Going into the draft the needs of the Kansas City Chiefs were wide receiver, tight end, offensive line and defensive back. The 2014 draft was deep at certain positions and wide receiver was one of them. When the Chiefs were on the clock and USC WR Marquise Lee (Drafted later in the second round by Jacksonville Jaguars) was still on the board, I made the determination that was the only place for the team to go logically. The Chiefs’ front office proved me and a lot of other fans and experts wrong by selecting Auburn DE/LB Dee Ford. In the 2013 season the Chiefs had 2 of the best at the same position in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
The team drafted based on talent and not on need. General Manager John Dorsey said about Ford “we had targeted four guys and he was in a grouping of that four” and “we clearly thought he was the second best pass rusher in this draft”. Jadeveon Clowney was the first overall pick in the draft after being drafted by the Houston Texans. Obviously Clowney and Ford were a part of the four and was the two best pass rushers in Dorsey and the front office’s opinion. I lost my mind initially after the pick because in my opinion Dorsey had not addressed the needs that I thought the team needed to improve from the season prior. However I have changed my opinion slightly and took a more in depth look into all the picks and I have graded each pick with detail on all pick below.
1st round, 23rd overall pick DE/LB Auburn Tigers Dee Ford
3 Star recruit, that was selected 1st team All-SEC at DE in his senior season last year. Ford was invited to play at the 2014 Senior Bowl and was awarded the MVP after a pair of sacks. Ford impressed his coach at the senior bowl, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said of Ford” He loves the game, and he showcases that on the practice field. Any time a guy can come off the edge and show his ability to have some rushes in him, I think it really stands out and it really pops out for all the coaches”. Ford was not the player I envisioned the Chiefs selecting and without a 2nd round pick, was convinced that WR was where the team would go. Team needs does not suggest that Ford would be needed for the team but with so many defensive schemes that are thrown out, it is not unheard of that Ford will make his presence known this season. Hali is getting up in age and a dominant pass rusher like him and Houston are not easy to find. I see Ford being a long time Chiefs starter and contributor. In the long run that is all you can ask for in a first round pick.
3rd round pick, 87th overall pick CB Rice Owls Phillip Gaines
2 Star recruit, that was selected 1st Team All-Conference USA twice, in his senior and junior year. Gaines and Rice played in the Liberty Bowl in his final season last year and impressed ESPN color-analyst Rod Gilmore in the game when he said “Phillip Gaines is going be an NFL player, he has a lot of scouts eyes”. Gaines is a former track star, and excelled in a subpar conference. Gaines may not be ready to play right away, but does possess natural talent at the position. Cornerback was not another glaring need although there was room for improvement at the position after last season’s performance. “As we were assessing the board, he was the highest-rated player on the draft board as it was built,” Dorsey said, once again with the emphasis on most talented person on the board, instead of based on need.
4TH round pick, 124th overall pick RB/WR Oregon Ducks De’Anthony Thomas
5 Star recruit, Thomas in his freshman season with the Ducks, was 1st Team All-Pac-12, Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the year and Kick returner of the year in all of college football. Thomas was a dangerous weapon that was used by now Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly in different offensive packages as a receiver and running back. Unfortunately for Thomas he regressed each year and played less due to injuries. Defense’s learned how to scheme for him as he got closer to the NFL. The NFL defenses are going to be worse for him, but he is such a dangerous weapon that if he is used correctly he will be a key contributor due to his open field speed. I see Andy Reid using him to the best of his talents and this being a valuable pick for the Chiefs.
5TH round pick, 163rd overall pick QB Georgia Bulldogs Aaron Murray
4 Star recruit, Murray is the all-time leader in touchdowns and passing yards in the history of the SEC. Murray was also named the 2013 Capital One Bowl MVP, after throwing for 427 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Murray can make all the throws a QB needs to make but his draft stock fell due to his height and injury history. Murray I think can play regardless of height, staying healthy is a valid concern however, especially against NFL players. Murray will go into the 2014 season competing for the 3rd string QB position, with another former SEC standout Tyler Bray. Bray and Murray will compete for a roster spot and ultimately a shot at being the QB of the future for the Chiefs.
6TH round pick, 193rd overall pick OL Tennessee Volunteers Zach Fulton
3 Star recruit, offensive line was a need for the Chiefs after losing a few of last year’s starters to free agency. Fulton will learn under established linemen and will add depth to the line. Fulton started more than 40 games in college and is extremely durable.
6TH round pick, 200th pick OL McGill Redmen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
Duvernay-Tardif was not a rated recruit and came from a school that is not known for having a powerhouse football program. Scouts and experts however were intrigued with Duvernay-Tardif’s talent and his play that he exhibited at the East West Shrine game. Duvernay-Tardif was talked about before the draft about being a potential breakout player if he were brought on to the right team and developed correctly. Duvernay-Tardif has a chance to be special if his measurables can catch up to coaching. Once again this pick adds needed depth to the line.
Overall grade for the Chiefs draft after absorbing all the information is a low B, high C. The Chiefs still need players here and there but it looks as if the team is comfortable at positions that experts and fans are questioning the most. The front office had a poor draft the year before and is hoping that they get more out of the players drafted than they did the year prior. Looking at each player picked, reviewing their talent and skill will give you a better read on the draft this season. I feel like Dorsey should draft to need more but there is only 1 season under his belt in Kansas City and the job is far from done.