Breaking Down The Kansas City Chiefs Draft Picks

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The 2014 NFL Draft is now officially in the books and after months of waiting and speculating Chiefs fans finally have some new players to look at. So this week I’m going to do just that. Draft grades always kind of bother me. It’s even more speculation than the mock drafts are. I’m fine assigning grades a couple of years later when we see how it actually turned out, but how do we know if this class is an “A” or an “F” yet? That’s why for each of KC’s six picks I’ll just give you what I see as the pros and cons of that pick and then some final thoughts on if I initially liked it or not. Let’s dive right in with their first pick…….

Dee Ford – DE/OLB – Auburn – 6’2″ – 252 lbs – 4.59 forty – 29 bench

The Chiefs shocked most people by taking an outside edge rusher with their first overall pick. After Jadeveon Clowney and Kalil Mack, Ford was widely considered the next best pass rusher in the draft.

The Pros:

The Chiefs pass rush really struggled down the stretch. In fact, after starting the season on pace to break the single season sack record they drastically fell off in the second half, especially when Justin Houston and Tamba Hali were banged up. The lack of pass rush then exposed weaknesses in the secondary that teams were able to exploit. Despite KC’s perceived needs at offensive line and wide receiver, you can make a strong case for their lack of pass rush being the number one contributor to their playoff loss collapse. Drafting Ford addresses that need. Plus, I love the idea of getting an impact skill position player with your first round pick. A great pass rusher can impact a game every bit as much as a wide receiver can. Obviously, drafting Ford also allows KC to have a plan in place for moving on from the aging Tamba Hali whose contract is going to be a major issue next offseason. Scouting reports rave about Ford’s explosive first step and speed off the edge. Those are skills that can’t be taught and usually can’t be found later in the draft.

The Cons:

The Chiefs drafted a player in the first round where they already had two starting Pro Bowl caliber players. That’s really the main issue most people have. Yes, Tamba is getting older and expensive, but in terms of winning THIS YEAR, OLB was not a position that people were worried about. Many people wanted KC to use this pick on a WR. Plus, Ford has some injury history, will need to transition to linebacker, and isn’t very strong against the run.

Final Thoughts:

The more I think about this pick, the more I like it. For me, the bottom line is that I want a first round pick that has a chance to be a game changing difference maker. Dee Ford can be just that. I understand that people wanted a WR, but who would you have taken there? Marqise Lee? Look how far he fell. That tells me that teams were scared off by his medicals and didn’t feel safe risking a high pick on him. That tells me everything I need to know. I like this pick infinitely more than an offensive lineman in that spot and the top two safeties were already off the board. KC got a very good CB prospect in the third, so I don’t think you can make an argument that it was a mistake to pass on Darquez Dennard. I think in two years when Tamba Hali is no longer a Chief and Dee Ford is putting up double digit sacks, everyone will be just fine with this pick.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs

  • berttheclock

    Meanwhile, over in Niners’ land, Baalke is taking heat for not taking a field stretching wide out. The knock is Davis, Boldin and Crabtree lack that home run punch and the fans are irate Baalke didn’t wheel and deal for, either, Beckham or Cooks. Baalke said that going after Beckham would have been too much of a stretch and he wasn’t very clear on why he didn’t go after Cooks.

    However, the reason I am mentioning this on a Chiefs’ thread was a comment by Baalke of stretching the field. He said one could stretch the field vertically as well as horizontally. That brings up the important aspect of DAT who can stretch the field in either direction. The West Coast offense is made up of crisp short routes and YACs. It has never been a home run offense. In fact, it is a system which lulls the defense, then, hits them with big chunks, which Baalke says is the way to beat the Seahawks.

    BTW, DAT is not much different in size from Desean Jackson, of whom, Reid used very well on the outside.

    • tm1946

      Not a big 49er fan, what are folks saying about SD. Talking heads seem to feel they may actually challenge Denver and get a playoff spot. No idea what is the truth.

      • berttheclock

        They had a great draft.

        • tm1946

          Take your word for it. Doubt some of these fans will accept it.

