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

The First-Round History Of John Dorsey And Andy Reid

Preparing for free agency and trying to predict what the Chiefs will do is impacted by the history of what general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid have done in past. How the Chiefs plan to use the draft will dictate who the Chiefs will go after in free agency. It is pretty obvious the Chiefs have more than six holes on their roster — the number of draft picks they have right now in May — so they are going to have to use free agency to fill some holes.

We can learn from how Dorsey and Reid have used their past first-round picks to predict what they may be looking for in free agency. Let’s start by taking a look at both of their histories.


199730Ross VerbaTackleIowa
199819Vonnie HollidayDefensive EndNorth Carolina
199922Lamar KingDefensive EndSaginaw Valley State
200014Bubba FranksTight EndMiami
200110Jamal ReynoldsDefensive EndFlorida State
200220Javon WalkerWide ReceiverFlorida State
200329Nick BarnettLinebackerOregon State
200425Ahmad CarrollDefensive BackArkansas
200524Aaron RodgersQuarterbackCalifornia
20065A.J. HawkLinebackerOhio State
200716Justin HarrellDefensive TackleTennessee
200926Clay MatthewsLinebackerUSC
20099B.J. RajiDefensive TackleBoston College
201023Bryan BulagaTackleIowa
201132Derek Sherrod TackleMississippi State
201228Nick Perry Defensive EndUSC
20131Eric FisherTackleCentral Michigan


19992Donovan McNabbQuarterbackSyracuse
20006Corey SimonDefensive TackleFlorida State
200125Freddie MitchellWide ReceiverUCLA
200226Lito SheppardDefensive BackFlorida
200315Jerome McDougleDefensive EndMiami
200416Shawn AndrewsGuardArkansas
200531Mike PattersonDefensive TackleUSC
200614Brodrick BunkleyDefensive TackleFlorida State
200919Jeremy MaclinWide ReceiverMissouri
201013Brandon GrahamDefensive EndMichigan
201123Danny WatkinsGuardBaylor
201212Fletcher CoxDefensive TackleMississippi State
20131Eric FisherTackleCentral Michigan

Two things stand out with both Reid and Dorsey.

1. Both value offensive or defensive lineman in the first round

Reid and Dorsey have combined to be involved in 30 first-round selections since 1997, using the pick on either an offensive or defensive lineman 18 times. They’ve used only five picks on either a quarterback, running back or wide receiver, with neither having ever selected a running back in the first round.

It is clear Dorsey and Reid value the offensive and defensive line with their top picks. Reid was even willing to use his first-round pick on a guard on occasion. Aaron Rodgers is the only offensive skill position player the Packers have drafted since 2003. In the last 11 drafts Dorsey has been a part of at Green Bay and Kansas City, six first-round picks have been used on an offensive or defensive lineman, and three more have been used on linebackers. That’s nine of the last 11 first-round draft picks on either a front seven defensive player or an offensive tackle.

This is more than a trend, it is almost a rule of thumb: Unless Aaron Rodgers is sitting there, then we are going best offensive tackle or defensive front seven player available. This would seem to favor people who are clamoring for Ra’Shede Hageman. Stephon Tuitt could also be a possibility if the Chiefs trade back.

Another possibility few of us have considered is drafting another offensive tackle. We’ve discussed the need the Chiefs have to fill the swing tackle position since it would appear Donald Stephenson is going to be a starter for 2014. What if Stephenson remains as the swing tackle, a role we know he can fill well, and the Chiefs draft a starting lineman like Antonio Richardson, Morgan Moses, Zack Martin, or Cyrus Kouandjio? This would seem less likely than the Chiefs taking a defensive lineman, but Dorsey does have a recent history of using back-to-back first round picks of offensive tackles (2010-2011).

When it comes to linebacker there are three names to keep an eye on: Anthony Barr (UCLA), Trent Murphy (Stanford), and Ryan Shazier (Ohio State). The notable thing about the three linebackers taken by Dorsey is that they were all among the best in their class in the three-cone drill. Barr, Murphy, and Shazier are each first-round caliber outside linebackers who respectively recorded 6.82, 6.78, and 6.91 cone drills. Quickness and agility are key for pass-rushing outside linebackers, and all three of these guys showed they possess that quickness. These would seem to be the targets.

2. Dorsey is less likely to trade than Reid

Green Bay has made just two first-round trades in the last 11 years. One was to trade up in 2009 to get Clay Matthews and the other was to trade out of the 2008 first round (30th overall) to pick up an extra fourth-round pick. The nine other picks were the Packers’ natural draft position.

