Draft punctuates offseason of success for the Kansas City Chiefs


We all saw why the Chiefs fell short of the playoffs last year. With this offseason, John Dorsey and Andy Reid have taken the vital steps to fix it.

On this episode of Roughing the Kicker, Joshua Brisco breaks down the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2015 draft class and explains why it was another step in the right direction in a fantastic offseason for the Chiefs. Plus, a quick look at the rest of the AFC West’s draft picks and the latest undrafted free agent signings for the Chiefs.

I have never been afraid to criticize the Chiefs when they have failed. They have not won a playoff game in my lifetime, and they have never done anything but fall short of my hopes as a fan. I have been excited for new players, new coaches and new general managers, and in every case, it has resulted in (at best) playoff losses. I have built up a shell of cynicism for every move the Chiefs make.

Now, much to my own surprise, I have nothing but praise for the Chiefs’ 2015 NFL draft.

Let’s backtrack to the end of last season. We saw glimpses of how good the Chiefs could have been, but they always found the proverbial banana peel.

The offensive line was atrocious, especially on the inside. Jamaal Charles still functioned, but Alex Smith was perpetually under duress. So the Chiefs responded by trading for Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs, signed guard depth with former Cardinal Paul Fanaika, and drafted Mitch Morse in the second round, who could potentially play any position on the offensive line.

The wide receivers (if you haven’t heard) caught zero touchdowns last year. Combined. Through 16 games. The Chiefs understood they had serious ground to make up, so they shelled out the cash for borderline-superstar Jeremy Maclin, took a shot on former Colt Da’Rick Rogers, drafted Georgia speedster Chris Conley, and took a flier on Northern Illinois receiver Da’Ron Brown with their last pick. Plus, they drafted Illinois State tight end James O’Shaughnessy to pair with Travis Kelce to give Alex Smith even more weapons.

The Chiefs’ pass defense last year was exceptional, but Sean Smith may be facing a two-game suspension in the last year of his contract, and a lack of depth damaged the Chiefs tremendously. When injuries started to attack the secondary, safety Ron Parker was forced to move to corner, which was a disaster. Now the Chiefs have paid Parker and former Raider Tyvon Branch to add talent and stability to the safety position. Thanks to the Chiefs’ first and fourth draft picks, Parker and Branch will not be moving to the edges. Two cornerbacks, Washington’s Marcus Peters and Oregon State’s Steven Nelson have joined the Chiefs secondary, bringing fire and talent to one of the Chiefs’ strongest units.

With no Derrick Johnson and a worn-down Dontari Poe, the Chiefs’ run defense was perpetually gashed down the stretch in 2014. The Chiefs looked to remedy both of those issues by drafting back-to-back linebackers in the fourth and fifth round, and by taking Poe’s potential backup in the sixth.

The Chiefs have taken big swings this offseason. They’ve made the kind of moves that we have been rooting for, and the kind of draft picks that, if they pan out, improve the team in massive ways. Maybe I keep chasing the same carrot at the end of the string, but I think the Chiefs have made huge strides this offseason. Now I’m ready to see what it looks like on the field.

Have ideas for next week’s episode? Tweet @jbbrisco or comment here on AA and tell me what you want to talk about. Subscribe to RTK on iTunes and never miss an episode.
Roughing the Kicker is a podcast on Arrowhead Addict Radio. RTK is about the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL through the eyes of Chiefs fans. Music by Baby Spaceman.