Kansas City Chiefs in first round since 2000

1 of 3

With the 2015 NFL Draft about a week away, I thought it might be a good time to re-visit the Kansas City Chiefs’ recent Round 1 draft history. I should warn you, what I’m about to say won’t inspire any confidence. Since 2000, Kansas City has only hit on 7 of the 14 players they’ve selected in the opening round. Five more picks can fairly be characterized as “busts.” The jury’s still out on the two players taken atop the Chiefs’ last two draft classes. For now, their 50% success rate since the turn of the century is appalling.

[table id=67 /]

There’s a common thread that runs between the five players who failed to pan out for the two previous regimes–those players were either wide receivers or defensive lineman. It can be argued that both positions have been an ongoing concern for the organization since 2000. In fairness to the defensive line group, the current crop of players are among the best the Chiefs have had since the Schottenheimer era. The tide has recently turned with the selections of Allen Bailey (third-round, 2011) and Dontari Poe (first-round, 2012). The receiving corps, on the other hand, is still taking shape.

The past obviously has no bearing on what will happen when the Chiefs go on the clock next Thursday night. Chiefs GM John Dorsey isn’t responsible for missing on any of the aforementioned prospects. He’s only had two since the new administration took office. Team brass may know by season’s end if they got a significant return on their Eric Fisher investment, but Dorsey’s No. 1 picks are largely still in the process of development. If we’re being honest, we can’t quite cast judgment on his stewardship over premium draft picks — at least not yet.

There are a number of reasons why players wind up falling short of draft expectations. Some NFL careers are derailed by injuries. Other players flounder when their drafted teams are unable to create an environment conducive to their success (on and off the field). I recently heard an NFL Radio interview where former general manager Bill Polian explained why he opted not to draft the troubled ex-Cornhusker Lawrence Phillips in 1996. Polian admitted the Carolina Panthers didn’t have a sufficient support system in place to help Phillips overcome the difficulties of his past.

Follow the jump to continue to the next page.