Kansas City Chiefs: Revisiting the 2016 NFL Draft

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: A stairway inside of Roosevelt Auditorium Theatre prior to the start of the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: A stairway inside of Roosevelt Auditorium Theatre prior to the start of the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images) /

Kansas City Chiefs fans have had enough time to determine if the 2016 NFL Draft draft class panned out or not. For the most part, this was a good draft for the Chiefs.

After recording their first playoff win in over 20 years during the 2015 season, the Kansas City Chiefs were ready to turn the corner and be the team to beat in the AFC West. Peyton Manning retired, so they didn’t have to compete with the Broncos anymore and while the Raiders ended up having a successful year in 2016, the division was KC’s to lose.

This is why having a strong draft in 2016 was crucial for the Kansas City Chiefs and they mostly delivered. Here were the picks:

  • No. 37 – Chris Jones, DT (Mississippi State)
  • No. 74 – KeiVarae Russell, CB (Notre Dame)
  • No. 105 – Parker Ehinger, G (Cincinnati)
  • No. 106 – Eric Murray, DB (Minnesota)
  • No. 126 – Demarcus Robinson, WR (Florida)
  • No. 162 – Kevin Hogan, QB (Stanford)
  • No. 165 – Tyreek Hill, WR (West Alabama)
  • No. 178 – D.J. White, CB (Georgia Tech)
  • No. 203 – Dadi Nicolas, DE (Virginia Tech)

The Kansas City Chiefs added nine players in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Considering we’re so used to the Chiefs only having six or fewer picks in recent years, nine picks seems like a ton. This draft class had its good players but it also had its fair share of bad players.

Chris Jones is a household name and not just amongst Chiefs Kingdom. He’s been one of the best at his position since he entered the league and was more than deserving of the contract extension he received after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. He’s collected 40.5 sacks in five seasons and was a pivotal player in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory.

After one of the best Chiefs’ draft picks, we come to one of the worst Chiefs’ draft picks with KeiVarae Russell, who was shockingly cut by the team shortly into the 2016 season. We never did get an explanation for why Russell was waived from the team so early into his career and we probably never will at this point. Another head-scratching move by John Dorsey.

Parker Ehinger seemed like a promising player early on, but after getting injured during the 2017 season, Kansas City traded him to Dallas in exchange for cornerback Charvarius Ward. That trade has definitely worked out for Kansas City, as Ehinger never played for the Cowboys and hasn’t played in a regular-season game since he was with Baltimore in 2019.

Eric Murray was a depth piece when the Chiefs drafted him, appearing in 45 games over three years. Once again though, the Chiefs traded him and received a better player in return, as they acquired Emmanuel Ogbah from the Browns.

The Chiefs can’t seem to quit Demarcus Robinson despite lackluster production. Robinson hasn’t been anything more than a WR3/4 during his time with the Chiefs and he drops a lot of balls, which is frustrating. He knows this offense well though and for a fourth-round pick, he’s been okay.

When the Chiefs took Kevin Hogan, fans were excited simply because that was when fans were excited about any kind of quarterback being drafted, even in the later rounds (now people would be angry about it). Hogan never played for the Chiefs but appeared in eight games for the Browns in 2016 and 2017.

Tyreek Hill is a huge success story for the Chiefs considering he was a fifth-round draft pick. He fell that deep in the draft because of a domestic violence arrest on his record. He’s been a good player for the Chiefs and is one of the top five wide receivers in the league.

D.J. White and Dadi Nicolas weren’t in KC very long. Both played in 11 games as rookies and while White was able to play for other teams, Nicolas hasn’t been able to stick anywhere.

The Kansas City Chiefs did pretty well in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Sure they had some major duds in this draft class (looking at you, Russell), but the Chiefs also landed Jones, Hill, and Robinson in the 2016 draft. Hill and Jones have been the biggest stars but Robinson has continued to stay in Kansas City and contribute when needed.

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What are your takeaways from the 2016 NFL Draft class now that we know more about these players?