Round 1 Pick 23 : Dee Ford DE
Round 3 Pick 87 : Phillip Gaines CB
Round 4 Pick 124 : De'Anthony Thomas RB
Round 5 Pick 164 : Aaron Murray QB
Round 6 Pick 193 : Zach Fulton G
Round 6 Pick 200 : Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff OT
Kansas surprised many people by going to the playoffs last season and being one of the most exciting teams in the NFL. With a disastrous 2014 draft though it is unlikely that Andy Reid's team will be making a trip to the post-season again this season.
The Chiefs had two important needs going into the draft. Firstly, they needed to get a wide-receiver. Given the surplus of receiver talent in the draft this should have been something easily achievable even in the later rounds. That the Chiefs failed to do this at all was the first warning tremors of what was a below-par draft.
The second and more acute need was on the offensive line. In free-agency the Chiefs lost left tackle Brandon Albert and guard Geoff Schwartz. Given the situation with cap space there was little that could be done about this. The draft then was crucial.
An additional complication to the draft was that the Chiefs lacked a second round pick. This made the first round pick was even more crucial. With the 23rd pick in the draft then you would expect the Chiefs to aggressively target the offensive line.
Instead, the Chiefs selected defensive end Dee Ford. Given how they ran the clock down before finally drafting it seems highly likely that they were desperately trying to trade their way out of the first round. In an ideal world they would have perhaps traded the 23rd
overall choice for additional picks in the second and third round.
Ultimately, the Chiefs drafted Dee Ford. Although a defensive end at Auburn Dee Ford lacks the size to play on the line in the NFL. He will drop back to outside linebacker where he can offer the Chiefs an additional pass rush option behind Justin Houston and Tamba Holi.
Ford then doesn't fill an immediate need. This however doesn't make him a bad first round pick. What does is his one dimensional nature. Ford relies far too much on his natural athleticism and lacks the polished rip moves of a first round talent. If the Chiefs had picked him up in the third round then it would have been a great value pick.
As it is taking Ford in the first round is a massive gamble that the Chiefs cannot afford. They desperately needed to pick up reinforcements in the offensive line. With the likes of Xavier Su'a-Filo and Morgan Moses were both still available either of these would have been a better choice.
Especially when the Chiefs have already invested two second round picks to sign QB Alex Smith and a first round pick in left tackle Eric Fisher. Leaving Smith without solid protection to his right side and Fisher with only a half a line is just bizarre.
Now you might counter that the Chiefs did draft some help on the line. In the end they picked up both guard Zach Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff in the sixth round with the 193rd and 200th draft picks.
However, both these players are technically very raw and whilst Duvernay-Tardiff is at least aggressive Fulton is someone who overextends and lacks punch in his blocks. The situation with the Chiefs offensive line is aptly summed up by ESPN “The Chiefs replaced three starting linemen on their roster with Jeffrey Linkenbach and two sixth-round picks”.
Last season, the Chiefs made it into the playoffs via the wildcard. They won't be anywhere near that level again this season.
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