Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive end Dee Ford of Auburn (30) sacks North squad quarterback Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech (3) during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper Grades Kansas City Chiefs Draft


NFL Draft grades are starting to filter in, and one of the first is ESPN’s Mel Kiper. While the fullness of the Chiefs’ draft didn’t hit all of the needs Kiper laid out for the Chiefs, it doesn’t mean they didn’t find some good players.

From Kiper:

When the Chiefs lost production in their pass rush last year, with health part of the reason why, they looked completely exposed on defense. Dee Ford is not a versatile player, but he’s explosive off the edge and knows the way to the QB. If there’s a question here, it’s whether the Chiefs could have traded down to add picks and still gotten a pass-rusher. The Chiefs didn’t have a second-round pick, so even additional late-round scratch-off tickets are nice. What Ford also represents, however, is insurance against Tamba Hali’s age and the possibility of being forced to pay Justin Houston a lot of cash after 2014. As well, it’s hard to knock not having a second-round pick when that pick is really Alex Smith. That’s a win.

Phillip Gaines is a really good athlete they can develop, and De’Anthony Thomas is a player defenses always have to account for and offers potential free points on special teams. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a sleeper who could turn into something. My question is at wide receiver. While I know GM John Dorsey believes recent first-rounder A.J. Jenkins could take a big step forward and really help the offense, that’s an area I might have targeted in a deep draft. Safety was also a need that wasn’t addressed.

Kiper’s grade: B-

A B- seems like a fair grade for the Chiefs. There are some immediate concerns about the offensive line and most of us agreed the Chiefs needed some help at wide receiver, so there an understanding about how all of the Chiefs draft picks do not directly reflect their biggest needs. However, the players they did acquire all appear to have starter upside. For sure Dee Ford, Phillip Gaines, and De’Anthony Thomas will see a lot time on the field, and Aaron Murray is the best quarterback prospect they’ve drafted since Todd Blackledge. There’s certainly something to like.

The key to this draft may be one of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif or Zach Fulton turning into a starter in the next year. If Kansas City can land four future starters from a draft where they only had six picks, that’d be pretty impressive.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs

  • chief4ever

    Chiefs clearly betting on Jenkins / Hemmingway being our #2′s , Commings being a healthy FS and Kelce/Fasano being healthy TE’s. I am planning on our coaches being correct and therefore the draft will be a TouchDown!

    Go Chiefs !

    • calciomoti

      You mean 3/4′s Avery is #2

      • Calchiefsfan

        I’m hoping one of them beats out Avery.

        • calciomoti

          I think it would have to be Jenkins Hemingway is too slow

          • Calchiefsfan

            Actually I hope it’s Jenkins. If he comes on this year the Chiefs will have the speed to stretch the D that they’ve been looking for and the hands that Avery doesn’t. The word is he needs to develop more upper body strength to beat the press. Let’s hope he’s been pumping iron in the off season.

    • Andy

      Don’t forget Nico

  • berttheclock

    Thanks Ben, but, you deserve a nice long nap. The work the AA crew put in was outstanding. Even beer sales in Istanbul were helped. The one thing I hope from this draft is to turn Mr Paddy in New York into a DAT fan. I believe DAT will turn out to be the real steal and I am far from being a Phil Knight fan of Nike U. I lean far more to the Corvallis group and Brandin Cooks was my guy from the get go. But, with Dee Ford building the defense, I believe Dorsey out thought me for the best. However, I love to see both Laddie and Merlin, plus, the very important John Dorsey, were on the same page with me with Laurent Duvarney-Tardif. He may end up being very close in the voting for the steal of the draft.

    All in all it was a great ride and better days ahead to all.

    • berttheclock

      Speaking of Oregon State, I wish Dorsey had signed Rashaad Richards as an UDFA. He has just signed with the Jags.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I picked up Reynolds in one of my mocks. I like the cut of that kid’s jib.

    • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

      Thanks Bert. It’s fun writing, but without fans like yourself commenting, it’s useless. Thanks for your contributions!

  • Calchiefsfan

    All in all not a bad draft though i would have felt better drafting Jeff Janis instead of Fulton. I have always been high on Aaron Murray, I just don’t see how he fits into the Chiefs plans with Bray already the developmental QB. Practice squad or IR for Murray his first year until Bray is ready to step into the second spot and Daniels is let go?

