May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of the stage and podium before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

FanSided: Kansas City Chiefs' Draft Class Found Wanting

Our friend Lyle Graversen’s new piece for FanSided is up and his message may be hard to swallow for Chiefs fans. Graversen ranked all 32 of the NFL’s draft classes and found that Kansas City’s did not stack up well compared to the rest of the NFL.

Here’s what he had to say about the Kansas City Chiefs:

This was a hard team for me to slot. As a confessed KC fan, I didn’t want to be a total homer and rate them too high when they clearly ignored what most perceived as their primary needs: WR, OL, and safety. They didn’t take a true WR at all, or a safety, and they waited on offensive line until the 6th round. That having been said, I really like the players they did get. Dee Ford is a great pass rusher, Phillip Gaines has #1 CB upside, De’Anthony Thomas will help fill the void left by Dexter McCluster, Aaron Murray is a perfect developmental QB for Andy Reid, and the offensive linemen they took in the 6th round have some upside. I simply can’t ignore the fact that they overlooked their roster holes. Five years down the road people may view this draft class much more positively, but right now there are some questions.

I’ll let you hop on over to his piece to see where the Chiefs ranked, but as you can see it wasn’t very high.

One thought I had while reading Lyle’s take on the Chiefs’ draft:

It is an interesting division he and many others have about their concern for what positions the Chiefs drafted compared to the quality of talent they acquired.

There seems to be an agreement the Chiefs brought in a good deal of talent and value in the draft. Graversen does a good job of summarizing the upside potential for all six picks. Those thoughts he expresses coincide pretty well with what many other respected NFL people are saying about the individual talent the Chiefs acquired. Most seem to really like their draft in that regard.

But while there is an agreement about the talent, there seems be a frustration about that talent not being associated with an immediate need. Lyle even says in his post we may view this draft very positively five years from now. Isn’t that what we want? Doesn’t the long-term success of the class mean more than the immediate needs of the team?

It would seem the team would be worse off if they had selected a player with slightly less talent but filled an immediate need for 2014 as opposed to, what we believe, selecting the more talented player with less emphasis on what position he plays. It is an interesting juxtaposition to watch unfold.

Anyway, Graversen’s piece is really good (as always) so go check it out.


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  • paul pace

    I don’t give much credence to most of the critics in the NFL circle and you definitely need to take all the hits the Chiefs usually get with a grain of salt. The proof will be in the pudding come regular season when the Chiefs show who/whom they have on their roster. I truly believe that the Chiefs will pick up their WR when other teams start letting go some of their vets due to cap and roster space. I think the O-line will be fine. Even though they picked up two in the draft who knows Dorsey may bring in some more O-linemen. Dorsey practiced the theory of drafting the best player available to them at the time when their turn came up. So, I am not panicking and I definitely think they did a pretty darn good job in the draft this year. I have been noticing most sports critics giving them a B-/C+ but I think it should be a B+, maybe even an A-. By know means am I in any stretch of my imagination a professional sports analyst/guru, but I think Dorsey knows what he is doing. Just my opinion, but as you know opinions are like @#%&#@##, everyone has one.

    • redchiefs

      If the critics could evaluate talent needed for the O and D coordinators that we have on staff, they’d be the ones being paid by the Hunt Family. I’ll consider Dorsey knows far more than those “experts”.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I think it’s time to take John Dorsey at his word. He does appear to be a strict adherent of the “best player available” philosophy.

    • Ben Nielsen

      No joke.

    • e_racer

      Was Dee Ford the best player on the board at 23? I didn’t have him graded that high, and most others felt the same. I think he was the best pass rushing OLB available. Yes, the Chiefs did well in sacking opposing quarterbacks in the first half of the season. Hali is a good player, but he is a one trick pony when it comes to pass rush. He is just not quick enough getting to the QB, and he lacks the bulk to bull rush most players. Dee Ford is a lot more explosive on his first step than Tamba Hali. Houston and Ford would be two very quick first step OLBs. Hali won’t be replaced, but I predict the Chiefs will try to utilize Dee Ford a lot more than most people realize. I can envision Tamba sliding back to DE, and KC coming with both Houston and Ford on passing downs.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Dorsey said he was the highest-ranked player on KC’s board. Was he mine? No. Boards are always team-specific though and probably vary widely.

