I think most of us fans know and understand this, but it doesn’t always stop us from having that “we must fill some roster holes” mindset. For example, last week I did a draft profile on Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams. I stated that if Andy Reid truly believes that Adams has NFL starter potential that I would be fine with KC drafting him as early as the fourth round.
In the comments of the article I had multiple people tell me that they wouldn’t want KC to take a quarterback there because without a third round pick they just have too many other needs to address. I believe that is a flawed outlook on several fronts.
First of all, if KC were to draft a quarterback (not just Adams, but any quarterback) in the fourth round and Reid was able to develop him into the heir apparent to Alex Smith how in the wide, wide, world of sports is that not worth a fourth round pick? You’re telling me you’d rather have them draft a position of greater need right now? Do you know what the odds of a fourth round pick turning into an every down starter at ANY point in their career is, let alone as a rookie?
It’s not good and if you don’t want to take my word for it look at the Chiefs track record. Here is every fourth-round pick KC has had in the past decade:
2015: Ramik Wilson – LB – Georgia
2014: De’Anthony Thomas – RB/WR – Oregon
2013: Nico Johnosn – LB – Alabama
2012: Devon Wylie – WR – Fresno State
2011: Jalil Brown – CB – Colorado
2009: Donald Washington – CB – Ohio State
2008: Will Franklin – WR – Missouri
It may be too early to tell on Wilson and Thomas, but so far in the past decade the Chiefs haven’t drafted a single impact player in the fourth round. Wilson and Thomas both made minor contributions their rookie year, but if you are counting on the Chiefs filling a current roster hole with a fourth round pick the odds say you are going to be disappointed. You have to go back to the 2004 draft when KC took Jared Allen in the fourth round to find a player that really was an every down player as a rookie. That is why taking the best player available is the only smart option. Two or three years down the line nobody is going to care what the depth chart was like at the time of the draft. All that will matter is if the Chiefs added talented players that are still contributing.
Once you get past the first couple of rounds the success rate is so slim anyway that positional need almost becomes irrelevant. Most of the players that become starters in the mid to late rounds typically take a few seasons to develop and by that point the roster needs are going to be completely different than they were at the time of the draft. This brings me to my next point….
Next: What position does KC's philosophy point to?