for the Chiefs and it ended with a clearing of the front office then a new head coach in January. For better or worse the franchise also held the first pick of the draft. It was a year to late for Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin and a year to early for Jadeveon Clowney.
Eric Fisher/T/Central Michigan (Round 1, pick #1): It was believed all along the Chiefs would select one of the offensive tackles with the draft’s first pick. Which one would it be? As the draft drew closer we reported the position coaches in Kansas City were pushing for Fisher, the player they ultimately chose. In Fisher the franchise selected an athletic left tackle prospect with a large upside to his game. He plays tough, smart football, and Fisher should only improve as he physically matures and gets stronger. I have concerns about moving such a talented pass protector to the right side as the Chiefs intend to do, but in the end there should be few complaints about this choice.
Travis Kelce/TE/Cincinnati (Round 3, pick #63): After trading away their second round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for quarterback Alex Smith, the Chiefs next selection came in round three. There they looked for an upgrade at tight end and drafted Travis Kelce, who draws a variety of opinions around the league. He’s a bit of an enigma, and I’m told Kelce marches to the beat of his own drummer. There’s no doubting he offers next level physical skills and to be honest there was really no one else available at pick 63 who was a good fit for the Chiefs.
Knile Davis/RB/Arkansas (Round 3, pick #96): Drafting Davis in round three is the ultimate boom or bust pick. Had this selection occurred two years ago, prior to his season ending ankle injury of 2011, we’d all be applauding the choice. Yet Davis looked a fraction of his former self all last season. His game is also similar to the Chiefs present feature runner, Jamaal Charles, so one wonders what the appeal is. Only time will tell with this selection.
Nico Johnson/LB/Alabama (Round 4, pick #99): Kansas City was in need of an inside linebacker and they hope their fourth round pick cures the problem. Johnson is a tough interior defender who plays smart football. He’s ineffective outside the box and strictly a two down defender. In the end I feel AJ Klein was slightly better value at this spot, but we can’t complain about Johnson.
Sanders Commings/CB/Georgia (Round 5, pick #134): Commings was great value in the fifth round and the Georgia senior possesses the size, speed and ball skills to play at the next level. On the other hand his level of maturity holds him back. Whatever happens to Commings moving forward, this was a solid choice by the Chiefs and worth the risk.
Eric Kush/C/Cal-Pa (Round 6, pick #170): Kush was a reach in round six and a player that likely could’ve been signed after the draft. He’s solid in most every area and offers a large degree of versatility yet offers little in the way of upside potential.
Braden Wilson/FB/Kansas State (Round 6, pick #204): Wilson in round six could be a sleeper pick for Kansas City. He was underused at Kansas State yet is a perfect fit for Andy Reid’s offense. Wilson has the strength and tenacity to excel as a lead blocker as well as the athleticism to develop into a threat handling the ball. In the end it would be surprising if Wilson does not make the active roster this fall.
Mike Catapano/DE/Princeton (Round 7, pick #207): The Andy Reid-Princeton connection remains alive as the Chiefs finished their draft with Mike Catapano. He’s a fierce and athletic defender who’s best out of a three point stance. My question is, how will Catapano fit with the Chiefs predominantly three man line?
Grade: C+. While I like the Fisher pick, I just wonder how much impact the middle of this draft will have for a teams with holes everywhere. Overpaying for Alex Smith is another reason to depress the Chiefs paper grade. There’s just no “wow” in this draft compared to some of the franchises who possessed top five selections in most of the rounds.