Nov 24, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey watches warmups before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers won 41-38. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
When you think about who the “good” general managers in the league are, there are a few traits that come to mind. A good general manager usually drafts well, keeps core players, and does this all while managing to keep the team’s salary cap intact. That’s a lot of juggling, but there are some GMs who seem to do it much better than others.
This will be the third draft for John Dorsey, and while the verdict is still out on his previous two, we can assume this may be his most important one yet..
In Dorsey’s first draft (2013), the GM had eight picks to work with; a year later, he had just six.
This coming draft, Dorsey will have the most picks to work with (10) in his three short years.
The Chiefs are coming off a 9-7 season where their playoff fate was decided in Week 17. Although fans were disappointed with not making the playoffs, there is a sense of positivity in the air due to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in eight years.
There’s been a change in the culture and personality of the team ever since Dorsey and Andy Reid have arrived. Veteran fans of the organization remember the team that took a similar turn when Lamar Hunt hired Carl Peterson as their new general manager in December of 1988, which eventually led to nine straight seasons above .500. The Chiefs were considered the winningest team of the 90s, and some would say that Peterson was one of the most important hires in franchise history.
Carl was far from a perfect general manager; he bombed on many draft picks and duct-taped roster holes often with subpar free agents. Peterson did, however, know how to revive a dead fan base and bring back a winning culture to a losing organization. Chiefs fans are hoping Dorsey has come to do the same thing.
Although it may not be grabbing the national media’s attention, Dorsey has managed to have a pretty successful offseason. By negotiating with key veterans, he has filled major roster holes with very little cap space. This has allowed some flexibility for the Chiefs to re-sign Ron Parker and bring in some newcomers, such as Jeremy Maclin, Paul Fanaika, and Ben Grubbs.
Jan 31, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on the red carpet prior to the NFL Honors award ceremony at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This is far from a finished product, but what these free-agent acquisitions have allowed the Chiefs to have is some extra flexibility in the upcoming draft. The popular roster spots that fans are lobbying to fill are at wide receiver, right tackle, inside linebacker, and safety. And since the biggest need is at wideout, there’s hope that the Chiefs make a sexy pick and go that route in the first round.
Draft analysts will tell you this is the deepest draft at that particular position in years, which may result in Kansas City being patient and, in terms of the first round, going after a position with thinner depth. Regardless, thanks to Dorsey pulling a rabbit out of a hat and filling other holes through free agency, the Chiefs now have options.
Kansas City’s GM has a chance to build on a pretty good roster and root the franchise deeper in its recent winning ways. However, if he fails to take advantage of his 10 draft picks, the Chiefs will most likely continue to be the middle-of-the-pack team that we’ve grown accustomed to watching.
As John Dorsey continues putting his fingerprint on the organization, we are left wondering what kind of fingerprint that actually is. Is he another Ted Thompson in the making, or will he be remembered as another Scott Pioli? We will take another step in either direction when the draft arrives on April 30th.
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