The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books and the Kansas City Chiefs walked away with six new players. Let’s see how each pick grades out.
The Kansas City Chiefs entered the 2020 NFL Draft without massive needs to fill. Not only are they the reigning Super Bowl champions, but they are returning 20 of the 22 starters from their Super Bowl win and every player that played at least 57% of the team’s snaps from last season.
The Chiefs “Run it Back” mantra makes their approach to 2020 crystal clear: they play on keeping the band together to try and win another Super Bowl. That gave the Chiefs some freedom entering the draft. They added six new draft picks over the course of the draft as well as some undrafted free agents once it was over.
Draft “grades” are a funny thing. If you’re like me, you scour the internet (or just read Scott Loring’s piece that gathers several for you) to see how all the so-called “experts” are grading how the Chiefs did. We all like seeing the Chiefs get high grades, but what do those grades even mean? Does it just mean they drafted players the writer liked? Does it mean they got good value for where they picked players? Do the grades even factor in team fit or need? It just all seems so subjective and open for meaning.
So this year I set out to try and create a draft report card that fixed some of that. I’ve gone through each pick the Chiefs made and graded them in four areas.
1. The draft slot value of the pick which factors in the position drafted and what other players were available.
2. How well the player fits what the Chiefs look for at that position.
3. If the player fills a need and/or can make an immediate contribution to the team.
4. The long-term upside potential of the prospect.
After grading the pick in all four areas I will then average the four to give the pick an overall grade and at the end I will give a weighted average for each category and an overall draft class grade.
Before we get started, I want to acknowledge two things. First, obviously these grades are still subjective. In order to take as much subjectivity as possible out of these grades, I have tried to use information from draft sources that I respect to inform my grade. I’ve even included some quotes or stats from these sources to give you some frame of reference. You may still grade some areas differently than I do, but I still feel this is a less random way to assign grades.
Second, I also understand that players over and under perform their perceived value all the time. Obviously, we will have a much better understanding of how the Chiefs did in this draft a year or two from now. That doesn’t mean we don’t all want to try to evaluate how they did right after the draft.
With that said, let’s start with the Chiefs first and most controversial pick.