Apr 26, 2013; Kansas City , MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs first round draft pick offensive tackle Eric Fisher (center) speaks to the media as head coach Andy Reid (right) and general manager John Dorsey (left) look on during a press conference at the Kansas City Chiefs Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

What the Chiefs Could Have Done Differently in the Draft

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!

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Tags: Draft Kansas City Chiefs

  • Danny W

    Nice write up. In the bottom of the third there was Barkley, Wilson, Lattimore, Shamarko Thomas, Ryan Nassib, and Barrett Jones. Many of these names were here for the Nico pick too. All of which I thought were better. I’m like you though not trying to gripe and moan but these picks seem confusing. Full back? DiMarko? Just weird.

    • http://www.facebook.com/donald.a.helms Donald A Helms

      Ok first nice deliver on a beat down subject… I mean I love the Chiefs just as much as the next guy. My first sentence was.. “I want to be he head coach of the Kansas city chiefs, like Hank Stram.” Hey it was 1969 or 1970…
      And speaking of the coaching legend, I think the team is set up better then ever to have the most dominate running game in the league this year. Think about it, two giants at tackle that are fast, big, strong, and very athletic, meaning we finally can run right this year too!!!! Last few years, everyone knew we would run left. We also know have a few great wide receivers with Boa leading the way.
      And everyone on our defense has stayed or we have better completion at majors spots for the defense means our good defense is going in for an over hall taking something that was good and taking the correct steps needed in the off season to share it up in spots and to make it better, stronger and deeper then in years past is a great move.
      I will admit with Reed getting tired so quickly, I thought we could have done better… I am saying know I was wrong about coach Reed. He has made the right moves to get us to the top.. Now its up to the team and the vans to win every game this year… And with this schedule this year, it will be possible.
      Ah Supper Bowl here KC comes.
      Look out, wer back

      • Steven davidson

        Well people please read their post once after writing it, before posting it? You will like the response you get better.

        • Steven davidson

          And that want ment to be at you only Donald sorry, I got the reply button. I make mistakes too. I learned to try and re-read my post before posting. I’m much happier with what i put up. Maybe no one cares, but if you post a lot it gives people less ammo.

          • Steven davidson

            And i read right past want”wasn’t” maybe i need my own proof reader. Lol

    • no22

      how is it weird? the chiefs new offense has a major emphasis on the fullback. hes a big part of the offense. john Dorsey said just yesterday on KC radio that Sherman was the perfect fit. Wilson provides competition, and can also play multiple positions. its likely they keep 2 fb’s, not odd at all.
      they also really needed nico, once the albert trade fell through, so did any money to sign a vet ILB capable to play next to dJ. they really like nico, the perfect fit for that role.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PullinInGreen Tyleet Heggs

    Dead on post, and why we didn’t go after Patton or rogers at wr?

  • toperspective

    Good analysis. This draft was a C grade.

  • Jim Harper

    Nathan I guess I understand what you were trying to accomplish, but I would submit that it would be prudent to allow a bit more time for this draft to play out before we take R&D to task. I do consider myself to be a very well informed fan with a solid understanding of the game. However, compared to R&D I would consider myself a newborn. I’ll admit that not all the selections made would have been made by me. Truthfully the only one I got right was Fisher. Today’s trade is even more confusing. Arenas for yet another fullback? I am still trusting that they have a plan though.

    • KCMikeG

      Agreed Jim. I at least got #1 right this year. I was O’fer after that though. I have great confidence in R&D although the Arenas deal caused me to wonder. Since then I have done some homework and understand it better now. With the FA’s and draft moves we made at CB Arenas was expendable. Four year $3.8M for Arenas vs 4 year $2.2M for Sherman probably influenced the move. There obviously is some master plan in Reid’s WCO this year for the TE/FB block & catch type players as we have gone after them aggressively. The best thing about Arenas in KC was his return contributions so it is even more of a head scratcher for me why the Cards would want him as he won’t get a chance with Peterson & Mathieu there already.

  • tm1946

    Seems a little lame to me. Hindsight is wonderful but one change in the draft changes the rest.
    While not a lot of wow factor after Fisher, maybe not even enough roster positions filled, I will give Reid this year to get his kind of player.