  • berttheclock

    I do believe both the offensive line coaches and defensive coaches are salivating about getting to work with this new group.

    • KCMikeG

      If for some reason we don’t extend AS11 – as much as I want them to – I will be pretty happy that we have more than Daniels & Bray to chose from.

  • Tim King

    Brandon Flowers to safety? You could see the chiefs more willing to pay for a free safety with excellent man coverage skills in Flowers, than a nickel corner. Thoughts?

    • Tyler Alexander

      He’s smart enough but not big or fast enough. I also think its bad for business to spend 20 mil on your starting safeties… just my thoughts.

    • berttheclock

      The Niners took Jimmy Ward, safety, out of Northern Illinois. They are going to play him at nickle as Harbaugh says a nickle is a very important part of the defense as he has to play over 60 percent of the defensive plays. The Giants just made a one year $3 M, $2M guaranteed, for Walter Thurmond to jump from the Seahawks. Thurmond was a very important part of the defense which kept the wide outs for Denver out of sync.

      As for paying so much for safeties, I defer to Paul Allen opening the vault for both Thomas and Chancellor. Money very well spent.

    • Kisersosay

      I think Gaines may be looked at for Safety. He is not strong enough for press corner. His skills are more zone based. Seems like a weird fit unless they are thinking safety. Certaily has the speed we need at FS. I guess we will see during camp.

      • Austin Moore

        He played in a defensive scheme where they played man coverage most of the time and he excelled at it, so i believe he could be an excellent press corner

  • freshmeat62

    I think this is a great draft. For one thing, I think it proves what Dorsey did what he’s been saying since day 1, he drafts PBA. This is not a sexy draft. There are no ‘big name’ players in the group. Just a bunch of guys that fit what D&R want to do, and can be excellent contributors. Eventually there will be WR’s as BPA when the Chiefs are on the clock, it just didn’t happen this year. At least we know that D&R didn’t reach to fill a ‘need’, thus bypassing someone that will be better in the long run.

    I didn’t know much about any of these guys, Ford and Murray a little bit, before the draft, but I have so much more confidence in Dorsey’s picks than I ever got from Pioli’s. Most of Pioli’s picks just never made sense to me. These do, every one of them.

    • Kcfan

      Dorsey and Reid have a track record of success so there is no need to argue with their decisions. The whole world thought we needed a wr but you know who didn’t? Reid and Dorsey. Yeah we we hot DAT which I love but look for big things from Jenkins and Hemingway

  • paul pace

    There will be some vets released after training camp so maybe the Chiefs can pick up a WR then. But, the way Reed’s offenses work I think they have some weapons that will keep the offense scoring points just like last year. In addition, we are getting back a TE from injuries that they drafted last year whom many think is a TE/WR. Hopefully, Kelce is or will be as good as many thought he would be when they drafted him and that he is not injury prone.

    • freshmeat62

      What you say about Kelce is also true about Commings. Those two are just like the draftees this year that they are highly thought of 1st year players, and could make a big difference.

  • Michael Shaw

    Great write up Lyle, as usual of course! Initially I did not like the Round 1 and 3 picks. I think for value and in terms of position of need, I would have rather we grabbed, Su’A Filo or Dennard in round 1. As for round 3 I was sold by your fellow AA writers that Donte Moncrief would be good for this team! However, I also know that I am not an NFL scout and have not seen any of these guys play. Most of what I know is based on articles written by other people, so what the heck do I really know. I hope these picks turn out to be diamonds in the rough! GO CHIEFS!!!!!

  • Auburn78

    My biggest issue remains passing on Moncrief on the 3rd. Almost every Draft grading site has Moncrief listed as the Colts best pick for a reason. I think we will regret not taking him. I still like Jenkins but we needed wr help. I’ve lost faith in Bowe at this point and I can barely consider him a #1.

    • berttheclock

      Interesting that over at NFL DraftScout, Frank Cooney lists who he believes was the best value for each team. For the Colts, he has Moncrief and for the Chiefs, he has Duvarney-Tardif. But, for the Niners he has Bruce Ellington, of whom, I thought would bring value to the Chiefs.

