Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster (22) runs with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Rethinking The 2010 NFL Draft: Dexter McCluster [Poll]

Thursday night we took a look at the first round of the 2010 draft where the Chiefs took Eric Berry with the fifth overall pick. After nearly 600 votes, 69% of people agreed with taking Berry over nearest competitors Dez Bryant, Joe Haden, and Demaryius Thomas. So far, so good for the 2010 draft.

The second round shouldn’t so definitive. Kansas City had two picks in the second round in 2010, including a pick from Atlanta as part of the Tony Gonzalez trade. There was a lot of flexibility in the direction the Chiefs could go considering their draft position and with the number of picks they had in the draft.

With the fourth overall pick in the second round, the Chiefs selected Dexter McCluster. As we now know, McCluster’s role was always something up in the air while he was in Kansas City. In 2010 he was asked to be a wide receiver after being a running back his entire career at Ole Miss. A season later the Chiefs switched him back to running back before returning him to wide receiver in 2012. 2013 was the first time in his career he entered the season in the same position since his senior year of college, but he of course was dealing with the scheme change from the arrival of Andy Reid.

The lack of stability within the organization should play a role in how we view McCluster’s tenure in Kansas City, but it does not excuse all of his performance. In four seasons his high in yards from scrimmage was in 2011 when he tallied 844 yards. That was the one year he was a running back, and Jamaal Charles was injured that season.

The definitive stat in McCluster’s KC tenure is he had more fumbles lost (10) than touchdowns (9). And his big play ability that was so highly touted never really appeared as his longest play from scrimmage was only 49 yards. In 58 games McCluster had just 18 plays from scrimmage where he gained 20 yards or more. Antonio Brown, who was a sixth round pick in the same draft as McCluster, had 22 such plays of in 2013 alone.

There are four big names who went directly after McCluster: safety T.J. Ward, tight end Rob Gronkowski, offensive lineman Zane Beadles, and linebacker Daryl Washington. All of those players have made at least one Pro Bowl since the draft. Lamarr Houston, a defensive end, has 16 career sacks and just signed a big deal with Chicago.

I think most of us would agree Gronkowski has been a better player than McCluster, and would have been worth the off-field shenanigans. Gronk has 56 plays of 20 or more yards in his career and has been a huge force in the red zone where he has scored 33 of his 43 career touchdowns. (Kansas City has 49 total red zone touchdown receptions since 2010, with a third of those coming in 2013.)

This isn’t about revisionist history and who the Chiefs should or should not have taken. This is about whether or not the McCluster selection was worth it given what we know about his production, the team’s results, and who was available at the time.

So what do you think, Addicts? How would you grade the Dexter McCluster selection?

What grade would you give the Dexter McCluster selection?

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Tags: Dexter McCluster Kansas City Chiefs NFL Draft

  • Juiced

    Considering I was screaming at the tv to pick Gronk in that draft…yes mistake.

    • Chris Foosman

      You sound like me with the decision to trade for Trent Green instead of drafting some loser named Drew Brees.

  • jimfromkcj

    That second round was the worst draft rd in Chief’s history, considering who they drafted and the choices they missed. And Ben, you missed several players the chiefs whiffed on in that draft. Nate Allen FS, Carlos Dunlap ILB, T. Cody NT, Golden Tate WR, Jared Veldheer LT, Eric Decker WR, Jimmie Graham TE, A. Hernandez TE, and you could go on and on. Probably between 50 and a 100 players who were better and would have markedly improved the team over the 2 midgets.

    • cyberry

      Hey.. but it did get us.. Sherman.. best FB in the league

  • KCMikeG

    Good point that it wasn’t just the flip flopping of positions but also the ineffective use of his skills and constant turmoil in the coaching staffs that hurt his production. He still averaged over a 1,000 total yards a year over his 4 years. Name another Chief player you can say that about other than Charles. Bowe has averaged 823 points. I’m hoping Odell Beckham helps me move on.

  • cyberry

    I wanted Sean Lee..

  • freshmeat62

    That was the one I called “Pioli’s Smurf Draft”. After McCluster they took Arenas. I gave McCluster a D. Last year was the only year he did anything worthwhile, and that as a returner. It took a different regime than drafted him to get the most out of him – go figure. But I gotta say, the guy is tougher than I expected. I didn’t think he’d last 4 years. He should not have been a 2nd rd pick!!!

  • berttheclock

    As long as you are going to keep putting up these “what if” threads, how about this one. The Chiefs really need an excellent wide out to compliment Bowe. So, what if Pioli had thrown out the 2013 first round pick for Gordon in the supplemental draft who ended up going to the Browns for their 2nd round pick in that draft? That means the Chiefs would have Gordon, but, no Eric Fisher.

    Or, the one I like is what if Pioli had taken Russell Wilson instead of Stephenson? Would that have saved Pioli’s job?

    • cyberry

      Not with the coaches that where running the team..

  • Brian Dempsey

    I graded that a big fat F. McCluster was taken way too early, as was Arenas. McCluster should have went late 3rd round at the earliest, and Arenas no earlier than round 5. Pioli really screwed the pooch in that entire draft.