Apr 26, 2013; Kansas City , MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs first round draft pick offensive tackle Eric Fisher (left) speaks to the media during a press conference at the Kansas City Chiefs Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

KC’s 2013 Draft: Not Flashy But Much Needed


Last season the Chiefs had six Pro Bowl players and went 2-14. They had six Pro Bowl players and never even held a lead for a second of their first eight games.

Two seasons ago they won the division and went to the playoffs but still got punched in the mouth in their final two games including an embarrassing blowout loss to the Ravens at Arrowhead in the playoffs.

The Chiefs have shown glimpses of being a good team but had major flaws: bad quarterback play, bad coaching, and perhaps worst of all, they were “soft”.

The Chiefs had addressed the coaching and quarterback problems prior to the draft. Andy Reid may not be perfect, but his track record compared to Romeo Crennel is off the charts. The Chiefs may not have an elite QB but Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, and Tyler Bray are definitely a step up from Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, and Ricky Stanzi.

So coaching and QB play are going to be better this season, but you don’t go 2-14 and go without having a single lead for half the season strictly because of the coach and QB. Good teams, playoff teams, Super Bowl caliber teams have players that refuse to back down, refuse to quit, that punch back when they get hit in the mouth. They don’t ever quit. They don’t ever lay down.

That’s what has been SO hard for me to stomach as a KC fan the past few years. There have been times where I watched my team get punched in the mouth and they just laid down and took it. They had no answer. They had no fight. They were the scrawny kid on the playground getting pushed around by the big bad bully. I can take losing a game where both teams duked it out and the other team just made a few more plays. It’s disappointing, but there’s no shame in that. But when I went to the 2011 season opener and saw my team get curb stomped 41-7 IN ARROWHEAD by a bad Bills team, that was embarrassing. When I sat in the nosebleed seats and watched a REALLY bad Raiders team walk into Arrowhead last season and physically dominate KC on both sides of the ball I literally felt sick to my stomach, because it looked like the players had given up.

That’s why I love this draft class. That’s why every time I saw someone on twitter saying we should have drafted (insert name of flashy big name player here) instead of the guys like Travis Kelce, Nico Johnson, and Mike Catapano I shook my head. We have flashy players. We have Jamaal Charles. We just haven’t had enough power up front to always open up holes when the game was on the line. We have Tamba Hali and Justin Houston who can sack the quarterback. We just haven’t had the guys to stuff the run on first and second down to consistently force QBs into third and long situations. We have a shut down CB in Brandon Flowers. We just haven’t had an answer for TEs running wide open underneath.

We have the flash. We’ve lacked the guys willing to do the dirty work. We’ve been missing the guys with the guts, the heart, and the fight to make sure the “pretty boys” get on Sports Center.

I heard Eric Fisher’s coach from Central Michigan call him super competitive and “nasty”. That doesn’t sound like someone that will just accept getting pushed around.

I watched THIS video of Travis Kelce where he says things like:
“I like to get after it.”
“I like to play physical.”
“You’ll see me playing all the way to the whistle, sometimes that gets me in trouble but (smirks) I’ll leave it at that.”
You can’t watch that video and tell me this guy is going to be okay with a team coming into his home stadium and embarrassing him.

I hear people HATING on Knile Davis like he was the worst pick in the history of the NFL draft. The man is 230 lbs and runs a 4.3 forty! If they can fix his fumbling problems he can team with Charles to just wear defenses out. And those of you that are actually using Shaun Draughn as a reason that we didn’t need to draft a RB need to just stop. Seriously, stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself.

Another group of fans that dumbfound me are the ones that whined and moaned about the Kelce and Davis picks because of “this huge hole” at ILB, then complain that we reached for Nico Johnson. You know why Derrick Johnson has been able to rack up so many tackles the last couple of seasons? Because Jovan Belcher was constantly taking on blockers to free him up to get to the ball. You know who is possibly the best ILB in this draft at taking on blockers? NICO JOHNSON. You know who can help KC make stops on first and second down so that we can use Hali and Houston to rush on third and long? NICO JOHNSON. Will he have to come off the field on passing downs? Yes, but teams need a guy to stuff the run when the time comes. The Chiefs now have that guy on the roster.