    • berttheclock

      I agree with you on Janis and Green Bay took two I wanted. Janis and Abbederis. But, I think the over riding factor for the Chiefs is they only had six picks and the upper brass believed both the defensive side and the offensive line really were the two most areas to be addressed. Had they had the luxury of a couple more picks, they would have gone more to wide outs. But, picking up DAT really filled the Dexter spot and will give the offense a boost when they use him more like Sproles.

      • Calchiefsfan

        Defense and O line were definitely the biggest needs going into this draft. I’m hoping that AJ Jenkins comes on this year. I watched the DAT highlights and I watched them some more and then some more. Wow! I had no idea. I started thinking about the Benny Hill theme song after about 5 minutes in. He was making defensive players run into each other, they were falling down without ever being touched or touching DAT. It was hilarious, like everyone was on slow mo except him. He just might be the steal of this draft. I really liked Dex but this guy could make me forget about him very quickly.

    • Nick

      I think the Murray pick is preparing for when the Chiefs will likely release Daniels, either this season or at end of season. Daniels makes a little over 3 mil a year which is a lot.
      Having two guys compete for the three spot and eventually taking the backup is the thinking I’d say.

      • Calchiefsfan

        I’m thinking the end of this season. Neither Bray nor Murray are up to the #2 spot yet.

    • twaddy

      I could be wrong (and often am), but it looks to me like the pick of Aaron Murray signals one of two options. Option 1: The Chiefs don’t intend to pay Alex Smith elite level $$ and Alex Smith won’t sign for less than that. If they let Alex Smith walk after 2014, they’ll have Daniels (possibly), Bray and Murray left on the roster. With Murray’s ACL injury from last year, they can protect him on the roster by placing him on IR for his developmental year and still keep all four QBs in 2014. Option two: The Chiefs don’t think that Bray has shown the maturity they hoped for and drafted Murray for the third QB slot. I haven’t heard anything negative (or positive really) about Bray’s development, so I suspect Option one is the likeliest. Or it’s something else entirely and I’m just talking out of my …

      • Calchiefsfan

        I don’t think there is any way that Smith doesn’t get signed long term. Both Reid and Dorsey love him and he showed last year that he could run Reid’s offense effectively. I really wouldn’t want to see the Chiefs in the hands of Daniels, Bray or Murray, at least not yet. I think you could be right about Murray going IR this year. Then they have a second year to see what they have in Bray while Murray learns Reid’s system. Next year will be decision time at back up QB.

        • Andy

          I agree, Smith gets signed. The deal turns bad if we rent him for two seasons for a second rounder per session. Also, I think Smith likes it here, like Reid, and would hate to go somewhere else to learn a new offense this late in his career

          • Calchiefsfan

            Yeah, great point about Smith not wanting to go somewhere else to start over. I’m feeling pretty confident that Smith gets signed.

  • berttheclock

    Interesting thing about Mr Duvarney-Tardif. The Montreal press said he had planned on staying in Montreal through Monday for the CFL draft, but, told the press the Chiefs wanted him in KC today, so he was coming to KC. He understands his priorities very quickly.

    • Canad-Ian

      Not surprising, CFL is terrible. Getting better now that NFL Europe is done, but terrible nonetheless

  • tomflex

    All the experts love to hand out grades but most of them don’t spend much time explaining how they personally could have turned that B…C..or…D into that magical A+.
    Sure there were players on the board we would have loved in a Chiefs uniform but our needs and our wants often get mixed up over the long haul of an off season……
    Go back to the last few games of last season and the playoffs. Remember?
    Now make your picks……

    • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

      Do you mean like Walterfootball slamming the Chiefs for not trading down from 23 to take Ford even though there was a report saying Philly though they could get him at 26?

      • tomflex

        Ah!….Let all who have eyes……see.

        • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

          Said the man wearing sunglasses!

          • tomflex

            Said the kitty who ate the canary….I’m a cat lover too.

          • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

            Did you say something? ;)

          • Michael Shaw

            That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are!!!! Lord please forgive us and the pigmy’s down in New Guinnea!!

    • Andy

      I remember our db and safey getting burned. You can blame the lack of pass rush if you want. The Indy game was a collapse. Even a bad D doesn’t give up 35 points in less than a half. We drafted NO starters in this draft to fix our D for this year. I’m a Joe Friday kindof guy. Just the facts. We drafted no starters this entire draft. Maybe there is a plan, but I’m not sure what it was. I’m trusting Reid and Dorsey. They deserve that much.

      • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

        Andy:

        Who would you have taken in each spot to solve the problem that you see?

        • Andy

          1st Tuitt DE
          3rd cb from rice, okay or wr Ellington
          4th Thomas is intriguing
          5th Dixon S
          6th like Fulton
          6th Washington WR

          • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

            It appears your only real beef is the first round pick. Are you assuming Tuitt would have started over Walker?

          • Andy

            Could start, maybe DE or spell Poe, DeVito. IMO, Poe getting double teamed hurt us the most. Need another up the middle player that requires OL attention. Pressure up the middle plays into hali and Houston hands. Manning hates up the middle pressure. I believe Tuitt could have been that guy. My main issue is a first rounder has to be a starter from day one.

          • Andy

            In a nutshell, I don’t have a problem with what each player brings to the team individuality. Collectively, they were not brought in to win next year. A draft that consisted of a penciled starter at S and OL would indicate an honest attempt to win next year. We will, or have already lostl six players before next year’s draft. (Hali, flowers, berry, bowe, dex, and DJ isn’t getting any younger) unless of course their contracts can be more cap friendly. Most of this year’s picks were to replace what we will probably lose. I don’t mind. A new coach wants his type of players.
            I know no one wants to hear about my comments about winning this year, but think about it. Only One team will make the playoffs out of the afc west. Our schedule is brutal. I believe in Reid and Dorsey. I think they are looking to build a long term winner, that unfortunately won’t include many on the roster now.

      • KCMikeG

        There’s no denying the pass rush effects the coverage. Just wait and see – Dee Ford will be a starter and a difference maker. I think Sutton will slide Hali down to DE next to Poe in our 2-3-6 dime with Ford & Hali coming from the edges.
        Remember we were w/o Flowers in the collapse and Lewis and Demps totally let us down. Flowers will be back to 100% and Commings will be better than our weak FS’s. Gaines will contribute as the 6th DB in our dime package and will compete with Smith and Cooper bringing much needed speed to the CB position. The pass rush was one of the factors for our 9-0 start last year and it’s demise exposed our DB’s.

        • tomflex

          Our destiny goes through…oh God….Denver. Lucky for us, Seattle came up with the recipe…..Shootouts aren’t the answer. Getting in Mannings face seems to work quite well.

        • Andy

          I pretty much agree. Ford, right now is one dimensional. Hopefully he can be coached. Like gains also. OL is a huge question mark. Can’t just continually plug and play OL. They need chemistry
          My problem with the Indy game was the big elephant in the room that no one is talking about publicly…Sutton. what about his in game adjustments, or lack there of? One receiver kept beating us and we didn’t seem to adjust. A DC should be able to hold a 35 point lead. Surely you can’t disagree with that.

          • KCMikeG

            Agreed on Sutton & being able to hold a lead. I have had my concerns with Sutton’s adjustments or lack there of before the playoff debacle. This year will tell us if it was the players since Lewis/Demps, Jackson are gone/upgraded and H&H are healthy or if it is truly Sutton who can’t make changes when needed. I hope and pray it was the pieces not the puzzle maker. Struggling defensively will kill our hopes for a playoff run and starting over at DC will further delay our success.

          • Calchiefsfan

            There were a lot of us, (especially me), screaming for Sutton’s head after the Indy game. While I had watched the Chiefs offense steadily improve over the course of the year I watched the D get worse as teams figured Sutton’s schemes out. I’ve mellowed since then but if I don’t see vast improvement in the D I’ll be back calling for his head.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            If you can be a premium passrusher in this league, you can be one-dimensional. I hope the rest of his game develops, but if he’s only good for 10 sacks a season, I won’t do much complaining.

        • micah stephenson

          And if you play Madden we signed cb Demarcus Van Dike. 6’1 and 98 speed. Lol

          • Michael Shaw

            Who? LOL!

          • micah stephenson

            You must don’t play madden. He a tall young cb with speed, the most coveted thing in madden besides tall young wrs with speed. Not saying dvd will b any good in real life but he is beast on madden. Lol

      • tomflex

        Do you also remember two players on defense getting injured?….Justin Houston and Brandon Flowers. Two positions we addressed in the draft.

        • Andy

          You can’t necessarily draft for unknown like injury. You have to draft with best player in mind with what your team lacks.
          A first round pick should be penciled in to start, period. It is for sure they drafted with information we don’t have. I will trust their decisions based on their pedigree. But right now, I don’t understand their plan in this draft.

          • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

            So, you would have passed on Aaron Rodgers if you were Green Bay?

          • Andy

            Really?? The discussion is down to hypothetical ?
            You asked the wrong guy this hypothetical question. I’m a USC fan and watched Aaron carve up the Trojans. When he was drafted I told a friend of mine that the packers got a steal.
            We have a qb named Aaron, but that is far as it goes right now. Reid has a track record of developing qbs, so we will see?

          • berttheclock

            Nonsense. You can draft for unknown injuries. This was a much needed depth pick and a possible replacement at OLB when Hali departs. Ford fits the scheme far better than Tuitt. Yes, Tuitt will thrive with the Steelers, but, you will see Ford playing much earlier than Tuitt for the Chiefs. Tuitt would have been a 5 technique guy on the line. Ford brings far more pass rushing ability as Sutton will be able to move him around in rotations.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            That’s just it though, Ford isn’t just a “break glass in case of emergency” type of player. He’ll play quite a bit if Hali and Houston stay healthy the whole year. His presence will help keep their legs fresher. They got gassed as the Chiefs approached the bye last year. There was no one around, with a quality passrushing skillset, to spell them. Ford will do that.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        The draft isn’t just a one-year fix. It also serves the future of the football team.
        Hali’s almost certain to be gone after 2014. That had to be addressed. The quality of a draft can’t be determined strictly in terms of whether or not players will start right away. You can snare starters that later wash out of the league.

        What matters here is that Dee Ford, Phillip Gaines, and De’Anthony Thomas will all play significant snaps and probably have a real impact from Day 1. If half of your draft class does that and the other half has the potential to move into starting roles in the near future, you’ve done your job.

  • Clint Miller

    LDT will be ready 2015 at earliest. He needs about 35 pounds of muscle to be really effective. I think our 6th round made this draft though if we are looking down the road.

  • Jason

    When we all spend time with the team we can talk. With that in mind I was a little thrown off by some of the picks but it’s nice having to draft 23rd. I’m sure it didn’t go how they wanted and picked the best guy there in every round. We all wanted a receiver but that wasn’t the problem in the second half of the season. We helped the d first, who can disagree with that? Then we get another d. Thomas. This guy should be better than Dex. Then we actually draft a qb, something everyone has wanted them to do for years. I just want to say it could have been way worse and there is no doubt the chiefs are heading on the right direction

  • Dave

    We will know the true grade soon enough. I am one of the most critical Chiefs fans in existence and I give this draft an easy A. Considering where we were in each round, and to not have a second round pick I could not have been more impressed. Dee Ford will end up being the best Pass Rusher of this entire draft class. Unlike Clowney, Ford was not one to disappear in games. His combine numbers, what he showed on ESPN lead me to believe he truly is the best OLB prospect in the draft. Clowney is a 50/50 bust while Ford is more of a sure thing.

    I was sorely hoping they addressed corner and they did that for sure. Gaines is awesome and it will be proved this year. He has an Eric Berry like ferocity and will likely upstage Flowers several games this year.

    DeAnthony Thomas will BE A PHENOM in this offense. If any defense does not account for that kid they are in some trouble. I am betting Kelly was holding out for him (like Ford) and was burned again. Him being in KC is fucking perfect. He will easily replace McCluster. God that kids vision is uncanny.

    AARON FUCKING MURRAY. Drew Brees 2.0. Goodbye Tyler Bray. This kid will WITHOUT A DOUBT sit behind Alex Smith for a number of years and then pop into the scene and light this team up. Murray will prove to be the best QB to come out of the 2014 draft, just watch. Man am I excited for the future of this team because of him alone.

    AND WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WIDE RECEIVER. I know what KC is thinking. Bowe and Smith FINALLY have some rhythm. Kelce will be back. Our slot receiver options are off the fucking chain. Opposite Bowe we have AJ Jenkins who will FOR SURE stretch the field. The fact that pundits talk shit on our receiving corps means little. THEY KNOW LESS ABOUT OUR CHIEFS THAN US FANS DO WITHOUT QUESTION.

    Do I think we can challenge Denver who added and ungodly amount of talent…not really. Do I think we are improved and do I think that our Draft was a huge success? No doubt.

    I do see Chiefs and Denver as the top AFC teams.

  • berttheclock

    I hope Grigson didn’t see more than Dorsey in Erik Swoope. I know Dorsey had looked at him after hearing about Denver being interested in him. Of course, he would have ended up being another TE in training.