Eric Fisher: How Will Chiefs' Newest Offensive Tackle Fare in the Pros?

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

Feb 23, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Central Michigan offensive lineman Eric Fisher runs the 40 yard dash during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With the first pick in the NFL draft, the Chiefs select Eric Fisher from Central Michigan, just the second Chippewa to go in the first round of the draft.

Pro Outlook

Fisher isn't the typical No. 1 pick, and he isn't a franchise-changing player. However, he was a safe pick for the Chiefs and should immediately improve their offensive line.

While his career may start on the right side, Fisher is the long-term left tackle for the Chiefs and has the potential to develop into one of the better ones in the league.

Fisher isn't in the same class as guys like Joe Thomas or Matt Kalil, but he has all the tools to develop into a solid left tackle. Don't bet on him developing into a 10-time Pro Bowler, but Fisher can anchor the left side of the line for the Chiefs for years to come.

Fantasy Outlook

Look at what Alex Smith did in San Francisco behind a dominant offensive line and a solid running game. While the Chiefs have a long way to go before becoming the 49ers, they definitely have the running game, and they're building the offensive line.

If Fisher helps solidify the Chiefs line, Smith could be a viable fantasy option in 2013.

With Fisher protecting Smith, wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Jon Baldwin could see improved production in 2013 as well.

Roster Outlook

Fisher's immediate future will be determined by the Chiefs' ability to trade Branden Albert.

If Albert stays in Kansas City, the Chiefs will likely keep Fisher on the right side. But once Albert is gone—and it will happen soon, even if he sticks around for 2013—the left tackle position is Fisher's for the foreseeable future.

Pick Analysis

Following the incredible 2012 draft, ending up with Eric Fisher at No. 1 is definitely a letdown. However, he's a fairly safe option who will be a quality starter for years to come at the very worst.

An argument could certainly be made for other prospects on the board, but Fisher was a viable option and fills an obvious need.

Grade: A-