What’s that you say? You’re upset with the Johnson pick because KC needs someone that can cover TEs. I’m glad you brought that up, that leads me to….

Sanders Commings. Commings is big and strong enough to play safety. He also has 4.4 speed. That means they can use him in a variety of ways. They can have him cover WRs or TEs. He can play in run support or drop back and play center field (literally, he was drafted to play center field in MLB). He’s part of the solution to some of KC’s recent problems that they have simply lacked answers for.

Eric Kush is a blue collar, underrated, small school center who can help push Rodney Hudson and provide depth in case Hudson has any more injuries.

Andy Reid called FB Braden Wilson the best blocking FB in this draft. That’s a guy that can help JC (and Davis) get the hard yards when the game is on the line. A guy that can turn 3rd and goal on the one yard line into a TD instead of a FG. He’ll do the dirty work.

Then there’s Mike Catapano. A favorite of mine. HERE‘s a video of him doing MMA training in the offseason (look at the guns). The NFLDraftScout scouting report says:

Well-built with very good muscle definition and plays as strong as he looks, manhandling blockers and tossing them with ease. Plays fast at all times with a motor that never quits. Makes up for lack of great leverage with his hustle and effort.

NFL Draft Bible’s twitter account had my favorite observation on this guy:

Sometimes its good to have a guy on defense who is just crazy. Hear Catapano fits the bill.

These are guys that can make the Chiefs better. They may not all fill up a stat sheet. They may not be guys that get on Sports Center or are even noticed at all by casual Chiefs fans, but these guys may just be the ones to do the dirty work that has been missing around Arrowhead for far too long.

That’s why I like this draft class.

That’s why I don’t care what grade ESPN may give it.

I’m not surprised that nationally nobody is talking about it.

It’s not that kind of draft class and I’m fine with that. It doesn’t mean these guys won’t help the Chiefs win. These may be just the kind of guys that have been missing in KC the last few years.

So fine, you want me to “grade” this draft class before any of them play a snap.

I’ll happily give it a “D” for dirty.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs

  • Chowder

    Could not have said it better! Lets get the Dirty work done!!!

  • PunjabiPete

    I agree 100%… so many times we go for the fireworks and fizzle, nice to get the guys that set all that stuff up going this year… Not that I don’t appreciate JC, DJ, TH, just will be nice to see all this come together on the field and get us those dirty, unsexy knock out drag out WINS.

  • john woodley

    very good article! catapano ivy league j.allen

  • berttheclock

    Having grown up in a blue collar part of KCK, KC, whether, KCMO or KCK has always been far more to me of a Blue Collar area than Mission Hills or the Kansas City Club. This was an excellent Blue Collar draft. I agree completely with the thoughts of Mr Graverson that the Chiefs needed to get back to smash mouth football on both sides of the ball. No more getting run over by the likes of the Raiders and the Ravens bigger players. OK, so Bray may believe he is a Pretty Boy, but, I would suggest, Reid, Pederson and Nagy and the rest of the Chiefs will set him straight and turn him around. The future of the Chiefs, this AM, looks far brighter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.cunningham.3158 KCPauly

    Good read Kyle, thanx, I agree with you 100% GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.key.374 Roger Key

    Good article….I think everyone should have an opinion (that is why we have blogs right?) but I get tired of the chief haters on everything they do. Do I think that Davis and Wilson are a reach yes but if either one of them pans out they could have an impact in the running game giving Charles a break. Draughn and Grey are fine but why not have more options? Fisher, Kelce, Johnson, and Commings look like they could all contribute now. We will see about Catapano and Kush as time goes on. Big plus pickup Brey as he and his agent must have thought that KC was the place that he could make the roster (I am sure there were plenty of teams asking to sign him as a UDFA). I think they got some players with attitude and hungry to make a squad. The draft is about taking chances. Go Chiefs we will see you in KC Aug 15 vs San Fran

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephenrfloyd Stephen Floyd

    I do like most of this draft, however there were chances to take players that I don’t know why we passed on them. Kevin Riddick would be one. Yeah they took Nico but Riddick would have provided depth at a position that is still thin. Oh and he was the 3rd rated ILB.
    Why didnt we take a WR? Avery is a slot receiver. Not an X or Z. Cobi Hamilton was available and I have watched him play for 3 years. He’s Bowe without the head problems.
    As for qb, getting Bray might be a steal as an undrafted free agent but he’s got a long way to go. Mentally.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I’m surprised they didn’t draft a WR too. There was good value in the mid rounds. I do think Kelce will be a valuable added weapon in the passing game.

