Despite recent team success, the Kansas City Chiefs have their fair share of draft misses.
The Kansas City Chiefs have reached three consecutive AFC Championship games, winning two of them. The Chiefs have also reached back-to-back Super Bowls, winning it all two seasons ago. That’s quite a bit of success for a franchise long thirsting for it.
Over the past decade, the Chiefs have hit on more draft picks than they’ve missed, and yet they still have swung and missed on a number of selections. And I’m not talking about dudes taken in rounds five or later. I mean players selected in the first four rounds who should, theoretically, help the team out sooner or later.
Does that make the Chiefs any different than the 31 other NFL franchises? Nope.
With the 2021 NFL Draft right around the corner, let’s take a look at some of the Chiefs’ recent misses. To qualify, the player must have been drafted within the first 125 selections. Before going to the top 10, let’s start with the, ahem…
- Jeff Allen, Guard, 2012, Round 2, Overall Pick 44 – Felt wrong to have Allen make the top 10, yet this former second-rounder’s career was…fine. It was fine. During his first tour in Kansas City, he started 36 games in four years. The dude’s a great follow on Twitter.
- Khalen Saunders, Defensive Tackle, 2019, Round 3, Overall Pick 84 – Perhaps I’m being naïve, as Saunders has done little (25 tackles, one sack, 15 games) his first two seasons, but it’s still too soon to tell on him.
- Donald Stephenson, Offensive Tackle, 2012, Round 3, Overall Pick 74 – We went to the same high school! Stephenson started 21 games over four years with the Chiefs but appeared in all but four contests at that time. He finished out his career with two meh seasons in Denver.
- De’Anthony Thomas, Wide Receiver/Running Back/Returner, 2014, Round 4, Overall Pick 124 – Just under the wire! Thomas had decent overall production for being picked in the fourth round. Always felt like he should’ve had a better career, though. Scored seven career touchdowns.
- Phillip Gaines, Cornerback, 2014, Round 3, Overall Pick 87 – Only one career interception. That’s a little odd. But he’s still in the league having appeared in 70 games over seven years. Wouldn’t expect him to break out now that he’s 30, but he’s serviceable.
Alright, on to the top 10 draft misses of the Chiefs in the past decade. Note two things: first, no one from last year’s class made the list. It’s still too early to tell with any of those guys. Secondly, we’re counting down from the 10th biggest miss to the biggest miss.