Memo To Chiefs: The Draft Isn't Always Your Friend

Russell FikeCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2010

How often does a top-five draft pick result in the turnaround of a franchise?  

In fact, how often does a first-round pick result in a team's immediate success?  

Now think about how often a draft class is able to assist a team in improving their record.

Without the numbers directly at hand, a statistical examination of drafts past I am inclined to believe in the spirit of the consummate team sport, football.

It is not the superstar, or even the cornerstone, the Chiefs can acquire with their number five pick that fans should drool over. Rather, it is the cast of characters possibly assembled.  

It's a popular choice to encourage trading down from the five spot to acquire more picks, but the problem is no one wants to trade up.

The draft is flawed and essentially punishes teams looking to improve. Initially designed to allow poor teams the chance to improve, it is the money due these NFL superstars-to-be that can cripple an organization.

Using last year as an example, quarterback Matthew Stafford, number one pick, received a bigger contract than Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel, a player with a successful year of starting NFL experience.

Teams are tied so closely to their first-round draft picks via monetary obligations, that unproven talent can backfire on an organization as the system designed to help teams improve sets them back for seasons to come.

Kansas City will likely be stranded at the five spot, but their pick is not a savior. He is not a messiah, so do not expect miracles. Rather, a quality starter is sufficient, but it's unfortunate that starter is guaranteed a veritable mountain of cashola.  

For the first time, I can understand holdouts. Not from the player's perspective, but that of the franchise.  

There is mixed approval (or lack thereof) of Kansas City's past two number one picks, Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. As we all are, the Chief front office is learning as they go and how they handle the responsibility of the number five spot is of great intrigue.