Kansas City Chiefs: Predicting the third-year players

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Nov 9, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher (72) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I looked at the possible impact of the Kansas City Chiefs’ second-year players. This week, I thought it’d be fitting to look at some of our Chiefs who will be heading into their third year. You can see what I had to say about the sophomore players here.

The Chiefs 2013 draft proceeded as follows:

1 1 Eric Fisher LT 6-foot-7 306 Alabama
3 63 Travis Kelce TE 6-foot-2 255 Cincinnati
3 96 Knile Davis RB 5-foot-10 227 Arkansas
4 99 Nico Johnson LB 6-foot-2 248 Alabama
5 134 Sanders Commings CB 6-foot-0 216 Georgia
6 170 Eric Kush C 6-foot-4 205 California (PA)
6 204 Braden Wilson FB 6-foot-3 251 Kansas
7 207 Mike Catapano DE 6-foot-3 271 Princeton

The majority of the buildup to the 2013 NFL Draft was dominated by the choice between two left tackles; Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel. With the first-overall pick, Kansas City general manager John Dorsey decided Fisher was the superior left tackle. Although playing left tackle at college, Fisher’s rookie season was spent at right tackle.

Unfortunately, the change of position backfired; Fisher struggled, a lot. During the 2014 season, Fisher became the Chiefs’ left tackle for the, but again struggled to show why he was rated highly. Fisher was part of a horrifically bad offensive line last season (he played alongside Mike McGlynn, poor fella), and this may have been the cause of his poor performance.

Whether this is pure bias to my admiration of the pick when it was made, or mere hopeless optimism, I am predicting a career year for Fisher. Firstly, he must produce on the field or he will be in danger of being piled up among the numerous busts in the NFL.

However, with a full offseason (He had shoulder surgery last year which limited his time in the gym) Fisher will return a far superior player and will hopefully be able to keep Alex Smith’s spleen intact.

“Kelce’s really gifted. He had some off-field issues, but since he’s been back, he’s been one of the best combination tight ends in this draft. He’s a tough kid. He’s faster than you think. He’ll block in line.” — Mike Mayock

Kansas City traded its second-round pick for Alex Smith, so Dorsey’s next pick was Travis Kelce. After two seasons with the Chiefs, it looks as if Kelce was the best selection by Dorsey that year. After missing his rookie season due to a knee injury, Kelce bounced back with a tremendous year last season. Kelce was the team’s leading receiver, producing 862 yards from 67 receptions with five touchdowns. The most impressive stat, though, was his 7.50 yards after catch per reception. This was the highest of all tight ends with more than 25 receptions and shows Kelce’s play-making skills with an ability to shrug off tackles.

Next: Big things for Kelce and Davis in 2015?