Pick by Pick, What say you?
My quick take
Round 1, Pick 1 (1) Eric Fisher OT 6'7" 306 Central Michigan 94.0 B
With the first overall pick, you better rate well everywhere. I am a believer in drafting players where a need is a year or two away. More on that with Knile Davis. They sat by the phone, but no one wanted this pick. Good player, but not, quite, worth his slot.
Round 3, Pick 1 (63) Travis Kelce TE 6'5" 255 Cincinnati 80.0 B+
What everyone is overlooking about Kelce is the blocking. He is the only complete TE in the draft. Having Kelce and Moeaki in Goal line situation will be a big plus. Good versatility and durable so far. He would ahve gone higher without the character questions. Valuewise, there is a big drop to the next TE taken.
Round 3, Pick 34 (96) Knile Davis RB 5'10" 227 Arkansas 60.4 B+
This pick has been panned, but do not forget it is a supplemental pick, close to #100. Davis is a bruiser, in contrast to JC's electricty, but deserves mention in the same class of athleticism. He was much better thought of as a soph than he is now and a better athlete than football player. Issues with consistency, technique a are coachable. Durability issues are less responsive, but strength and fitness may have an impact.
Davis is a dice roll, but something like this needed to happen. JC has serious mileage build up issues. One year is all you expect, and a healthy full season is too much to ask. The other RB on the roster are not just role players, they have small roles. Davis has the upside to eventually replace JC. Unfortunately, no one would be shocked to see him cut during camp.
Round 4, Pick 2 (99) Nico Johnson ILB 6'2" 248 Alabama 64.7 B
What a difference three picks makes. Davis is called a day 2 reach and Johnson is a day 3 find. In contrast to Davis, who has a lot of upside, Johnson is a known quantity. He's a two down thumper, which has been a weakness of the defense for years. Top grade role player, but he is a role player.
Round 5, Pick 1 (134) Sanders Commings CB 6'0" 216 Georgia 68.5 B+
Another dice roll, but for lower cost, with nice upside. It is doubtful he can play CB in the NFL, but he is a perfect candidate for FS conversion. The FO likes to take mid round DB. Sooner or later they will hit one big. Cummings won't hurt on ST.
Round 6, Pick 2 (170) Eric Kush C 6'4" 305 California (PA) 52.6 C
All I can say is he looks the part. I have nothing. Small conference interior OL who might play anywhere but tackle.
Round 6, Pick 36 (204) Braden Wilson FB 6'3" 251 Kansas St. 59.0 B
What do you want after pick #200? Everything is bit parts and gambling at this point. This pick is could be obvious, ie a FB, or a position conversion. If he is being drafted to play FB, this is about the right area. He has been a quality blocking back and is very athletic, but he is no threat to run and marginal as a receiver. Could be an impact ST player.
Round 7, Pick 1 (207) Mike Catapano DE 6'3" 271 Princeton 52.9 B
He has outstanding workout numbers and the bulk to play DE in a 3-4 or inside in a 4-3.
As a group. OL was a potential major issue, particularly if Branden Albert was traded. His play regressed badly after Waters left, which raises the question of how much of his success was Waters covering his weaknesses. With Fisher and Richardson, the Chiefs appear to be settled for the next several years. Kelce will impact here. He is potentially an elite in line blocker. Kush was a reach IMO, but the OL has good depth now.
RB has been JC and a cast of salvaged parts. Davis is perfect as a different look, with the potential to be featured, if he can stay healthy. This move was overdue.
Defensively the thin points were ILB and FS. Johnson and Sanders address that. Depth at DE took a hit. Catapono could make the rotation as a run stuffer. At times in 2011 this was one of the best defenses in the NFL. Brandon Carr was badly missed, but that position was addressed in free agency.
Except QB, every "need" was addressed, sometimes with multiple players. The draft is a stark contrast to the Haley/Pioli drafts in terms of physical profile. H/P went with smaller, more athletic players, often tweeners. Dorsey/Reid went for size. However, there is athleticism. Knile Davis is a rare athlete. Kelce is faster than you expect from a blocking TE. Even Fisher has upside due to untapped athleticism.
The draft looks need driven and safe. The only significant gamble is on Knile Davis, who could be Pro Bowl or he could wash out completely.
Final grade B for boring, but safe.
The Knile Davis pick doesn't deserve anywhere near a B+. Most of these grades are way too homerific for my taste.
Solid C, maybe C+ if a few of the late round picks stick on the team. Not flashy, a bit boring, but it could be good.
Compare the next pick, which is only three picks further in. Nico is a two down ILB. Would it make a difference to you if the order were reversed, making Davis the day 3 gamble? If you are not willing to risk a role player slot for a potential Pro Bowler, you are in the wrong casino. Either way, we should know by October.
One other thing. No team gets worse through the draft. Scoring a B is not a compliment. "Not flashy, a bit boring, but it could be good" is exactly how I rate this draft.
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