      • Auburn78

        Moncrief most likely will be situational in Indy as they have Wayne, Hilton, and Hakeem Nicks. But I think Moncrief will be groomed as Waynes replacement.

  • sidibeke

    “Many people wanted KC to use this pick on a WR.” It’s weird; some of the reaction felt as if the talking heads took it personally that KC didn’t take a WR. It didn’t seem rational. You have a chance to take a Von Miller and you take it.

    • berttheclock

      Yeah, and in the Bay, posters are blasting Baalke for not trading up for a faster wide out. Even his taking Ellington is not enough to appease them. But, yeah, it is kind of nice to take a player who has said he has tried to emulate Robert Mathis, Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

    • KCMikeG

      It sucks being wrong more when you present yourself as an “expert”.

      • sidibeke

        It sure felt that way. Did you see Williamson’s (not Bill but the other one) reaction on the draft live blog? It felt like a little tantrum.

  • berttheclock

    I believe the weight programs, the OTAs and St Joe are going to be both critical and necessary for many of the players, including the future reserves, such as Joe McKnight. There is going to be a great deal of open competition in St Joe and no one, except Alex Smith, is going to have a roster position just handed to him. Of course, the older vets will have no problem, but, they will still have to show up in shape and produce. A little bit of the downhill skier movie with Redford, when, he won the big race and the reporters were surrounding him only to leave him when the times were flashed about the young phenom who was beating his times coming down the hill. The young skier fell, but, Redford’s character knew the writing was on the wall and his time was going to come to an end.

  • berttheclock

    Would anyone out there want a college player with the following scouting reports? This young man is six foot even and only weighs 225 pounds Two years before, he had injuries which stopped his career. So, two years later the scouts said of him “A little small for consideration as a pass rush specialist, so must learn an entirely new position, but, has the numbers, intelligence and tenacity to succeed. He over pursues and lacks a sustained burst of speed”.

    So, would you have taken Robert Mathis because he is the player listed above?

    • Wes McDougal

      Great point

  • mnelson52

    I like this draft. I think Dorsey was able to take BPA and fill our needs at the same time. As far as needing a safety, I think they drafted Commings last year to do the job and he is faster than any safety in this years class. They trust their last years draft, which is good. Corner competition should be strong this year. Hopefully Flowers will play nickel as good as he finished last year. I hope they have the people for a good competition at nickel though. We saw last year how important that position is in this pass happy league and division. If they use Ford at DE in passing situation next to Poe, I believe the D-line will cause ma-ham when Tamba and Houston force the play to the inside, instead of like last year where the QB had a cozy pocket to step into. Ford will also give relief to Tamba and Houston to keep them fresh. All of this should fix the problems that caused us to lose the playoff game. As far as offense, I wanted a receiver somewhere also but there are still ways to do that if they aren’t comfortable with what we have. They got a few WR UFAs, and sometimes they turn out to be stars. They addressed the O-line which was my next concern on offense. I don’t know much about Fulton or Duvernay-Tardif but I’m loving what I read about them, especially Tardif. If he can’t make it as our starting or swing tackle, and with Andy always saying he will play his best five linemen, he could take his nasty streak to the guard position. Murray was a very good QB in college. I don’t know if that will translate to pros or not, but D&R must think so, so I’m good with that pick also. The overall I think was a good draft and made our team better. Last year just one play at the right time on offense or defense, in each of our losses, could have put us at 14-2 plus a playoff win or 2. Maybe even an SB appearance. I give the grade a B+. I’m glad Dorsey stuck to his evaluations instead of just grabbing the popular guys on the board.

  • Roger Mihalko

    While I think the picks will work out, After the third round all the picks were NOT the BPA, not by a longshot. the 4th and 5th rounds could have garnered two O-line players of way higher caliber and more than likely been starters or real competition. There were also safety’s, cornerbacks, Defensive Tackles, Defensive Ends, and Linebackers available. All of these would have been better choices than the small running back and this qb (weak arm and acl injury). any of these would have been better, fit the needs, and impacted the team faster and better than the picks they made. The 2 pick Sixth round….could have been used for just about anything…. even the WR(s) that fans and media talking heads were clamoring for.

