This week on Arrowhead Addict will be filled with writer after writer talking about the players that the Chiefs drafted this weekend. Paragraph after familiar paragraph will explain how this player will help the team, or how this pick was curious. You will soon know everything you ever wanted to know about Mike Catapano, and Eric Kush, and how there is actually a school in Pennsylvania named the University of California. And since I don’t want to repeat what other people are writing, I’m going to focus more on who the Chiefs should have/could have drafted instead. And although I am in no position to second guess General Manager John Dorsey, for the sake of being different, that is exactly what I am doing.
I am going to start with the selection of Knile Davis with the 95th pick in the draft. For a 3rd round pick, Davis comes in as an unquestioned back up to Jamaal Charles. While I would prefer to have a starter with a day two selection, I also acknowledge that Charles is one hit away from missing a season like he did in 2011. That said, why bring in a guy with a history of injury concerns? Davis missed the entire 2011 season as well with a left ankle injury. Then, in 2012, he rushed for only 377 yards off 112 carries, for only two touchdowns. Sure, the Chiefs pointed back to his 2010 season, where he had 1,282 yards and 13 TDs, but his final two years before becoming a pro leave me with concern.
This concern is magnified by the fact that UCLA running back, Johnathan Franklin, was still on the board. Thought of by some to be the best back in the draft, Franklin fell to the 4th round and the 125th pick before he was selected by the Packers. Franklin played all four years at UCLA, appeared in 52 games, accumulated 4,369 yards rushing and 513 yards receiving, while totaling 34 total touchdowns. Last season with the Bruins, he accounted for over 2,000 yards of total offense. Those stats are hard to argue with, but it might have been the fact that Chiefs were looking for a larger back. Franklin is just 5-10 and 205 lbs while Davis is 6-0 and 226 lbs.
In that case, Stanford’s running back, Stepfan Taylor, could have been their man. Weighing in at 214 lbs, Taylor played 4 years for the Cardinal, while accumulating 4,300 yards of rushing and 778 yards receiving during that time. Both Taylor and Franklin give you the consistency you are looking for, and could even be found later in the draft rather than with a third round pick – Taylor went in the 5th round with the 140th pick to the Cardinals. But maybe the mileage these guys had was a concern, which in that case, Davis makes a lot of sense. He hasn’t put up that many at all.
Next, I’m going to move on to the Chiefs 2nd sixth round pick: Braden Wilson. ‘Pack it up boys, the draft is pretty much over, there’s no one left so we might as well pick up a full back.’ That’s what I imagine a GM saying when he actually agrees on drafting a full back, especially before the 7th round. And even when it is in the 7th round, such as Shane Bannon in 2011 with the Chiefs, it’s usually a wasted pick because … well … it’s not 1974 anymore. I always find it odd to draft full backs in today’s NFL when so many are available as UDFAs; it’s even crazier to think of a full back in Andy Reid’s West Coast Offense.
I acknowledge that Wilson could be the best blocking full back in the draft, but the position is a rarity anymore in today’s NFL. The ceiling for Wilson is a possible replacement for Steve Maneri – come in as a blocking tight end, maybe shift inside before the snap for extra blocking. Reid’s history with full backs is to basically use a larger running back that’s not really in there to block but to catch balls out of the back field and take attention away from other targets. And while Reid in the post-draft press conference said that he’s “also a good catcher of the football,” he never really had the opportunity at Kansas State, just catching 5 passes last year for the Wildcats.
So why not just take Mike Catapano with Wilson’s pick – just three selections before – and then use the lone 7th round pick on a high upside guy. Believe it or not, but four quarterbacks went in the 7th round, most notably Zac Dysert, senior bowl invitee, and Sean Renfree, Duke quarterback. While the Chiefs ended up getting a quarterback as an undrafted free agent – Tyler Bray – there was no guarantee he would sign with the team, so the Chiefs took a chance not grabbing a guy. And while I love my Ivy League outside linebackers, I think a backup quarterback is slightly more valuable than a very possible training camp casualty.
Lastly, I will talk about a draft pick the Chiefs never had the possibility to select; in the first real faux pas of the John Dorsey regime, Branden Albert was not traded to the Miami Dolphins. With the Chiefs practically pushing Albert out of the door, the Dolphins decided that a 2nd round pick, more specifically the 54th pick in the draft, wasn’t worth it. The Chiefs mishandled the situation, and now the Chiefs are stuck with a disgruntled left tackle on an expensive one year deal. None of the fans will probably ever know what was the deal breaker in the Chiefs-Dolphins deal for Albert, but let’s just take a look at players taken from the 54th pick until the Chiefs picked in the 3rd round with the 63rd overall pick: Jamar Taylor – CB Boise State (pick 54), Arthur Brown – ILB Kansas St (pick 56), Montee Ball – RB Wisconsin (pick 58), Aaron Dobson – WR Marshall (pick 59), Eddie Lacy – RB Alabama (pick 61).
So, would there have been value with the 54th pick in the draft? Uh, yeah, with my preference being Arthur Brown from Kansas St. But hey, that’s just me.
At the end of the day, I’m glad it was John Dorsey and Andy Reid making the picks rather than Scott Pioli; I mean, just look at Pioli’s first draft in 2009. Yuck. I don’t want to tick people off that I’m second guessing Dorsey – like I said, I’m doing this for the sake of being different since your being blitzed with post-draft insight already – or that I’m re-drafting the draft the way I would have. I’m just showing the fans what was out there and options that were available. But the die has been cast, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the new Chiefs and I look forward to hearing how they perform at the rookie minicamp. In the meantime, fill up the comments section and tell me what you would have done differently in the draft. Maybe draft a wide receiver, perhaps a big defensive end? Let me know!