    • PunjabiPete

      I think the main reason I’m excited for this season is because we have the same coaches 2 years in a row. I mean, when was the last time THAT happened? All jokes aside, I was pretty bummed we passed over WRs and the “big sexy pick”, but thinking back, I may have been spoiled by Andy Reid’s clout-throwing last year, taking seemingly every good player he felt like and making big signings almost daily. I’ll take the “wait and see” approach, though it warms my heart to hear Reid saying Ford has nothing to do with Hali… can’t wait to see what we come up with this year

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Reid’s a Poker player. He can’t come right out and say he’s hedging his bet with Ford. Though, in another sense, I think he’s right. Ford gives you an opportunity to get one more highly-skilled passrusher on the field. He’s also there to spell Hali and Houston. A case can be made for drafting him even if Hali’s future cap numbers weren’t restrictive.

  • scomstock55

    a small sample of what dorsey can do can be seen in the TE he scrounged to replace our two starters this past year…I thought that the beard was an exceptional find off the street…

    • Andy

      And adding copper

    • PunjabiPete

      Oddly enough, in the season ending statistics, McGrath had 10 TDs, his beard hauled in another 2… true story, I read it on the internet

  • Andy

    Lyle is right, we didn’t draft any players that fills a need. He is right that we drafted good players with up side.
    I believe two things. I trust Reid and Dorsey to the max. This is the first time in a long time we have proven professionals running the team.
    Second, I also believe Reid and Dorsey used FA last year to get fans back in the seats. Their successful track record is not in FA. Now that they calmed the fan revolt, they are going back to how you build a team, through the draft. Might take a step backwards this year not keeping up with the Elways, but in the long run, building a team that is a consistent winner

    • redchiefs

      I don’t see where there was a step backward. They cut some players who could not make on a Dorsey OR Reid team. They drafted players who were upgrades over the cuts, they got some pass rush now, and fixed what was going to be a leaky O line. They drafted far more pressing needs than WR. I thought this draft was a solid B, and might become an A-. Dee Ford might not be DT, but is about as close (potentially) as there might ever be again, which will take some pressure of Poe. The Pass rush this year might be as good as it ever was under Marty Schottenheimer.

      • Andy

        Up grades over cuts or existing players don’t make you better if you haven’t addressed the weaknesses. We lost three starters on the offensive line.two sixth round picks didn’t fill that hole. Stephenson is good, but playing every week gives other teams more tape. An injury on the OL, right now we are toast.what wwere our weakness last year . WR production, (bottom of the NFL), safety play, Lewis was near the bottom. With the departure of three OL starter,OL became a weakness. Reid and Dorsey did not panic and draft for need, necessarily, but stayed with the board.. I don’t see how we are better short term. Read my post. I like the picks, we stayed with our board and just draft for need.

        • Andy

          Sorry for the grammar, I’m tired.

  • Lyle Graversen

    Let me just say to anyone that may be ready to revoke my Chiefs fan status over ranking KC fairly low, I don’t dislike the KC draft class, in fact I’ve really come to like it. However, when I write for Fansided I try to put my Chiefs homer status away and look at things from a neutral perspective. In fact, if anything, I probably intentionally go a little harder on KC than anyone else so fans of other teams don’t dismiss me as being too biased.

    Going into the draft I would have ranked KC’s draft needs as:

    1. A starting caliber WR
    2. OL Depth
    3. Coverage Safety
    4. Pass Rush Help

    The Chiefs didn’t get #1 or #3 and didn’t address #2 until the 6th round. That leaves their draft open for debate, even if you like the players that they drafted (which I do). The fact is that with all the talent in this draft, a LOT of teams did well for themselves. If you look over the entire list, I actually see very little difference between teams 14-25. I think you can easily argue any of the teams in that range are up for debate.

    • Andy

      Quit apologizing. You are right. See my comment below.
      About your list, (playing devils advocate) number one, maybe Jenkins fills a hole, Bowe seemed to get better at the end of the year. Reid offense isn’t predicated on a top WR.
      OL depth, except for four of them having a year of Reid’s offense under their belt or if Fulton emerges, can’t argue with you.
      Cover safety, looks like they are relying on Cummings.

    • calciomoti

      Gotta be honest here as the season went on our offense started to flourish and the lack of pass rush started to show our weakness in coverage our needs changed to what you have listed ( first half of season) to completely reversed as you listed their priorities ONLY according to what we needed up until around game 11 or so.

      I felt as our offense got better our lack of pass rush truly expossed our weakest link on the entire team (our secondary) and particular our CB’s and FS. As well as the fact that Eric Berry is not used properly our biggest concern switched from WR to OLB (better yet, wtf is Hali, and when is Houston coming back???) Don’t tell me you weren’t thinking that as we are rolling up points and couldn’t stop a damn thing on D…

      Personally I think the national media watched a few bits of film and bunch of dropped Avery balls during Chiefs v doncos and said we need a wr. But as a Chiefs only fan (F the rest of the NFL) I felt a safety, de or cb was our biggest priorities. Up until we lost the OL but I was/am really only concerned as to whether or not Fisher can replace Albert and be at least equal to him, the rest of the group looks fine they just need time to gel.

      I thought with 6 picks we got great value AND picks that filled our biggest areas of need.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      From the vantage point of team needs, you’re absolutely right. Neither of the team’s biggest needs (wide receiver or safety) was addressed.

    • mnelson52

      In my opinion

      1. Pass rusher
      2. Nickel
      3. Corner
      4. WR
      5. OL
      6. WR

      I went with defense first because it was the weakest part of our game, and cost us every loss but one. Our offense averaged over 30 points a game over our last 8 games but could stop no one. That should be enough points to win about any game with a good defense. If you go offense 1st, then you are stuck with shoot outs against Rivers and Manning 4 games plus some other very good offensive teams this year. I like our chances better to shut down those teams. I still think we had a very good draft though. I also wish we could have picked up a DE that can pass rush and play the DE position. You can’t have to many pass rushers in this league. That might would take away some of Poe’s double teams and allow him to get to the QB also. At least it would collapse the pocket and force QBs to throw before there ready. Well anyway, that’s my take on the matter.

      • mnelson52

        I’ll add also we didn’t need to use a draft pick for a safety since they drafted commings last year and he is now healthy. We also have Abdullah. With only six picks, I can’t see drafting a rookie to replace a rookie that already knows the system and is faster.

  • e_racer

    John Dorsey likes to talk about taking the best player available. He may have this time, but an argument could be made that this draft was all about filling needs.

    The KC Chiefs lost their playoff game because of defense. They did fine moving the ball. Had the Chiefs not lost two of their best running backs they would have done even better. For all the talk of the Chiefs needing to upgrade their wide receivers, the Chiefs actually did not suffer that last loss due to their receiving corps. They lost because of a lack of defense. The primary problem on defense was not being able to get to the quarterback. Hali is a good player, but he only has one move, and was shut down against Indy, and every other playoff team. The Chiefs needed to apply pressure, and they were unable. So, one could argue the Chiefs draft of Dee Ford (the best pass rushing OLB on the board), was very much to fill the biggest need on the team. After the Chiefs hot start, the front 7 failed to get much pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

    The Chiefs did not have a 2nd, but the very next round saw the Chiefs address the need for a corner. Sure, FS was a problem. However, the Chiefs biggest issue in the secondary was not having enough speed to cover the opposing team’s fastest player. Their secondary was exposed against Cleveland, and teams with fast receivers continued to pose a problem for the Chiefs. Abdullah played well down the stretch. Sanders Commings was hurt last season, but could be a very good back up to Abdullah. The biggest issue for the Chiefs was the inability to cover guys with blistering speed. Philip Gaines showed he has speed to burn in order to keep up with 4.3 speedsters. He was not as quick off the line as Quinton Demps (one of the fastest ever in the 10 yard split), but he was within the acceptable range. He 20 yard split was even better. Gaines is fast enough. Demps had blistering speed, but he didn’t know where to go with that speed on defense. His speed often placed him further away from where he was supposed to be on the field.

    The Chiefs needed a return specialist to replace Demps, and DMC. They got just that with their 4th round pick, DAT. He may contribute a little as a slot receiver, but his biggest asset may be his ability to return punts.

    I believe John Dorsey drafts the best player on his board, in Green Bay style, but he also considers the needs of the team. I believe the first three selections represented what Dorsey felt were some of the biggest holes on this team to be filled.