Grading out the Chiefs’ 2007 Draft


It was the Chiefs’ intention all along to draft a placekicker for the Toronto Argonauts.

I’ve said this before, but before you go judging Pioli’s first draft class with anything other than an Incomplete grade, please take into account the fact that almost every single player he drafted was a project, needing serious development time to become a significant contributor to our team. Typically, you can’t accurately judge draft classes until three years down the road — but it seems it may take even longer with the 2009 class, an experimental group of draftees if there ever was one.

If you want to hand out grades and focus your ire on bad drafts, how about we look back three years to the Chiefs’ 2007 Draft class, now that it’s three years down the road and probably the best time we can judge their progress as contributors to the Chiefs?

This was Herm Edwards’ second draft, and it has been nothing short of an Al Davis impression. To be a competitor year in and year out, you need to essentially hit on all your high picks as starters or significant contributors, and at least hope a couple of the lower ones can pan out.  But for Herm “You Play To Reach In the Draft” Edwards, who prided himself on building teams properly through the Draft (a philosophy I agree with 100%), this Draft serves as an embarrassment that should condemn him from ever commissioning another Draft for an NFL team. USC came this close to championing this guy as a legitimate big program coach. Herm needs to stick with the touch screens in the comfortable ESPN studios rather than helping Carl Peterson to detonate a treasured NFL franchise.

The Chiefs’ first two draft picks are below, the miserable rest are after the jump. Anybody got any pitchforks?

Would you have graded these picks differently?

1. WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU: B+
The natural talent is all there, and that simply cannot be replaced or reproduced. Herm’s best pick of 2007, and one of the best picks of his tenure as head coach, was to pick up Bowe in the first round. An incredibly strong receiver with great route-running and occasionally breathtaking athleticism, Bowe has all the physical talent of an All Pro possession receiver. Herm struck gold here, but he could never get Bowe over the hump between the ears. Haley took some important steps towards refining Bowe’s approach to the game, but Pioli needs to compliment him with some talent downfield so Bowe can free himself of the smothering coverage he has to face every game. This pick becomes an A the day Bowe fulfills his potential and earns himself a trip to the Pro Bowl.

2. DE/DT Turk McBride, Tennessee: F
Arguably the worst pick by the Chiefs in 2007, Herm picked up a defensive line tweener in the middle of the second round whose sole defensive highlight was making a play when nobody cared to block him. McBride was a charming guy and became a frequent star on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” but he wasn’t strong enough inside to even create a speed bump in in run defense, and his best passrushing move at defensive end was hitting the QB approximately five seconds after the ball left his hands. McBride was a disaster from the start. Herm said the day after drafting him that the Chiefs loved his versatility, and were going to mix him up at both DT and DE to maximize results. But in Turk’s first interview with, he said he was just excited to have his coach put him at one position so he wouldn’t have to learn different spots along the line. Talk about being on two different pages, these two were on two different playbooks. FAIL. He was one of the first casualties of the Haley regime, a move nobody in their right mind would disagree with.

3. DT Tank Tyler, North Carolina State: D+
Tank’s grade here isn’t entirely his fault, nor is it Herm’s. Tyler was a DT for the 4-3 defense from the day we drafted him. There honestly was no place for him in the 3-4, and he turned out to be one of the worst nose tackles in the NFL. That’s on Pioli and Haley’s shoulders. Tyler looked extremely promising the day we acquired him, and was the most exciting pick of the Chiefs’ 2007 Draft because of his massive strength (which he never maximized), and his ability to get push up the middle (which he never generated — even in the 4-3). Any time you trade a 3rd rounder two years later for a 5th round pick, you know you whiffed. We wish Tank, one of our favorite players, all the luck he needs in Carolina, but he was a bust in Red & Gold. Just try to stay awake in the Panthers’ film sessions, Tank, and enjoy those Carolina corn fields.

5. RB Kolby Smith, Louisville: C-
Kolby Smith was drafted as a third-down back to compliment Larry Johnson, and what was apparent from the very start was that Smith had heart. In 2007, we saw Larry Johnson go down, and Priest Holmes come out of quasi-retirement to replace him. But the best rushing performance came from the gritty Kolby Smith against the pathetic Raiders defense. Smith generated a lot of excitement from that performance, but he has yet to really live up to it, mostly due to numerous injuries. We hope Smith can make a comeback in 2010, but he’s had two chances for comebacks after injury and has looked shoddy in both.

5. K Justin Medlock, UCLA: F
If there was any chance to cheat and award an F-minus, this would be it. This pick was a failure of Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards through and through. Not that Medlock wasn’t partially responsible; he had a sorrowful preseason where he even missed routine kicks and dribbled his kickoffs five-to-ten yards shy of the endzone. But why on earth would you completely cut a 5th round draft pick after one game in the NFL! And a kicker, no less! Medlock has gone on to have a great season in Canada this year, with near-perfect accuracy. All the more reason why this pick was completely embarrassing, which came before kickers Mason Crosby and Nick Folk.

6. OT Herb Taylor, TCU: B
Lots of folks who follow the Chiefs closely scratched their heads this season when the Chiefs released Herb Taylor. Taylor turned out to be quite a find by Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson in the middle of the sixth. Playing left tackle extensively for TCU, Taylor turned out to be a damn good backup option at left tackle in the couple years he was around, occasionally also getting a shot at guard and at right tackle. He was by no means a finished product when the Chiefs cut him (or when the Broncos picked him up and cut him), as he had an issue with false starts. But Taylor was surprisingly athletic and versatile for a low-rounder, and I wish the Chiefs would have kept him.

7. TE Michael Allan, Whitworth: F
When the Chiefs picked up Michael Allan with their last pick, I thought they had lost their frickin’ minds. You picked up a player from Division III football!? The second time in NFL history that had ever even happened!? Now to be fair, despite coming from an embarrassingly small program, Allan did have an NFL frame.  But if you ever watched Whitworth’s highlights to see him in action, you’d notice he was the biggest player on the field. This guy wasn’t just miles from being NFL ready, he was probably miles from being practice squad ready. He made a couple plays over a couple preseasons, but other than that the Chiefs proved the audacious stupidity of drafting Division III football players.

To summarize: That’s seven selections, three of which aren’t even in the NFL anymore, two of which are even still on the Chiefs, one of which gets any playing time as a serious contributor to this squad, and one All Pro Canadian League kicker.

Herm Edwards’ 2007 Draft was a failure for the Chiefs.