Kansas City Chiefs: 2017 NFL Draft signals change in philosophy

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t just draft a quarterback in the first round for the first time in over 30 years. They signaled a change in team philosophy to a more offensive organization.

Patrick Mahomes is the first quarterback taken by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the NFL Draft in 35 years. That alone is a big deal to Chiefs Kingdom. However, beyond that one pick, the Chiefs have shown things are about to change in KC. The 2017 NFL Draft was the work of a team in Kansas City that is looking to focus more on the offense moving forward.

The drafting of Pat Mahomes was clearly a big deal to the Kansas City front office as well, since they gave up additional first and third round picks to make it happen. Moving up to draft a player sends a clear message. So there is something to be said about the other two players the Chiefs would trade up to get.

All in all, the Chiefs traded up three times to get a particular player in the 2017 NFL Draft. KC would also invest in running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Jehu Chesson, trading up to get both players.

Draft Strategy Says A Lot

Now, that is something that could be easily explained away as just happenstance or situation. However, there are other clues that show things are likely to change in Kansas City football. Most notably, that includes what the Chiefs did NOT do in the draft.

The 2017 NFL Draft was heralded as a particularly strong class in two areas, cornerback and edge rusher. You could easily make an argument that Kansas City needed help in both areas. In fact, the Chiefs showed plenty of interest in the two positions during the draft process.

Related Story: Kansas City Chiefs National Draft Grades

However, John Dorsey decided to skip over both positions, despite the fact there were very talented options available to him. The Chiefs did draft some defensive players, but all three are regarded as projects rather than impact players who could help out quickly. That tells us quite a bit about what Dorsey was thinking.

Targeting specific players on offense while taking project players on defense speaks to an organization that is focusing in one area. Let’s not forget that it has been the opposite strategy in the past. With Alex Smith at the helm, the Chiefs focused more on immediate impact defensive players and projects on offense.

More from Kansas City Chiefs

Time Will Tell

Of course, there is no guarantee that any of this pays off. You never know who will emerge and who will bust in the NFL. However, that doesn’t change the actions of the Chiefs front office in the draft. They showed a clear desire to try and upgrade the offense.

If their efforts do work out though, the biggest names for the Kansas City Chiefs could all soon be on the offensive side of the ball. Fans may be wearing the jerseys of Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill instead of those of Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, and Justin Houston. It could be a change of the guard, over 30 years in the making.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been a defensive team for so long that it seems strange to even suggest the focus is on the offense. However, that would appear to be the direction the Chiefs went in the 2017 NFL Draft. If that is the case, it will be a huge change in philosophy that has potentially never been seen before in KC.