Draft Grades – Kansas City Chiefs
I’m going to be looking at the fantasy repercussions of the 2013 Draft and giving out a few grades and rankings. The grades mostly focus on fantasy-relevant positions, but I’ll also be examining overall positional value and strategy. It goes without saying that there’s an informational gap between what the teams have at their disposal and what I have. On the other hand, the great thing about being an outsider is that the informational gap often runs the other direction as well.
No. 15 Kansas City Chiefs Grade: B-
Most are excited about Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel, and the 2013 offseason might have deserved an A if the Chiefs had successfully dealt Branden Albert. You can now make the case that Kansas City will have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL – a situation in which Alex Smith flourished the last two seasons – or that Kansas City just used the No. 1 overall pick on a guy who’ll man right tackle.
The Chiefs used their second round pick to acquire Alex Smith, a player beloved by the advanced metrics. Considering the way some other quarterback-needy teams approached the position this offseason, getting a player with excellent forward-looking comps is a big win. (PFF even charted him as the 2012’s most accurate QB.)
One of the signature moments of the Scott Pioli era was drafting Javier Arenas ahead of Rob Gronkowski. (The Chiefs just traded Arenas for a player at a position that no longer exists in the NFL.) He then traded up to select Tony Moeaki two spots ahead of Jimmy Graham. The point in rehashing that brutal history – other than to celebrate John Dorsey’s arrival with my fellow Chiefs fans – is to point out the possibility of landing a mid-round star at the position.
My pre-draft TE prep was questionable at best, but I think Matthew Freedman and Ryan Rouillard got it right in the RotoViz Composite Rookie TE Rankings when they put Travis Kelce at No. 2. In fact, Kelce’s size/speed profile combined with his ability to both block and catch has generated comparisons to Gronk himself. If not for his 2010 suspension, Kelce might have been in the conversation with Tyler Eifert to be the first TE off the board.
Knile Davis is also a Freedman favorite. The former Arkansas back has a ridiculous size/speed/strength combination and tore through SEC defenses in 2010. In a vacuum, I like Davis better than Johnathan Franklin, but the UCLA back seems like he would have been a better fit for Andy Reid’s offense.
Unfortunately, things began to unravel on Saturday. The Chiefs may have an above average starting lineup, but their depth is frightening. Kansas City drafted Devon Wylie in 2012 and recently signed Donnie Avery, both of whom are little more than desperation plays in the speed receiver role. If Jonathan Baldwin doesn’t win the job opposite Dwayne Bowe, it would be nice to think someone with potential is getting snaps in his stead. Kenny Stills would have been an excellent selection when they picked Sanders Commings. Ryan Swope would have been a great flier when they selected Eric Kush. The Chiefs then spent pick 204 on a fullback with Charles Johnson and Aaron Mellette still available. I belong to the Bruce Arians school when it comes to fullbacks, but even old school types probably think selecting Braden Wilson and then trading for Anthony Sherman was bizarre.
Regardless, don’t sleep on the Chiefs this season. Alex Smith is a fantasy sleeper behind a suddenly salty offensive line. Jamaal Charles should start making his 2,500 yards from scrimmage predictions now. The plot is thickening in the AFC West.