  • KCMikeG

    Taylor is a good option but a healthy Davis is a game changer. He is 15 pounds heavier and runs a 4.34 sec 40 vs Taylor’s 4.76. Bigger and faster and no way he isn’t healthy or they never would have taken him where they did. Keep an eye on Cyrus Gray too. Health is what slowed him last year and gave Draughn the carries. Gray could be JC2.
    Wilson has played RB/FB and TE so he brings the versatility that is so critical. I know the FB position isn’t very important in Reid’s WCO but as we saw the last few years we had way too many drives die on 3rd and 4th down with a yard or two to go. This can NOT be allowed to happen.
    On Albert. The Fins blew the deal by thinking we would garage sale Albert for a 3rd round pick. Screw them after they get done screwing themselves with no LT. Albert has never been disgruntled. Yes he gets tired of hearing people blabber on about him moving to guard or RT. Wouldn’t you? Especially when he has gotten better every year. I think R&D did exactly the right thing in giving him the opportunity to test the market to confirm his true value. Now they can get a long term deal done for a reasonable number and we will have one of the best OL’s in the NFL.
    GO CHIEFS!!!!!

    • Danny W

      NIce take Mike

      • KCMikeG

        Thanks Danny!

    • no22

      gray is NOT Jamaal Charles. he runs more like priest holmes, patience, some burst, but he is nowhere near the level of agility and acceleration that Jamaal has.

      • KCMikeG

        I never said they were exactly alike. I said he COULD be our next Charles. They are the same size. Charles runs with patience too, but his burst is much better than Gray’s but Gray is just as agile. You’re just splitting hairs, besides being more like Priest would be just as good for our team.

  • ArrowFan

    The fact that Davis is FASTER than Franklin and BIGGER than Taylor may have something to do with it.

    • Ron White

      Right on…Rare combination of Size and Speed points to success in NFL as a RB. Unfortunately this combination also tends to be injury prone…but worth the gamble in my eyes.

  • BigGil

    I’m compelled to take a wait and see approach to most of the guys (even Knile). One thing I would’ve done different (especially in view of the Arenas trade) would’ve been to grab Da’Rick Rogers instead of Wilson. Character concerns aside, we need a surer answer at WR2 and it was late enough for the risk to be worth it.

    • Norman Gunn

      With Baldwin, Wylie, and McCluster I think one will pan out. Coming into the draft I thought a WR pick would be a waste because who ever we drafted wouldn’t be good enough to be a starter for a potential playoff team. I feel like Kelce was a sure answer as far as adding a receiver target.

    • no22

      kc has no room at WR. people want to create these roster spots for players when there aren’t any. KC took players who will make the 53.

      • BigGil

        In what way would there not be room for a guy with the on-field promise of Da’Rick Rogers? If he corrects his off the field problems, he could be a mighty fine WR. The only WRs on the team that have received public interest from R&D so far are Bowe, Avery, and McCluster. The only one of those with a history of reliable production in their career is Bowe. Add to that that Baldwin has shown himself more to be a practice field hero than a gameday contributor, and that Wylie was on IR all of last year, and there’s no reason a guy like Rogers couldn’t make the Final 53. And it’s not like I was suggesting a WR be taken in the first several rounds. I’m talking about a sixth round flyer on a guy who could prove much more valuable than a sixth rounder usually is. If KC takes Rogers instead of Wilson, who’s to say Wilson doesn’t go undrafted and still sign with KC due to local interest? Or maybe next time I shouldn’t have an opinion, eh?

  • Ron White

    Not sure how you can say the Chiefs mishandled the Albert situation. It takes two and Ireland was not willing to give up a 2nd at all. Offering only a 3rd. It would be irresponsible to trade Albert for a 3rd when they still have possibilities to get something for him before the season starts from teams needing an LT. Even if they don’t trade him they still could work out a long term deal (My preference) and have a very strong line. If they don’t work out a deal this year or next they let him walk and will still get a 3rd comp pick. All of the alternatives point to the Chiefs doing the right thing by sticking to their guns and not giving him away. So no faux pas there……