Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 NFL Draft Grades: Kansas City Chiefs

Over the last two season the Chiefs are 6-26. Yeah, not so good. With a 3-13 record in 2007 they were awarded the 5th pick in the 2008 draft. An identical record in 2008 got them the third pick overall in 2009. Will a 3-13 record in 2009 yield the #1 pick in 2010? It is a distinct possibility.

For as bad as the team was, the rushing unit was actually average. While they didn't have much to show for it on the scoreboard (18.2 points per game, 26th in NFL), the team averaged 113.1 yards rushing per game, good for 16th in the league. It's the best thing I can say about this team. A meager average of 195.6 yards passing per game ranked the Chiefs 20th in The League. When combined with their rushing total the Chiefs ranked 24th overall in total yards. The offense was below average, no doubt. But the defense was abysmal. They ranked no higher than 28th in the four major statistical categories: 29th in points allowed (27.5/game), 28th in passing yards allowed (234.2/game), 30th in rushing yards allowed (158.9/game), and 31st in total yards allowed (393.2/game). A marginal improvement on that side of the ball will prevent the Chiefs from having a Top 5 pick for the third year in a row.

With two straight crappy seasons the organization had seen enough. Carl Petersen stepped down and Scott Piloi was hired to handle personnel decisions. Head coach Herm Edwards was, eventually, fired and was replaced by former Cardinals Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley. The addition of Pioli and Haley meant the team would have new schemes on both sides of the ball. The biggest change will be coming on defense, which will switch to the 3-4 alignment. This change in defensive philosophy can be seen throughout the Chiefs draft.

1/3/3 - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
3/3/67 - Alex Magee, DT/DE, Purdue
4/2/102 - Donald Washington, CB, Ohio State
5/3/139 - Colin Brown, OT, Missouri
6/2/175 - Quinten Lawrence, WR, McNeese State
7/3/212 - Javarris Williams, RB, Tennessee State
7/28/237 - Jake O'Connell, WR, Miami (OH)
7/47/256 - Ryan Succop, K, South Carolina


  • LB - Try again.
  • DL - Check!
  • OL - Check!
  • S - Try again.
The Chiefs ended up with eight picks over the two days of the draft. They grabbed two players that fit perfectly in their new 3-4 scheme. Jackson and Magee have the protoypicl size to play 3-4 DEs and will help create a great young rotation with last years first round pick Glenn Dorsey. Outside of those two players I have a tough time seeing this new regimes philosophy. No LBs, even though recently acquired veterans Zach Thomas and Mike Vrabel have a year, maybe two, left to play. Only one offensive lineman, and not until the 5th round? No help at safety, unless that's where they envision Washington playing. Another RB? Kolby Smith, Jamaal Charles, Larry Johnson, and one or two more couldn't cut it? Pioli and Haley definitely left many people bewildered.

GRADE: 55/100

Pick 1 - Tyson Jackson was the guy to get if you were in need of a 3-4 end. He has the perfect combination of size, strength, and speed needed plus his intangibles are through the roof. However, this is really high for him to go. Many people compare him to Richard Seymour, who went 6th overall in 2001 to the Patriots. Seymour, at the time, was held in much higher regard than Jackson. Time will tell if this reach pays off. Grade: 7

Pick 2 - Alex Magee is the second straight pick used on a 3-4 DE. If Glenn Dorsey is going to attempt to play nose, which I highly doubt, then this is an OK pick. If not, and Dorsey is to play 3-4 DE, then this was a wasted pick. Kansas City already has multiple players that fit in as 3-4 DEs but just one player who could maybe play NT (Ron Edwards). I like Magee as a player but they should have been finding an NT not another DE. Grade: 4

Pick 3 - A CB with their third pick? Did they forget about all their other needs, because CB certainly wasn't one of them, at least not this early. They got two strong CBs last year (Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr) plus signed veterans Travis Daniels and Ricardo Colclough. Plus, Washington was seen as a 6th or 7th round selection. Many believed he should have stayed at Ohio State for one more year. Grade: 4

Pick 4 - Finally an offensive lineman. Brown is a mammoth OT, one that will need at least two years of developing before he can step in at RT. It is a good selection, however, because the team can bring him along so that he's ready around the time they should start competing again. Brown or Barry Richardson will most likely supplant Damion McIntosh in 2010 or 2011. This grade will be a little lower because he doesn't provide much of an upgrade at any position immediately. Grade: 5

Pick 5 - Lawrence, despite only being a 6th round selection, is a bit of a reach. It is believed that he would have been available at pick 212 and probably even later. Instead of grabbing a developmental WR, which wasn't a big need, they could have gone with better prospects at NT (Myron Pryor), OL (Andrew Gardner, Matthew Slauson), or even grabbed a more ready WR (Brandon Gibson). Grade: 3

Pick 6 - With their first of three 7th round pikcs the Chiefs went with a RB from small college McNeese State. With this pick they could have gone for at least four safety prospects to provide depth at a need position: Curtis Taylor, Troy Nolan, Jamarca Sanford, and Courtney Greene were all available! There's a good chance Williams will start the year on the practice squad because of the availability of Larry Johnson, Jamaal Charles, and Kolby Smith. Grade: 4

Pick 7 - In a TE-heavy draft the Chiefs grab Tony Gonzalez's replacement with the 237th pick? They could have had Jared Cook, Travis Beckum, or Chase Coffman in the 3rd, Shawn Nelson in the 4th, and James Casey or Cornelius Ingram in the 5th! Instead they grab a hybrid TE/WR. Come on! Grade: 2

Pick 8 - This may, honestly, be their second best pick. The Chiefs have had kicker problems for the last few years. Could the Gamecock product solve that? While I'd never draft a kicker, Succop is Mr. Irrelevant, as in the last player selected in the draft. If Kansas City hadn't taken him here they may have lost him to some other team in UDFA. Succop will battle with Connor Barth for the kicking duties. I've also heard that Succop could punt as well, so they have a backup in case Dustin Colquitt can't go. Grade: 6

GRADE: 35/80


Two players that may start immediately sounds OK but when one of them is a kicker things didn't go as planned. With eight picks the Chiefs should have been able to find at least 2 or 3 starters immediately, much like Miami did in the 2008 draft (Jake Long, Kendall Langford, Donald Thomas all started the '08 season; Phillip Merling was a rotational DE as well). I can't see anyone but Jackson starting immediately but Magee could work into a deep DE rotation. No immediate help at OL, LB, or S? Bad showing. Even if Jackson does turn into the next Richard Seymour, this draft class looks like a dud. Check back again three years from now.


WHY: They only filled half of their needs and grabbed mostly developmental players. Jackson is solid and could be a star. If they liked Magee so much, why didn't they pass on Jackosn and grab an OT or Aaron Curry at #3?

NOTE: My "final grade" is weighted and is not a simple combination of "needs" and "talent".

Best Pick: Jackson
Worst Pick: Lawrence
Sleeper: Brown
Instant Impact: Jackson
Developmental: Brown

OTHER DRAFT GRADES - Kansas City Chiefs
CBS Sports (Prisco): C
CBS Sports (Rang): C-
ESPN (Kiper): C- (Brooks): N/A (as of May 4) (Fan's): B
Walter: D



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