    They have signed a good deal UDF’s so some hope there.

    • mnelson52

      I’m glad they pick what they feel is best for the team. I don’t think it’s wise to pick what the media or the fans think is best.

      • KCMikeG

        Come on now. That’s just crazy talk!

    • Lyle Graversen

      I think to definitively say that their picks weren’t BPA, is assuming too much. Who are you or I to say if they were or weren’t. They may not have been YOUR BPA, or MY BPA, but they could absolutely have been the Chiefs BPA.

      • mnelson52

        What I meant was BPA on Dorsey’s board to make the Chiefs better.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Graversen! I thought the Chiefs needed a receiver to help bolster the receiving corps. Even if they believe in Jenkins, they don’t know that he’ll ever pan out. I’m less concerned about it though now that they’ve acquired a couple of talented UDFA’s in Marcus Davis and Albert Wilson. If Davis can get his head on straight and really learn the position, he could be one hell of an NFL receiver. I agree with you though. I really like this draft class. These players have some fabulous upside and could all have a big impact on this team going forward.

    • Kcfan

      I was on the wr train too but I can safely say that the coaches that watch these players in practice did not feel the same way. That tells me they really feel that coaching and hard work will allow them to get better in house.

  • Jim Wynne

    I think it was a job well done. Was disappointed at first bout no WR but since had time to think I trust these guys and their skills at drafting. CHIEFS RULE

  • tm1946

    Interesting comment, I support it generally speaking.

    If I read it correctly, the first two picks are for 2015 and later, great potential. One OL can challenge to play, I totally disagree but still a good pick. And if it works out the QB, who is short, ACL injury, not strong armed, will be great if he works out, why not.

    Now my concern, we are playing in 2014, could have used some help this year. A slot receiver as the only probable regular player sort of sucks. And, though you did not mention it, the idea the AJ Jenkins will be the official #2WR is an issue, at least for me.

    But other than those minor issues, this could actually be a good building block kind of draft.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I think you’ll see Ford and Gaines on the field on a regular basis so I wouldn’t classify those picks as strictly for 2015.

      • tm1946

        I mis- spoke. I would say they will play in 2014. But will Ford be so good that Hali will get benched or released, same with Gaines., what starter from 2013 gets cut. I feel the first few picks should not just play but take a position of a starter from the first game. Not going to happen with these two. Isn’t that the point of any teams first picks? Not just to “play regularly” but to be the guy to take a position because they are the best player the team could find.
        Not to get in a war of words but if the entire draft were inactive for all 16 games this year, the team seems no worse off baring injury or retirement than at the end of last year.

        • KCMikeG

          Hali had 11 sacks last year and missed games due to injury. No way he’s making $11M and sitting on the bench or getting cut. Sutton will have all three of them on the field together and we will be back on a record pace for sacks.

          • tm1946

            And do not forget Hali is fat now, media notified by “someone” after Ford selection. LOL

            Mike, I know you are a fan but come on, had the Chief’s so solid a roster at the end of 2013 that they could draft players would will be of limited value until 2015….. Oh, they will play but a first round pick behind Hali just does not make sense.

            Hate to remind folks, Pioli used to double tap needs. Need a DE, draft two. Now, Dorsey with his first pick drafts a kid to replace a players at the end of a contract the NEXT year. FisherAlbert and FordHali. In the meantime we go without a #2 WR and S and throw in a G at the end to fillchallenge for another starter role. Just saying Dorsey seems to have issues just not the same ones as Pioli.

