Draft season is upon us as free agency quiets down and prospect watch goes into overdrive. But the reality for us is that we’re not that involved in the College side of things, but that doesn’t mean we’re not fans of the draft.
For me though that means reflecting back on drafts gone by to tell you which teams made the best picks and which ones the worst. So as I do every year I’m grading every draft pick from 2009 through to 2011 on the PFF rating scale (-2 to +2), factoring in where they were drafted, injuries and a host of other things.
Up next? Well we’re moving in draft order so it’s the Kansas City Chiefs
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Not here …
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Justin Houston, LB (70th overall pick in 2011): Another year and Houston might take a step up because he’s bordering on becoming the kind of elite player that is just hard to come by. His first two years saw him put together excellent stretches of play, but it was his third year where he delivered on a week to week basis before injury took him off the field during the regular season. An ascending talent, he finished second overall in our 3-4 outside linebacker rankings.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Eric Berry, S (5th overall pick in 2010): As a rookie Berry was asked to do a little too much, before then missing most of his second season. Still, he bounced back in 2012 and then had his best year to date in 2013. There he proved himself one of the best (and most versatile) safeties in the game.
Jon Asamoah, OG (69th overall pick in 2010): Finding a solid starter is the aim of the game in round three (or at least enough to get a win). So getting one who is better than average (by some distance) is always going to be influencing my decision as to where to get this. Even though Asamoah lost his starting spot to Geoff Schwartz his +30.5 grade over 2,951 snaps is impressive.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Ryan Succop, K (256th overall pick in 2009): If you’re going to take a kicker with any draft pick, make it a low one and make sure they’re a good one. Check and check.
Kendrick Lewis, S (137th overall pick in 2010): Sure Chiefs fans tired of Lewis and he certainly wasn’t always consistent. But a fifth-rounder who achieves a -7.0 grade over 3,566 snaps is a good return.
0.0: It could have been worse
Javarris Williams, RB (212th overall pick in 2009): Lasted a year with the team where he would rush the ball six times for just 6 yards.
Jake O’Connell, TE (237th overall pick in 2009): Spent three years with the team and would play 508 snaps. A useful enough return but his impact on the field was not such that he was worth a positive.
Dexter McCluster, WR (36th overall pick in 2010): Made some plays returning but never did enough catching or rushing balls on offense that he’d be considered a plus selection. Indeed some might consider him and his -2.6 career grade over 2,124 offensive snaps lucky here.
Javier Arenas, CB (50th overall pick in 2010): Arenas proved a useful slot cornerback who contributed in the return game. Unfortunately he wasn’t up to the task when more was asked of and eventually found himself traded away after just 1,624 snaps on defense.
Tony Moeaki, TE (94th overall pick in 2010): Moeaki had a fine rookie season where he looked like the heir to the tight end throne of Tony Gonzalez for the Chiefs. Indeed he would finish fifth overall in our tight end rankings. However, an injury robbed him of his 2011 and when he returned in 2012 he looked like a different player. A real shame.
Cameron Sheffield, LB (143rd overall pick in 2010): Missed his entire rookie year after picking up a neck injury in preseason, before featuring on 147 quiet snaps a year later. Subsequently cut.
Rodney Hudson, OC (55th overall pick in 2011): Has the ability to be more than this but will need to stay on the field and build on his 1,439 snaps. If he can do that, his +11.1 career grade suggests he could be a long-term starter.
Allen Bailey, DE (86th overall pick in 2011): Third-round pick has become a big part of the Chiefs’ sub-package defense, amassing 967 snaps since being drafted. Ideally would generate more pressure and then might move up a level.
Jerrell Powe, DT (199th overall pick 2011): Would play 176 snaps for the team in three seasons. About what you tend to get out of sixth-round picks.
Shane Bannon, FB (224th overall pick in 2011): Would spend a year with the team on the practice squad before they cut ties.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Donald Washington, CB (102nd overall pick in 2009): Fourth rounder who was always something of a liability when he was on the field. Mustered up 531 defensive snaps that he turned into a horrid -11.7 grade.
Colin Brown, OT (139th overall pick in 2009): Best known for his struggles with the Bills in 2013, Brown wouldn’t even last a year with the team.
Quinten Lawrence, WR (175th overall pick in 2009): Waived as a rookie, he spent some time on the practice squad but never made an impression.
Jalil Brown, CB (118th overall pick in 2011): Fourth rounder who would only play 402 snaps when injury thrust him into the lineup. Unfortunately it became clear why he was so low down on the depth chart as he earned every bit of his -8.8 grade.
Ricky Stanzi, QB (135th overall pick in 2011): It is telling that even when the Chiefs were deciding between quarterbacks like Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Kyle Orton and Tyler Palo that Stanzi couldn’t get on the field. Cut before his third year.
Gabe Miller, LB (140th overall pick in 2011): The two-way player was seen as a poor man’s Connor Barwin but would not last in the NFL with the Chiefs.
-1.0: What a waste!
Tyson Jackson, DE (3rd overall pick in 2009): Jackson would develop into a decent enough early downs player. But you don’t pick a guy at the third spot overall who can’t contribute on key downs. What’s more the development process was a long one, with Jackson (even considering his better later years) earning a -31.3 career grade.
Alex MaGee, DE (67th overall pick in 2009): MaGee played sparingly as a rookie and was then traded away for peanuts at the start of his second year. Not a great return on this early third round pick.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Jonathan Baldwin, WR (26th overall pick in 2011): There’s no way around this one. Baldwin would earn a -8.2 grade on just 962 snaps. The fact the team were able to turn him into A.J. Jenkins doesn’t redeem this at all. Can consider himself fortunate that the -2.0 category didn’t come into play.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
Here are the teams we’ve covered so far:
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled