KCCD Editor: Jason Madson
After 3 days, the 2013 NFL Draft is over. The picks are made and most undrafted free agents have been scooped up or offered tryouts. The Chiefs selected eight players and brought in another 20+ undrafted free agents. Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid mentioned in the post draft press conference that he wanted to have a two-deep roster at the rookie only mini camp, which is coming up soon. They definitely went after free agents aggressively, almost bringing his want to reality. This draft will be remembered for three reasons: Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel, keeping Branden Albert and the Chiefs not selecting a QB. Below are my thoughts and a very early grade on the 2013 NFL Draft.
Round 1 Eric Fisher
This is the offensive lineman that I preferred. He helps in the run game and holds his own in pass pro. The pick is significant because of the situation with Branden Albert. Many thought a trade was in the works, including myself. The trade never happened, so now the Chiefs have to figure out how to shuffle the line, just to keep the 10 million dollar man happy. Plugging Fisher in at right tackle, with Albert at left seems like the best solution. After the year, maybe Albert and the Chiefs reevaluate and it turns out similar to Dwayne Bowe. Regardless of what happens, the Chiefs are much better at the offensive tackle position than they were before the draft.
Round 3 Travis Kelce and Knile Davis
This round upset quite a few fans at first, but after doing some research, the worst I can see is that Davis was taken a round or two too early. It’s way too early to tell if any of these picks will work out or not, but Kelce is great value where they picked him. Comparisons can sometimes be a dangerous thing, but I’ve mostly seen Gronkowski and Shockey as Kelce comps. He plays with a violent temperament, blocks like his job is on the line and works underneath as well as deep routes. Reid has done all the research he can on Kelce too. Philly drafted the older Kelce brother a few years back, Travis visited the Eagles and his brother numerous times. Chiefs fans are going to love Kelce’s play and effort out on the field.
Knile Davis being selected in the late third was a bit of a head scratcher for most people. He’s coming off two subpar seasons. One in 2011 where he didn’t play the entire season due to injury and 2012 where his carries were cut short do to rumored issues with the coaching staff. When he’s on the field, his numbers are very impressive, offering over 5 yards per carry in his career and a decent number when catching the ball out of the backfield. He built like a linebacker and is as strong as a horse, but the injury concern will always be there. He’s been on the mend since high school. Knile was voted team captain twice in his Razorbacks career, if that means anything to you. If Davis takes advantage of this opportunity, concentrates on football and performs as Jamaal’s backup, this is a solid pick. He could very well exceed these expectations too.
Round 4 Nico Johnson
Derrick Johnson, meet your new lead blocker, Nico Johnson. DJ hasn’t played with a guy next to him of this size or skill yet in his career. Nico will destroy blockers and stop running backs in their tracks. I really like this pick because Nico has experience being the strong side backer in the 3-4 at Bama. He kept CJ Mosely clean, just like he will do for DJ in Kansas City. Derrick should benefit from this selection the most. Andy Reid also mentioned how well Nico blitzes. Derrick Johnson mentioned recently that he would be blitzing more in 2013. Nico only adds to the blitzing options. Nico does have some drawbacks though. He is poor versus the pass, but Reid said that they will work with him in this area.
Round 5 Sanders Commings
The SEC chants continue into round four for the Chiefs. Needing help in the back end of the secondary, looking at you Kendrick Lewis, the Chiefs go with Commings. His off field concerns had to be the only reason that he slipped this far. Built like a rock at 6′ and weighing around 220 lbs, Commings can press bigger WR and even TE. Sanders can man up with TE, something the Chiefs missed the previous few years. Commings can be moved around, not really fitting at one area in the secondary, but contribute to all of them. Some question his effort versus the run. He was also a standout baseball player, being drafted as a center fielder to MLB. This is a skill that I like in him too, the ability to play center field for the Chiefs.
Round 6 Eric Kush and Braden Wilson
Talk about a couple of out of nowhere picks, at least in the fans eyes. The only reason I knew about Kush was because of an interview I heard with Lance Zierlein. He mentioned that Kush was his sleeper of the draft and got around on reach blocks faster than he’s seen. With Hudson on the mend, this is good to see, the Chiefs bringing in guys to compete. This also might mean that Lilja will remain retired. Braden Wilson, the KState fullback, is a throwback player. He is hard nosed, with no flair to his game. He’s a great blocker, in the mold of another Andy Reid fullback, Owen Schmitt. According to Reid, Wilson will be moved around from backfield to TE and mentioned Braden as the best blocking fullback in the draft. Wilson grew up a Chiefs fan.
Round 7 Mike Catapano
Seems like the perfect ending to this draft, selecting Mike Catapano. He is a try hard, stronger than most, limited athlete. With his size and strength combo, could see him lining up at 5 technique and outside linebacker, depending on the situation. Reid mentioned him in the Tamba Hali role. I’m not sure if he was comparing Mike to Tamba when he was drafted or Tamba now. Either way it’s a solid pick to end this draft.
Tyler Bray is the biggest get in this group. He was considered a high draft pick during the season, based off his talent. Interviews during the pre-draft process caused him to slide out of the draft. He landed in a great spot with Andy Reid and Doug Pederson willing to mold him. The question is, will he take to the coaching and change his attitude?
As usual, a lot of local talents were brought in to compete. Brad Madison from Mizzou and Bradley McDougald, Toben Opurum and Dayne Crist from Kansas. I have liked McDougald all thru this process and give him a real shot to get a camp invite at the least.
Darryl Stonum is a WR from Baylor. He transferred from Michigan after some legal troubles. With the Chiefs needs at WR, he could be in a good spot to make an impression at camp too.
Most of the group that is brought in will be shown the door after the rookie mini-camp ends, but it is still an honor to even be invited.
Draft Grade B+
The Chiefs had targets on their board and attacked. It’s that simple. The word “Reach” is being thrown around an awful lot with many of the Chiefs picks, but without seeing their board, how do we know? What is that even based off of, what Mel Kiper or Mike Mayock tell us? John Dorsey helped build the Packers into a powerhouse and Andy Reid had a near dynasty in Philly. The team added football players that are skilled, physical and play with the type of relentless attitude we haven’t seen in KC for a while. This draft, along with the offseason additions, are the foundations for this franchise to build upon.