First Rounder Will Prove to Be Smart Choice for Chiefs at No. 1

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 26, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Eric Fisher of Central Michigan Chippewas holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked #1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The top pick in the NFL draft usually hails from programs in major conferences like the SEC, Pac-12 and Big Ten. On Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs made Central Michigan's Eric Fisher the top pick.

Needless to say, Fisher was the first Chippewa taken No. 1 overall. But the 22-year-old also became the only player from the Mid-American Conference to hear his name called first.

Despite the fact Fisher didn't compete against big conference opponents throughout his collegiate career, the Chiefs made the right choice.

Here's why:


He Fills a Need

Stud left tackle Branden Albert's status with the team is up in the air. The Chiefs are actively trying to trade him. When he's gone, there would have been a gaping hole at left tackle.

Even with Albert, the Chiefs' quarterbacks were sacked 40 times in 2012. Passers were dumped 7.8 percent of the time they attempted a pass, per Pro Football Reference.

That was the ninth-highest percentage in the NFL.

It was clear improving pass protection was a must for this team. Those factors fully validate taking a left tackle with the first pick.


Why Fisher?

In a word: athleticism. Both Fisher and Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel possess good but not great in-line blocking techniques. Fisher's ability to pull and block downfield makes him stand out.

One of the most amazing sights in head coach Andy Reid's offense in Philadelphia—when things were going well—was watching Jason Peters eliminating guys downfield on outside runs and screen plays. Take a look:

Peters has elite mobility for an offensive tackle, and Fisher shows similar dexterity. That skill had to resonate with Coach Reid as the team favored Fisher over Joeckel.


Competitive Nature

Perhaps the most important intangible an athlete can have is competitiveness. It's something you can't teach. When two similar athletes are pitted against one another, the winner is often decided by who wants it the most.

Few players have rated higher in competitiveness than Fisher.

Russ Lande of Yahoo! Sports and National Football Post described Fisher's competitive edge as "rare."

This quality will drive him to be the best player he can be. Barring injury or off-field issue, this is the best quality to protect players from the bust tag.


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