Kansas City Chiefs 2013 season was the first under the newest regime of head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey. The duo’s first draft, season and playoffs together and no question the team was a success overall last season. The two are going into their second season and their second draft together. Below is a complete in depth grade and analysis of the team’s first draft last season.
1rst round pick #1 overall pick Offensive Tackle Eric Fisher Central Michigan (C-)
The 2013 draft was not stacked with 1rst round talent that could make an immediate impact with teams, especially for a team like the Chiefs that needed a lot work to rebound from the 2-14 season the year prior. Going into the draft the Chiefs were interested in 2 different Tackles and in the end chose Fisher over Texas A&M Tackle Luke Joeckel. Joeckel was chosen with the next pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fisher was a 2 star recruit in college while Joeckel was a 4 star recruit. Joeckel was the safe pick and the Chiefs chose to take a chance and go with the player they were more interested in. Fisher was in 810 snaps for the Chiefs and received the second lowest first round grade from Pro Football Focus. In comparison to Joeckel, they both struggled initially as first year starters, but Joeckel started to play better until he went down to an injury. Fisher battled injuries but was on the field more than Joeckel. The first half of the season Fisher played terribly. The last 5 weeks of the season he rebounded and played better. Going into this season the staff saw enough of Fisher to name him the new starting left tackle, moving him from right to left. Left tackle is a much harder position and it remains to be seen if he can replace pro bowl tackle Branden Albert. Albert left via free agency and Fisher is now thrown into one of the most demanding positions in the NFL. Most offensive tackles struggle their first season and Fisher grade may go up considerably if he rebounds this season for the Chiefs.
3rd round pick #63 overall pick Tight End Travis Kelce Cincinnati (Incomplete)
Kelce was the 5th tight end taken in the draft and did not play a single snap for the Chiefs due to a knee injury that popped up during training camp. The injury initially wasn’t believed to be bad but progressed into a more serious problem and eventually cost Kelce his rookie campaign. The Chiefs have high hopes still for Kelce mentioning in various interviews that he could be the starting tight end for the team in the 2014 season. Tight end was a weakness for the Chiefs all season and the team has yet to address the need at the position thru free agency. The staff has high expectations for Kelce next season like Fisher.
3rd round pick #96 overall pick Running Back Knile Davis Arkansas (C)
Davis played better at the end of the season like Fisher. Davis did not see much playing time up until the end of the year due to the excessive work load from pro bowler Jamaal Charles. Davis ran very well in the 4 games he had more than 5 carries. Davis surpassed previous back up Cyrus Gray and is now a good back up option at running back. Chiefs will utilize Davis more with the loss of Dexter McCluster as a running back and as the team’s primary returner. Davis had an incredible return last season that went 108 yards for a touchdown. The team will need Davis to improve with the increased work load.
4th round pick #99 overall pick Linebacker Nico Johnson Alabama (F)
Johnson is not worthy of the F grade with talent but with only producing for the team in one game all season it is what he deserves. Johnson battled injuries all season and was beat out by Akeem Jordan for playing time once healthy. Johnson was drafted to play next to next to another Johnson, Derrick and there were high hopes for the linebacker. Johnson will once again see a lot of competition at the linebacker spot and will need to prove to Reid that he is able to play the position that the team drafted him at.
5th round pick #134 overall pick Cornerback Sanders Commings Georgia (F)
Commings battled injuries all season and only saw limited playing time even when healthy. The Chiefs were not expecting much out of Commings as he was going to be a backup regardless. The Chiefs got the production at backup corner from rookie free agent Marcus Cooper that they expected from Commings. Rumors before this season is the Chiefs will have Commings compete for free safety in the 2014 season.
6th round pick #170 overall pick Center Eric Kush California (D+)
Kush played in 3 games and started 1 in his rookie campaign. Kush backed up Rodney Hudson and was called upon to start a game and gave up 2 sacks. Kush blocked well in the games he played in the run game and thus got the D+ grade. Kush should improve and be a good backup to Hudson for seasons to come. Not bad for a 6th round pick with all things considered.
6th round pick #204 overall pick Fullback Braden Wilson Kansas State (F)
Wilson was drafted to compete for the fullback position and he did just that. Unfortunately for the kid he was cut before the season started and has still yet to find a team to play with. Wilson may not make another team due to the decrease in usage of the fullback position in the NFL. Wilson will have to beat out 32 fullbacks for a job making his chances slim.
7th round pick #207 overall pick Defensive End Mike Catapano Princeton (D+)
Catapano competed and made the team as a seventh round pick. Towards the end of the season Catapano earned more playing time and looked pretty good against the Oakland Raiders where he recorded his first career sack. Catapano is a smart player coming from an Ivy League school and is described by the Chiefs staff as relentless. A D+ grade from a 7th rounder at the position of defensive end is impressive. Catapano should make his presence felt more so in the near future.
Chiefs overall grade is an F due to receiving such limited production from all rookies drafted. The Chiefs awarded their Mack Lee Hill award (Chiefs rookie of the year) to rookie free agent corner Cooper. Cooper outperformed all Chiefs rookies including the #1 overall pick. Reid and Dorsey were successful in rebuilding the team through trades and free agency. Their first draft left Chiefs fans unfulfilled, and are expecting the players drafted to play to their expectations in the future. Reid and Dorsey have a lot to prove coming into this year’s draft.