Reid was much more aggressive. Reid traded up in 2003 and 2004 to take Jerome McDougle and Shawn Andrews; traded out of the first round in 2007 and 2008; traded up in 2009 and 2010  to get Jeremy Maclin and Brandon Graham. That’s a lot of trades between 2003 and 2010, and that’s only the first round.

It would seem Dorsey is more likely to use his first round pick if he has one and to stay put. It wouldn’t be uncharacteristic for him to trade the pick but it isn’t something we should anticipate.

Knowing a little bit of the history of Dorsey and Reid, it would seem very unlikely the Chiefs will go wide receiver in the first round. It is certainly not impossible but we should probably anticipate an offensive lineman or a defensive front-seven player. This would mean the Chiefs are probably going to look for free safety and secondary help in free agency and wait to draft a wide receiver in the third or fourth round.

This is, of course, unless history decides to not repeat itself.

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Tags: Andy Reid John Dorsey Kansas City Chiefs

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Ben!

  • Brian Dempsey

    Good analysis. I wouldn’t rule out a WR in round 1 if the right one falls to them & I know that they really like Mike Evans and Marqise Lee.

    But, like you said, Ben, they value the big guys up front & a trade down and still landing a player like Tuitt would be a move that I can see them making and nobody could rightfully question it.

    • berttheclock

      As much as I would love to see Brandin Cooks taken at 23, I am really beginning to believe the better way is to find some team for a trade down so we can add draft picks. This draft is far too deep to have fewer picks stand in the way of adding to this team. Of course, most trade downs end up being last minute affairs which are based on teams viewing the selections taking place and, suddenly, realizing they must make a move. In GB, Dorsey was involved in such a trade down and he came out far better than the GM of the other team who instigated said trade. That was the one where the Pats wanted a “sure thing” who turned out to be a bust and GB took Greg Jennings and added a center with the extra pick who lasted 4 years in GB. I believe that was a 36 and 52 swap with a third rounder thrown in by Belichick, who was acting as his own GM.

  • Tristian

    Anything is in play and thats great including trading down for more picks. It makes the chiefs not locked into a few players and versatile

  • CSconce

    Great article!! Thanks for putting all this together!

    As I’m not good with remembering these guys for very long, does anyone have an opinion (or facts) on how many of these guys would be considered first round successes? My knee jerk reaction, when reviewing these lists is that Dorsey was pretty successful, but AR not as much, but that’s not really based on anything but my bad memory/name recognition!!

  • Stan Colbert

    Dorsey was asked about what his focus would be during an end of year interview. He said at that time the foundation was the “big guys up front”. I assumed he was talking about FA’s, though, sounds like he could be more serious about it.

  • berttheclock

    Great breakdown, but, somewhat misleading as to Dorsey having the final word on selecting those players. From 97 and 98, he headed the college scouting for GB. He did not have the final say on what name would be taken to the Commissioner. In ’99, he may have had more say with Holmgren with taking King for the Seahawks. Returning to GB in 2000, he was again head of college scouting, but, did not have the final sign off. He was not promoted to Director of Football Operations until 2011, where he had far more clout in the selections of 2011 and 2012. This does not mean Ted Thompson, or Ron Wolf before him, did not defer to the wish list of Dorsey, but, they had the final say. I would believe Dorsey ended up having far more final say than Reid did in his early years with Philly.

    The final two years of Reid in Philadelphia was the only time he had control over the draft, where, Howie Roseman, their GM, deferred to him. Reid picked Danny Watkins and, by the way, in the 2nd round of 2012, he was the one who picked a safety from Temple, of whom he had to later cut because the safety lacked speed and Reid apologized to the fans of the Eagles. Watkins was taken at 23 and couldn’t start because he couldn’t beat out a guard they picked up from another team. He, finally, started a few games late in his second year, but, ended up being dumped and he is, now, trying to find a way to start in Miami.

    However, after writing this, thanks Ben for this list of picks as it does show a propensity for which direction both teams were headed at the time. But, in KC, I really do hope that Dorsey will be the leader in selection and Reid, only makes suggestions.

  • freshmeat62

    When I read the line “This is more than a trend, it is almost a rule of thumb: Unless Aaron
    Rodgers is sitting there then we are going best offensive tackle or
    defensive front seven player”, my heart went pitter-patter.

    Those are the guys that physically beat on the opponent, to where, hopefully, by the 4th qtr, the opposition is spent.