As we have being doing for all teams, we go through each and every pick made between 2008 and 2010 by the Kansas City Chiefs and put it through the Draft Grader, giving them a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how Chiefs drafted, noting that the 2008 class was the work of the “old regime” headed up by Carl Peterson while Scott Pioli has been in charge since.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
The Chiefs haven’t and were forced to settle for spending big money on Brady’s back up.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Brandon Flowers, CB (35th overall pick in 2008): Cornerbacks like Flowers don’t come along all that often, so getting him in the second is tremendous value. He hasn’t quite reached the heights of his first half of 2010 in his recent play, but he is firmly placed in the group of top cornerbacks behind Darrelle Revis.
Jamaal Charles, RB (73rd overall pick in 2008): Possibly the most electrifying back in the entire league, Charles took the NFL by storm with a series of stunning displays in 2010. And he’s not a one-season wonder as he proved in 2009 as soon as KC made him a bigger part of the offense. It’s simply hard luck coming off a big injury, but if he can return to form, there aren’t many backs you’d rather have.
Brandon Carr, CB (140th overall pick in 2008): Teams are desperate to find starting caliber NFL cornerbacks, so to get one in Round 5 is something of a coup. Carr has recovered from a horrid rookie year to solidify himself as one of the better young cornerbacks in the league, even if he does lack the upside of some of the top corners out there. He has played more snaps than any other KC draft pick over the past four years, but accepted a lucrative new contract from the Cowboys for 2012.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Ryan Succop, K (256th overall pick in 2009): If you’re going to spend any draft pick on a kicker they should contribute. To say that Succop, our 15th-ranked field goal kicker, has would be an understatement. This is a position that looks to be solidified for a long time.
Javier Arenas, CB (50th overall pick in 2010): Arenas has quickly become one of the league’s better slot cornerbacks while also being one of the most productive punt returners. He has finished in the Top five in our punt returner rankings in each of the past two years.
Tony Moeaki, TE (93rd overall pick in 2010): Missing 2011 didn’t help him, but Moeaki entered the league as the type of complete tight end that teams crave. Clearly a talented receiver, it was his blocking that has stood out at times.
Kendrick Lewis, S (136th overall pick in 2010): Lewis doesn’t have the talent of Eric Berry, but he has the looks of a starter in the NFL that you can rely on. Nabbing one of those in the fifth is a solid value.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Branden Albert, T (15th overall pick in 2008): A former college guard, Albert has gotten better and better the more time he has spent at tackle. He may never be at the level of Jake Long or Joe Thomas, but is the type of blindside tackle you can count on.
Jake O’Connell, TE (237th overall pick in 2009): Finding his way onto the field for 474 snaps, O’Connell is a solid enough blocker with a bad habit of giving up penalties on special teams.
Eric Berry, S (5th overall pick in 2010): If not for missing nearly all of the 2011 season injured, who knows how high a grade Berry would have earned. He continually improved the more he played as a rookie and looks like he could be that rare type of safety that is a true difference maker.
Dexter McCluster, RB/WR (36th overall pick in 2010): A weapon that it seemed to take the Chiefs time to understand and get the best out of. He’s what you call one of those players in the NFL who can get a lot out of a little.
Jon Asamoah, G (68th overall pick in 2010): Good on his heels, Asamoah has room to improve by simply getting more push in the running game.
0.0: It could have been worse
Brad Cottam, TE (76th overall pick in 2008): KC receives something of a pass on Cottam because injuries have limited him to just 489 snaps. When healthy, he’s looked like a useful enough player.
Kevin Robinson, WR (182nd overall pick in 2008): The former sixth round pick did little as a kick returner as a rookie and found himself on the outs when Todd Haley took over.
Brian Johnston, DE (210th overall pick in 2008): Another player let go by the new coaching staff, Johnston somehow earned a -11.1 grade on just 136 snaps.
Mike Merritt, TE (239th overall pick in 2008): Merritt didn’t see the field and was cut by the new regime a month after being arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession.
Colin Brown, T (139th overall pick in 2009): Brown missed his rookie year on injured reserve and never caught on.
Quinten Lawrence, WR (175th overall pick in 2009): Just 19 snaps were logged after Lawrence bounced between the active roster and practice squad. To date, he’s failed to stand out as a returner.
Javarris Williams, RB (212th overall pick in 2009): He’s spent time on the practice squad and even managed 29 largely unimpressive snaps with six rushes for 6 yards.
Cameron Sheffield, LB (142nd overall pick in 2010): Sheffield made it on the field for 144 snaps in 2011, but failed to make much of an impact.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Glenn Dorsey, DE (5th overall pick in 2008): Its true that Dorsey has become a solid run defender in his tenure. Yet, you expect more from a Top 5 pick who just doesn’t get much penetration as a pass rusher. A decent player, but he’s just not a great value at this point.
DaJuan Morgan, S (82nd overall pick in 2008): In his 286 snaps for the Chiefs, Morgan didn’t do enough to convince coaches he was worth investing in.
Will Franklin, WR (105th overall pick in 2008): Not a fan of the new coaching staff, the former fourth rounder was given a chance to shine as a rookie but had problems adapting to life in the NFL.
Barry Richardson, T (170th overall pick in 2008): On one hand, the Chiefs have gotten more snaps out of Richardson than you’d expect from a sixth round pick. However, his performance has been so bad that he’s made the team worse when he’s taken the field. The proof is in his -55.5 grade for 2,326 snaps over the past three years.
Tyson Jackson, DE (3rd overall pick in 2009): Much like Dorsey, if you draft a player in the Top 5, they need to be someone that can play in any situation. Jackson has developed into a fine run defender, but a No. 3 overall needs to do more.
Alex Magee, DE (67th overall pick in 2009): A waste of a third round pick, Magee only served to turn the Chiefs sixth round pick in 2011 into a fifth round pick.
Donald Washington, S (102nd overall pick in 2009): Washington seems to get more playing time each year although without his performance actually improving.
-1.0: What a waste!
The Chiefs have been one of the better teams in the league when it comes to getting something from their picks.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
No whiffing from this team.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
All potential Russell/Leaf hybrids were successfully avoided.
Scott Pioli should probably send a giant thank you card to Carl Peterson for a 2008 draft class that secured them a number of productive starters. Not to be outdone, the class of 2010 could rival that, only slowed down by a couple of serious injuries to both Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry that took the shine off a series of selections who have impressed. The only concern would be the overdrafting of players who aren’t every-down guys. You can blame Dorsey on the old regime and a scheme change that leaves you getting the best out of a bad situation. However, the selection of Jackson is a rare miss in terms of finding appropriate value from picks.