NFL Draft 2015: Grading The Kansas City Chiefs

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Oct 18, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers offensive lineman Mitch Morse (65) blocks Florida Gators defensive lineman Bryan Cox Jr. (94) during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Round 2 – Pick 49 – Mitch Morse – Offensive Line – Missouri

If you read my regular Monday morning ramblings every week you know that all offseason I have been banging the offensive line drum for all to hear.

“Fixing the offensive line should be the top priority!” I preached.

“If the Chiefs build a dominant offensive line it will make them a playoff team!” I promised.

As the Chiefs entered the 2015 NFL Draft I wanted them to take a couple of offensive linemen, preferably in the early to mid rounds, but when the draft came to a close Saturday, the Chiefs had only ended up with one new offensive lineman added to the roster. The Chiefs did at least invest one of their first two picks on that player. You would think given my previously stated position regarding the importance of fixing the offensive line that this would be one of my favorite picks of the Chiefs 2015 draft.


I wish that were true, but unfortunately the Chiefs selection of Morse in the second round was my least favorite of KC’s nine draft picks. I don’t actually hate Morse as a prospect. In fact, if KC had selected him in the fourth round, I probably would have praised the pick.

Let me backtrack for a second to give some context here. When I evaluated this draft class as a whole I felt that it was a little lacking in elite first-round talent but was deep in the second-tier players. My thought was that KC could get a player in the second round that wasn’t much of a drop in talent from what was available at pick number eighteen. To say that I think there is a pretty big drop in talent level from Marcus Peters to Mitch Morse would be an understatement.

When KC took Morse, there were still some skilled players available. The top tight end in the 2015 draft, Maxx Williams, was on the board. So were some highly touted wide receivers like Jaelen Strong and fan-favorite Tyler Lockett. It may seem like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth when I preach offensive line and then complain when KC passes up talented skill players to draft a lineman. The problem that I have is that I just can’t fathom that Mitch Morse was the most talented player on the board with that pick.

Even as I listened to John Dorsey talk about him I was concerned. He preached his versatility more than his ability. Versatility is great, but a top 50 pick should be spent on talent. Dorsey talked about Morse the way you hear coaches talk about journeymen veteran minimum free agent signings, speaking about how he can provide depth at multiple positions.

He actually said in the press conference that they think he’ll start by competing for the BACKUP CENTER spot. Not that he’ll start as the backup and compete for the starting spot, but compete to BE THE BACK UP. He took Zach Fulton in the sixth-round last season, and he started from day one. Now this year he’s spending an incredibly valuable top 50 pick on a guy to compete for the backup center spot……WHAT?

Look, I get it, they don’t want to offend Kush so they didn’t want to say they think he’ll start this season, but if you draft a center in the second round after losing your starting center in free agency, that guy should start, period. If you aren’t confident enough to say that he will, you drafted him too early.

I tried to make myself feel better by watching some games of Morse. It didn’t help. In my opinion, Morse doesn’t look like he should play tackle in the NFL. I think his arms are too short and he lacks the ability to handle NFL-caliber edge rushers. If I’m right, then Morse’s versatility just went from being able to play all five spots to just playing on the inside. Then when you add to that the fact that Morse didn’t look overly powerful at the point of attack, you get a player that looked more like a fourth-round pick than a second to me. I will say that Morse showed some good technique at times and I think with coaching he’ll be a very technically sound player.

Reports are that Morse checks all the boxes in the character department. Great person, check. Hard worker, check. Natural leader, check. It’s almost like they felt the need to balance out the incredibly talented player with character concerns they took in the first round by taking a workman-like, high-character player with less upside in the second.

I hope I’m wrong about Morse. I hope he comes into camp, looks great, hands-down wins the starting center job from day one, and has a great decade-long career as the Chiefs starting center. I just don’t know if I trust that to happen. The bottom line for me is that while he fills a major need and definitely has some good qualities I feel like Morse was a reach in the second round and there were better players on the board.

Pick Grade: C-

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