On Monday, my esteemed KC Kingdom co-editor Ben Nielsen gave his grades for the Kansas City Chiefs and their 2013 NFL Draft. I have to say he was much more optimistic about the Chiefs selections than I was. Difference of opinion is the spice of life so let’s just spice things up a bit.
The simple fact that Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey was unable to trade malcontent Branden Albert before, during, or, so far, after the trade leads me to believe he misjudged Albert’s trade value, or the level of need for a left tackle with some of the teams that were mentioned in trade rumors. The mere fact Miami traded away the second round pick the Chiefs were supposedly targeting for Albert just to move up to take a linebacker with the number three pick should say something about how the Chiefs may have misread the situation.
By most accounts, the Chiefs do not seem to be in any trade talks with any teams about Albert at this time, and certainly the deal is dead with Miami. If Kansas City can now sign Albert to a long term contract, and talk him into playing right tackle (should be able to tell your employee what his job is), then the first overall pick of Eric Fisher will be a good one. If the Chiefs end up wasting their pick for a right tackle, it will have been a disaster. I have no problem with the pick of Eric Fisher in and of itself, if Fisher is going to play left tackle. This whole situation just seems to be have been horribly mishandled by Dorsey and company.
Kansas City did not have a pick until the first one in the third round, the 63rd overall. The Chiefs selected tight end Travis Kelce, who I think is a nice player. I just don’t think that was a good pick at that spot for the Chiefs. There was a chance he may have still been there with the 96th pick. NFL.com, who offered some of the best scouting reports, compared Kelce to New England Patriot monster tight end Rob Gronkowski. Well, I find that really hard to believe. If he was that good why was he still there in the third round? The Chiefs should have added a play making wide receiver here ideally, or a an athletic pass rushing defensive end at the very least. It was too early for Kelce.
The Chiefs had the 96th overall pick toward the end of the 3rd round. With this selection, they went with Knile Davis, who has some genuine talent but a team can get an athletic, injury-prone, fumbler just about anywhere in the draft. This was a high risk/high reward type of pick and the Chiefs could have found better value here.
Early in the 4th round, Kansas City took Nico Johnson. This was the one of just two picks in the whole draft other than Fisher that was the right guy at the right time in the draft. Johnson is an athlete from a great program who doesn’t have to be a difference maker right away because of the talented core of linebackers that will surround him. This was a terrific pick.
Much like the Johnson pick, getting Sanders Commings in the 5th was one of the better moves over the weekend. Commings will get a chance to play right away and contribute but it will probably be on the nickel and quarter packages. His size and athleticism may allow him to cover the Antonio Gates‘ of the league. He might just end up being the steal of the draft for Kansas City. He seems to have all the tools to be a successful starting corner in this league eventually.
The Chiefs last three picks – Eric Kush, Braden Wilson, and Mike Catapano – are all developmental picks which is the way with most 6th and 7th rounders. It just seemed that any of the three may have been signable after the draft. The Wilson pick was particularly a wasted one since the Chiefs promptly traded Javier Arenas for yet another fullback, Anthony Sherman. I’m not quite sure why the need for so many fullbacks, but the Chiefs are loaded.
Look, I understand that grading out a draft is just more for fun as fans than as anything else. No one has a clue what will happen. Maybe Eric Fisher is a total flop in the NFL but Eric Kush starts in the league for 12 years. At this point, no one as any idea how things will play out. I don’t think any of the players the Chiefs selected were bad choices, I just believe some of them were taken too early or could have been signed as undrafted free agents later. The Albert situation was not resolved in a satisfactory manner and I’m afraid he is going to be discontented all season.
I like John Dorsey so much more than I liked Scot Pioli and at this point I am going to take a leap of faith and trust that Dorsey and Andy Reid know what they are doing. I am giving the Chiefs a grade of C- but I am so anxious to be wrong. The low grade is for mishandling the Albert case and not really addressing to the two glaring holes at wide receiver and defensive line. From here on, it is wait and see.