      • KCMikeG

        We went heavy on WR last year and I think R & D have faith that we already have what we need. Wylie and Hemingway both were slowed by injuries and Newsome & Bellamy showed potential in camp.They have brought in young guys like Gilyard & Shoemaker because they know them and who knows what we have in our UDRFA’s four out of 25 sined were WR’s. Maybe they can get out of Baldwin what Pioli thought he was getting in him. I’m happy with that mix of players.

  • ArrowFan

    Good write up. I can’t believe some of the reactions early on. I hope that reason will set in and people can take another look at their knee jerk reactions. Like I said the other day un wad their panties. Is this class an A, B, or C? We don’t know yet and will not for some time.

  • redchiefs

    Man, I have been trying to not raise myself above a smolder, it’s a long off season and I might burn up before kick off in September. Then, you come along and fan my smolder up to a nice burning flame. GO CHIEFS!! 70,000+ fans screaming at our opponents in a deafening roar and Nico Johnson flattens the blocker coming through and DJ levels the RB 3yds deep behind the line of scrimmage.
    GO CHIEFS!!

  • troy utt

    Lyle, Great Read!!! Hello, My Name is Troy & I am a Draft Junkie!
    I came up for air and returned to my family at some point on Sunday, as did the many other hard core “ADDICTS”!!!
    I was already excited about the season after our flurry of FA moves, but the draft has taken it to an entirely new level!!! Not to mention how fortunate we were with our UDFA signing’s this year, I would have been good had we drafted Bray in the 3rd or later….
    It’s a Great Day to be a Chief…I’m drinkin’ the Kool-aid boys!!!
    WAR CHIEFS!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    My sentiments exactly. This class brings attitude and tenacity to the organization. I’ve always envied Baltimore because they’re hard-nosed and gritty every year. That’s something I’d like this team to become.

    • KCMikeG

      No doubt. I want to see some attitude. When was the last time you can remember one of our players making a huge hit?? Not a great play or a tackle for a loss or even a sack – just knocking the snot out of our opponent?

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I’ve seen that happen. Having attitude on defense is more than just laying the wood on a ballcarrier though. I want to see a defense that imposes its will on an opposing team.

        • KCMikeG

          Agreed! But I’m serious. When was the last time you saw us light up someone? I’m having trouble remembering. Like when DT would line up and on 3rd down and WE ALL just KNEW what was about to unfold. I could feel the concrete vibrating under my feet as WE ALL screamed ourselves horse. DT and that defense owned everyone at Arrowhead and the Sea of Red made plays happen on the field! I encourage ALL of us to be there in full force to create the home field advantage that has fueled our great teams.

  • mg2098

    Been doing some research on Catapano. That dude is a freak. Really impressed with that pick. I could see him in on sub packages as a rookie strictly rushing the passer. His motor rivals Hali’s.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Yeah, odds are he’s a Boomer Grigsby type fan favorite that never amounts to much, but I’m hoping maybe there’s a chance of a Jared Allen type homerun.

      • mg2098

        I liked Boomer, but only on special teams though. He was a project linebacker. He also was strictly a gym rat. I don’t know that I’d put this guy (Capapano) in that same company. He already is a seasoned pass rusher. His tape shows mutiple move to get to the QB inside and out.

  • Chiefswatch

    Catapano is going to the be special

  • Chief Hokie

    So….you’re saying you want substance over sizzle?

    • KcNdaRock

      Yea any day of the week is prefer hitters and tuff ball players than sizzle,finesse players.. Looks like u wanted geno smith.. I’d study up a little bit

      • Chief Hokie

        I’d study up on the English language.

        • KcNdaRock

          Auto correct

    • Lyle Graversen

      I’m saying a team needs both in order to succeed and the previous regime did a poor job of providing enough “substance” to allow our “sizzle” players to get the job done.

