2017 Pick 10- Patrick Mahomes: A+
The Chiefs traded up to selected Mahomes at number 10 overall, and the rest was, as they say, history. Mahomes’ sparkling resume and incredible body of work need no recitation. But, for me, the best part about this pick will always be the fact that the Chiefs traded up. He didn’t merely fall to the Chiefs. The Chiefs deserve massive credit not only for picking Mahomes, but for their correct evaluation and confidence in Mahomes, which led to them trading up. Andy Reid, Brett Veach and co. trusted their evaluation, took a considerable risk, and it worked out magically. The Chiefs front office deserves credit for selecting Mahomes after identifying his potential. They trusted their scouts and made the leap to get their guy.
2019 Pick 32 Clyde Edwards-Helaire: C-
The Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire after their Super Bowl win with their first-round pick. At the time, it seemed like a luxury pick, the cherry atop the Super Bowl roster. However, the choice was decisive with supporters often saying things like, “Edwards-Helaire won’t just be a running back. He’s going to unleash a secret part of Reid’s passing offense.” In contrast, critics cited the relative replaceability of running backs; you can find good production for very cheap, either through bargain free agents or late-round draft picks.
The selection hasn’t worked out, and not all it has to do with Edwards-Helaire’s production. He hasn’t been the receiving threat many believed he’d be, and he’s struggled to stay on the field. However, the bigger problem with the pick has nothing to do with the player Edwards-Helaire; it’s about what they missed out on by taking Edwards-Helaire.
See, as of writing this, the Chiefs need a fair bit of help at edge rusher and cornerback—and arguably receiver. The decision to take Edwards-Helaire, who plays a non-premium position, meant that the Chiefs punted on possibly adding a player to one of these more pressing positions. The draft is highly random as we know, and sometimes good process doesn’t equal good results. Yet, by drafting a running back where they did, the Chiefs constrained themselves by not prioritizing the high-priority positions.
The decision to draft Edwards-Helaire hurt the Chiefs’ ability to shore up more premium positions, including areas where they’re currently weak.