Kansas City Chiefs 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
Fans across the National Football League have been anxiously awaiting the 2013 NFL draft for months now.
For supporters of the Kansas City Chiefs, the wait has been doubly long.
Not only did the Chiefs suffer through one of the worst seasons in the long and storied history of the franchise in 2012, but the team also has the first overall pick in a draft that's shallow where top-end talent is concerned.
However, the Chiefs are a much better team than last year's 2-14 mark indicates, and a successful draft could equate a rapid turnaround in Kansas City.
Beginning with the first overall pick on Thursday night, we'll be breaking down all the Chiefs' picks, from the first overall selection of offensive tackle Eric Fisher to the team's last pick in the seventh round, with analysis and grades for each selection.
So, without further adieu...
"With the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select..."
Round One, Pick One (1): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher's ascension from small-school star to first overall pick in the NFL draft is complete.
For a long time, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel was considered the presumptive favorite to be the top pick in this year's draft.
However, the 6'7", 306-pound Fisher sent notice with a dominant week of practice at January's Senior Bowl that the top spot wasn't a foregone conclusion.
Fisher followed that up with a strong showing at the combine, flashing the potential that left scouts such as Bleacher Report's Eric Stoner writing that Fisher "possesses an elite combination of length, athleticism, and flexibility."
It's that upside that apparently swayed the Chiefs. Fisher isn't as polished a pass protector as Joeckel, but he has a nasty streak in the run game that isn't evident in watching Joeckel on tape.
Simply put, while you know what you're getting with Joeckel, the ceiling appears higher with Fisher.
It's polish vs. possibility, and the Chiefs rolled the dice a bit on the latter.
Add in that Fisher is probably a better fit at right tackle than Joeckel would have been (which could become important if the Chiefs fail in their attempts to trade Branden Albert), and the stage was set for Fisher to become the first player ever from the Mid-American Conference to be drafted first overall.
Some pundits, including Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Matt Miller, may feel that this is a pick that the Chiefs will live to regret, but in all honesty the team couldn't go wrong either way.
Both Fisher and Joeckel likely have many Pro Bowls in their future, and that's about all you can ask from a first-round pick.
Round Three, Pick One (63): Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
The Chiefs added Anthony Fasano in free agency, but Fasano is much more blocker than offensive threat, and Tony Moeaki is entering the last year of his contract and hasn't been the same player since tearing up his knee.
That made tight end something of a need.
Consider that need filled.
Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce is a phenomenal run blocker and athletic receiver who combines the best qualities of Fasano and Moeaki into one package, and while a season-long suspension in 2010 is a concern, Kelce has kept his nose clean since.
I think Chiefs fans would take that.
Round Three, Pick 34 (96): Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas (Compensatory Pick)
Jamaal Charles topped 1,500 yards last year, but he also amassed over 300 carries the season after tearing his ACL, so it wouldn't hurt the Chiefs to add depth behind him.
The problem is, as NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller put so well during Bleacher Report's 2013 NFL Draft Bash, that the Chiefs drafted the wrong running back.
It isn't that Knile Davis isn't a talented running back. Davis topped 1,300 yards on the ground in 2010, and the 5'10", 227-pounder reeled off a ridiculous 4.37 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine in February.
However, Davis missed the entire 2011 season with a broken ankle, and upon his return last year the bottom fell out of his production, with Davis gaining less than four yards a carry and spending much of the season on the bench.
If the Chiefs end up getting Knile Davis circa 2010 this could end up a great pick in hindsight, but with UCLA's Jonathan Franklin still available it doesn't look like one now.
Round Four, Pick Two (99): Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
The Chiefs went back to the SEC with the second overall pick of the fourth round, this time addressing their need at inside linebacker with the selection of Alabama's Nico Johnson.
Johnson is the prototypical SILB, a 248-pound thumper who has the strength to take on blockers and be stout against the run.
Granted, Johnson isn't incredibly athletic and will likely leave the field on passing downs, but in a player that NFL.com calls "A tough-nosed, assignment-sure linebacker who plays with attitude" Kansas City filled a need without reaching to do so.
Johnson's extensive experience in a 3-4 defense is just icing on the cake.
Round Five, Pick One (134): Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia
If the Kansas City Chiefs are intent on leaving Dunta Robinson at cornerback (where he lined up at their recent minicamp) then free safety is an area of need for the Chiefs, as Kendrick Lewis is a serviceable pro at best.
Granted, Sanders Commings of Georgia played cornerback with the Bulldogs, but that had as much to do with Baccari Rambo being ahead of him as it did Commings' skill set.
At 6'0" and 216 pounds Commings is built like a safety with the coverage skills of a cornerback, and the outfielder's hands that got him drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008 are evidenced in his eight career interceptions.
A two-game suspension for a domestic violence incident in 2012 is a concern, but finding a likely starter in the fifth round is savvy drafting.
Round Six, Pick Two (170): Eric Kush, OC, California (PA)
The interior of the offensive line is an area of concern for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Starting center Rodney Hudson missed 13 games in 2012, and starting left guard Jeff Allen was terrible a season ago.
In that regard, addressing the offensive front with California (PA) center Eric Kush was a wise move.
However, while Kush is a versatile player with solid athleticism, there were a number of players still on the board at this point that would appear to have a much better shot at helping the Chiefs in 2013 than Kush.
The small-school standout isn't a horrible pick, but he's far from a good one either.
Round Six, Pick 36 (204): Braden Wilson, FB, Kansas State (Compensatory Pick)
For the second time in the 2013 NFL Draft the Kansas City Chiefs went to the running back well, but with their compensatory pick in the sixth round the Chiefs selected a back who isn't much of a threat to carry the ball.
Braden Wilson of Kansas State is a 251-pound fullback who touched the ball all of 11 times in 2012, so this pick was all about Wilson's ability to potentially open holes for Jamaal Charles.
In one respect this wasn't a bad pick, as Wilson is likely an upgrade on Patrick DiMarco at fullback, but that wasn't a huge need and Wilson waslight years away from being the best player available on the board.
Round Seven, Pick One (207): Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton
After being a top 10 overall pick in 2009 Tyson Jackson has been a huge bust for the Kansas City Chiefs, and free agent acquisition Mike DeVito is solid, but not spectacular.
That leaves the defensive front as something an area of need for the Chiefs, and a need that the team looked to with their last pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
With the first pick in the seventh and final round of the NFL draft the Chiefs opted for Princeton defensive end Mike Catapano, whose draft stock was on the rise after a strong showing at Princeton's pro day.
As Tony Pauline of Draft Insider reported, Catapano ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash and showed excellent strength with 33 reps in the bench press.
Those measurables are indicative of a player who has the tools, although it may take some time for those tools to develop into a real contribution for the Chiefs.
Still, a decent developmental pick.
The Good: The Chiefs added five potential starters in Fisher, Kelce, Johnson, Cummings and Wilson. The first four names on that list have a real shot at making a significant impact for the Chiefs in 2013.
The Bad: The draft came off the rails on day three. This isn't a knock on Nico Johnson, but in my opinion there were more dynamic inside linebackers available at that point, and from there the Chiefs left a ton of talent on the board. There's just no way to justify those picks as anything resembling "best player available", and the Chiefs may well live to regret it.
The Ugly: Knile Davis was a huge reach at the beginning of the third round. There were a handful of backs on the board that not only are arguably better players, but also who were available considerably later in the draft.
Overall Grade: B-
John Dorsey and Andy Reid started like Tarzan, and ended like Jane.