  • KcNdaRock

    Great article I’m glad someone finally stated the oblivious about the chiefs being soft.. Ok y’all I’m from mo but live in Ar and I don’t follow the razorbacks like I do Kc.. Nile Davis is a stud and a homerun hitter which is crazy considering his size.. I will say he’s bad at putting the ball on the ground but jc has fumbled now and again.. I wouldn’t look at none of his stats except for 2010, 2011 was injuries and 2012 they had horrible coaching that he hardly played.. The entire team didn’t wanna play for John l smith and if u watch the games you’ll see the team basically taken plays off.. Plus they had a horrible Oline.. That allowed the feline to run threw untouched.. He’s a freak of an athlete .

    • KcNdaRock

      Dline

  • NicholasAlanClayton

    Awesome piece.

  • cd3382

    Yea…this is a great article and we drafted based on the team needs. I think Dorsey and company nailed it as far as team needs. I really like the Travis Kelce pick too, who kinda reminds me of a more physical Arron Hernandez. Overall I thought we had a pretty good draft and we Chief fans should all be excited about the upcoming season.

  • Donkeyhater

    I agree except I thought the TE pick was a luxury given our needs and players available at that time. Thought we needed a DT that can add interior rush and maybe take over for Jackson. Think Brandon Williams could’ve been that guy. Strong as hell and racked up a lotve sacks. Went to the Ravens who usually make shrewd picks. Also could’ve had Larry Warford who is the strongest guard in this draft. Last year I thought our interior line was bullied around way too much which I hope is fixed this year. Other than Kelce I thought most of the picks, especially Fisher, Johnson Commings were very good.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Here’s a bold prediction for you based on how much I like the Kelce pick: Kelce will finish 2nd on the team in receptions behind Bowe and will become a fan favorite.

      • Donkeyhater

        I hope so. That’s why we paid Reid and Dorsey the big bucks.

      • KCMikeG

        I could see that and he would bring the attitude we so desperately need on offense. A healthy Moeaki will give him a run for his money. Fasano, like Mo & Kelce, is a strong blocking receiver. How exciting would it be to line up in a 3 TE formation and have the defense not have a clue if we are running or passing? Think that might make our offense more effective?

      • Dave

        Checking out his twitter it seems Kelce is already on his way to becoming a fan favorite.

    • KCMikeG

      If you read about the importance of the TE in Reid’s West Coast offense you would understand that there is no luxury in the Kelce pick. The TE’s are the engine that drives the offense and determines all receiver routes. With Moeaki’s injury concerns and Fasano being our only other TE than Maneri, a converted OT, Kelce being the BPA at the key TE position makes this a wise foundation pick.

  • Danny W

    Well you are your old self once again, I see Lyle. Not good or bad in my opinion just kind of bold in a positive way. In my opinion the 20th ranked running back in the bottom of the third round was a reach. He’s had a plethora of injury problems and was not the BPA at the pick. He’s big and runs a 4.3 which is an automatic in the NFL? So we’re Al Davis now? If he starts fumbling the football is he still better than Draughn or Grey?
    Nico Johnson may do a great impression of Jevon Belcher but in my opinion Belcher was pretty average to just below average. I would say Derrick Johnson makes most of his bones by shooting gaps extremely fast and hitting the runner in the open field behind the line. What Belcher had to do with that I’m not real sure? I hope your right I hope these picks rock. I hope this will go down as the best draft ever. I have really high expectations for Fisher and Kelce. The others I’m not so sure about, I will take a wait and see approach.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I certainly can’t promise Davis won’t bust, he may. I just like his upside.

      As far as Nico goes, he’s much better suited for the role than Belcher ever was. Belcher was an undersized, small school, overachiever (on the field). Nico is an elite physical specimen from one of the elite defensive programs in the country. I think he’ll walk in as a rookie and be able to do what Belcher did and perhaps develop into much more. Also, DJ is great at shooting gaps and those plays stand out during a game, but they only make up a small percentage of his tackle totals. For every one of them there were 10 plays where he made less exciting tackles which were made possible in part by Belcher helping keep him clean.

  • KCMikeG

    I would give it an A for ATTITUDE! That was the theme that developed during this draft. Thanks for bringing it up Lyle. We needed these type of players to help make us tough again. Catapano might just be my favorite.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/sports/football/from-princeton-a-promising-nfl-draft-pick-mike-catapano.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • Lyle Graversen

      Thanks for the link, good read.