          • KCMikeG

            Limited value? There’s not going to be any waiting until 2015 for results. Ford addresses our biggest deficiency (pass rush) that exposed our DB’s and caused the collapse of our defense costing us most of the 2nd half of the season and the playoff loss.
            You are also making an assumption that Ford was drafted to “relieve” and then replace Hali. I have heard from multiple sources that they are planning on all three Hali, Houston & Ford to be on the field at the same time. Remember Hali was a DE & DT at Penn State before we drafted him. We made him lose weight and switch to an OLB in our new 3-4 defense. While he has adapted well, becoming one of the best edge rushers around, he has always been a liability in coverage. It is my understanding that they will slide Hali down onto the line next to Poe in our 2-3-6 dime formation which would explain the additional 10 #’s of weight he has added this offseason. With Houston & Ford coming off the edges we will have the answer to the high flying offenses we face.
            Our 3rd round pick Gaines was drafted to replace Robinson/Demps and will compete for a starting spot but likely will be the 5th or 6th DB in our nickel and dime packages which we run over 50% of the time. Smith, Cooper, Flowers, Gaines, Berry & Abdullah/Commings looks pretty solid to me.

    • Kcfan

      Be on the lookout for this years Marcus cooper! Teams as stocked as Seahawks and 49ers can’t take on 10 rookies so good players will get released and I am sure Dorsey will be ready

      • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

        Dorsey isn’t going to be in the catbird seat with the waiver wire though.

        • Kcfan

          Very true but I bet you we pick up a guy after cuts that makes our 53 man roster.

          • tm1946

            Hope so but don’t we have cap dollar issues, as in no MONEY. Guess some forgot we did little in free agency because we had no money for salaries.

  • Brian Dempsey

    In this draft, I really liked the two O-Line picks in round 6 to finish up this draft. They’ll groom those guys this year & probably have them challenge for starting positions in 2015. Would not be one bit surprised to see Duvernay-Tardif & Fulton as the Chiefs two starting Guards on opening day in 2015.

    • KCMikeG

      Allen will have his hands full trying to beat out either one of them.

  • Dr. Paine

    We are all clearly obsessive Chiefs fans meaning we are on pins and needles when the Chiefs are on the clock. This is the first time I didn’t have an instant knee-jerk negative reaction to ANY of the Chiefs picks this year. Lyle echoed my sentiments exactly. I’m as big of a Tamba fan as anyone (he is so perpetually and blatantly held) but last year was a teaser for what’s to come: injuries. He works so damn hard that he has spoiled us by keeping himself healthy enough to play (even when battling injuries, a tough mother)…

    I watched the SD home game last night on NFL rewind (the best money I’ve ever spent) and after Tamba and JH went down, our D went from our punishing, smothering unit to a unit that brought to mind the NFL record setting worst pass rush (not to mention those CROSSING ROUTES LITERALLY OVER AND OVER AGAIN)….I don’t pop molly I rock Dee Ford

    Which brings me to why I love the 3rd round pick Gaines. If we want to play Sutton’s scheme competitively, we simply must have 4 corners capable of covering anyone mack. He might not be there yet, but he has a knack for pass-breakups and can make up silly ground with this length and speed.

    Speaking of speed, what’s not to love with DAT? Do yourself a favor and watch his ultimate highlight. I’ve never seen so many broken ankles, I felt like I was watching an And 1 mixtape. I literally laughed and shook my head half the time. He reminds me of Tavon Austin (Bmore baby!)

    Last but not least, my favorite pick, Aaron Murray. I was 1 when the Chiefs passed on Dan Marino (sorry to take it there) and picked who they picked, but as I recall I wasn’t a fan of the move at the time. For the remainder of my life I’ve seen some half-wood (I think it’s in?) attempts to draft a QB (who could have half-wood with Kelly Croyle?) Anybody watch college football? I’ve been pounding the drum for Aaron Murray for years. He tore his ACL and stayed on the field, throwing a TD the next play. I believe they call that “IT.” Do yourself a favor and watch Gruden’s QB camp with Murray. For those that hate on the arm strength, it is literally the same myth as with Alex-completely fabricated, unfounded telephone game BS. If you watched the actual games, you will remember how this guy was ABSOLUTELY CLUTCH. Whatever “IT” is, I want “IT”….no homo