The NFL draft is an exciting time for teams and their fans. Regardless of draft position, the enthusiasm surrounding organizations leading up to, and including, the draft itself, is the sign of how each team will transition into the next season—which, after the Super Bowl, is all everyone is really looking forward to anyway.
Drafting low typically indicates that a team is coming off a good season and drafting high signifies a season in which expectations were not met.
Since 2000, The Kansas City Chiefs have had their share of high picks, but usually find themselves drafting somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Some of the players selected by the Chiefs have panned out well; however, those have typically come from the later rounds. They have hit on some of their first round picks recently, but more often than not, the players they have invested high picks in either immediately left fans questioning the decision, or eventually turned out to be duds.
Here are the five worst draft picks by the Kansas City Chiefs since 2000.
Coming off a horrendous draft in 2009—I will get to that later—the Kansas City Chiefs needed to make a splash in order to regain their fans’ trust.
Although the jury is still out, the players selected in the 2010 draft, as a whole, seem to have a long-term grip on a Chiefs' roster spot. Eric Berry, Javier Arenas, Jon Asamoah, Tony Moeaki and Kendrick Lewis all play important roles in the future of the franchise.
But with the first of two second-round selections, the Chiefs took Dexter McCluster, a smallish running back out of Mississippi. Listed at wide receiver, McCluster was supposed to provide Kansas City with a quick option out of the slot position, trying to duplicate the Dante Hall experiment earlier in the decade.
But regular injuries and the coaching staff’s mishandling of McCluster’s abilities and role have quickly turned him into a bust two years into his career. It may be too early to write him off just yet, but for McCluster to succeed in this league, it will more than likely have to be in a different uniform.
Coming off a successful 2003 season in which they finished 13-3, the Kansas City Chiefs found themselves drafting near the end of each round.
Not seeing what they wanted with the 30th overall selection in the 2004 draft, the Chiefs traded it to the Detroit Lions for additional picks later on. Moving down only six spots while adding a fourth- and fifth-round pick looked like a steal for the Chiefs. That is, until they started selecting players.
Other than taking Jared Allen with one of their fourth-round selections, the Chiefs’ 2004 draft could have easily gone down as one of the worst in franchise history, headlined by defensive tackle Junior Siavii.
Siavii was projected as a mid-round pick by most prognosticators, so it is unclear why the Chiefs invested such a high pick on the Oregon product. But by doing so, it placed unrealistic expectations on him, when he was probably, at best, a rotational type of player.
The Kansas City Chiefs, fresh off their worst season in franchise history in 2008, brought in a whole new regime to kick start the organization’s climb back towards prominence.
New general manager Scott Pioli, partially responsible for the success of the New England Patriots throughout the early 2000s, was supposed to help do the same in Kansas City. But other than “Mr. Irrelevant” Ryan Succop, Pioli’s inaugural draft as the Chiefs’ head honcho has produced no impact players.
Owning the third overall pick, the Chiefs, by all accounts, stretched with the selection of LSU defensive lineman Tyson Jackson (their third straight first-round pick used on an LSU product).
Jackson, who was projected as a late first- or possibly a second-round pick by some, has shown little to nothing in the way of proving that he even belongs in the NFL, let alone living up to the hype of a third overall pick.
Seldom did the Kansas City Chiefs invest a high draft pick on a wide receiver in the 1990s (highest being Kevin Lockett in 1997 second round), thus finding themselves in the position of needing to find a pass-catching playmaker to kick off the new decade.
Having the 21st pick in the draft doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to find that player, but the Chiefs decided to draft Sylvester Morris out of Jackson St. anyway.
After a productive rookie season (48 receptions, 678 yards and three touchdowns), Morris’ career was cut short by repeated knee injuries, leaving the Chiefs again without a true number one threat at the wide receiver position.
It is hard to tell how Morris would be viewed had he been able to stay healthy. But the fact that he didn’t produce how the Chiefs needed him to will keep his name in the discussion of the organization’s worst picks for years to come.
Coming off a 6-10 season in 2001, the Chiefs were depleted of draft picks due to some recent trades, highlighted by the acquisition of quarterback Trent Green.
With only five total picks, the Chiefs decided to put a premium on the defensive side of the ball. And the 2002 draft was considered deep by all accounts when it came to defensive linemen, particularly the tackle position.
It was apparent that Sims benefited from playing alongside longtime NFL defensive end Julius Peppers in college. Throw in the fact that the Chiefs traded up to acquire him, and we have the makings of one of the biggest draft busts in not only franchise history, but league history as well.
Not to rub salt in an open wound, but some of the standout defensive linemen drafted after Sims include John Henderson, Dwight Freeney and Albert Haynesworth.