Mel Kiper Regrades The Kansas City Chiefs 2014 Draft Class


One year into the class of 2014 and it is time to re-evalutate the Chiefs and their draft selections. Mel Kiper checked in with his review and his grade may as well read ‘incomplete.’

In the moments after the 2014 draft Kiper gave the Chiefs a B- grade and said the following:

"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."

A year later not much has changed in Kiper’s evaluation, though he has downgraded the Chiefs to a C-plus.

"When you consider a Chiefs draft class that so far hasn’t shown us a whole lot, there are two things to remember. For one, that second-round pick they had traded away is still Alex Smith. Regardless of what you think about where Smith stands as an NFL starter, given where the Chiefs were at QB before they acquired him — start with that 2012 record of 2-14 and fast-forward to the 20 regular-season wins in the two seasons since — they could have done worse for the price of a second-rounder.Secondly, when they drafted Dee Ford it was coming off a season where the pass rush had been slowed (and really hurt them in a playoff loss to Indy) with health issues, and also heading into Justin Houston’s final season before free agency. Houston was a terror this season, and Tamba Hali played in all 16 games. So Ford was mere depth. Beyond that, there were mixed returns."

At least we know where Kiper stands in the Alex Smith debate, yeah?

John Dorsey’s second draft class obviously has a lot left to prove but there is reason for optimism up and down the class. Ford showed in the final month of the season he has a knack for creating pressure from the edge and, at times, up the middle. One would imagine to the Chiefs will use him more next season.

De’Anthony Thomas flashed his explosive skills, Phillip Gaines was able to translate his athleticism to the football field in a way that surprised some of us, and Zach Fulton played all 16 games at right guard. There’s intrigue around Larry Duvernay-Tardif as a possible solution at guard or tackle next season, and Aaron Murray has promise to be the next Chase Daniel as a solid backup quarterback.

The true pressure will come this season for Dorsey as he’ll have a second round pick plus some compensation selections coming his way. With a chance KC will have four picks in the top 100 selections, the Chiefs will need something more than a C+ from next year’s rookie class.