Kansas City Chiefs Draft Grades

Jon Baldwin Has All the Talent in the World, but why was he so inconsistent and was he the right pick for the Chiefs in the first round? Picture source: Ogdraft.com

The Chiefs front office has had some impressive drafts the past few years and the men in charge have done a nice job of building a solid roster, but it is not without holes. Did this draft continue the trend of improving the roster or was it a big flop?

1st round pick: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

Jon Baldwin is a massive wide receiver with great size hands and natural ability. The problem with Jon Baldwin is that he lacks the production of a first round wide receiver, and he needs refinement in his route running. Jon Baldwin never had 60 catches or more than 8 touchdowns in any one season. With how good that Panthers running game has been, and how big Baldwin is, one might assume he’d be able to rack up the TD numbers in the red-zone but that’s not the case.  In the end though teams had to decide whether or not Baldwin’s lack of production was more to do with the offensive system and Quarterback play of the Panthers or something more.

Philosophy: A

The Chiefs desperately needed another wide receiver to take pressure off of Dwayne Bowe. On top of that, I’m never against a team trading down and still getting the player they want.  Wide Receivers also offer good positional value as many of the top wide receivers in the league are first or second round picks.

Player Value:

B-

I think I’m a bit of a tough grader and to me a “C” is average value. Was Baldwin’s value exceptional? No, he’s not great value at 26, but he’s not bad value. This is better than average value because the Chiefs were able to trade down and then grab Baldwin. A pretty solid pick, and he was not going to last until their second round pick, but this feels to me like much more of a need pick than a Best player available pick. I know Baldwin has good upside, but I’m worried about this pick a bit.

2nd round pick: Rodney Hudson, C, Florida State University

Hudson is a player I mocked to the Chiefs in arrowheadaddicts Ultimate Chiefs Mock Draft. I was dissapointed with how little love the pick got. Hudson plays a position of big need for the Chiefs and is good value in the middle of the second round. Hudson is not the largest center in the world (and that’s his biggest knock…not big enough/not strong enough to handle big N.F.L. defensive tackles/nose tackles), but he was a very good player at Florida State University.

Philosophy: A

I’m not one of those guys who thinks it’s dumb to take running backs early in the draft, I am however, hesitant to take interior offensive linemen in the first round of the draft unless they have a realistic chance of playing tackle. However, in the second it makes a lot of sense to take an interior offensive linemen. A good interior offensive linemen can play 10-15 years in the league and not at a first round price.

Player Value

B

Hudson was a fringe first round player (on some boards, not mine), but good value in the latter part of the second round and he also fills a need. I think the pick I would have consider making there is grabbing Mikel LeShoure.

Round 3: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

Houston was a player that was mocked often to the latter part of the first round and has high as 2oth overall to the Buccaneers in many mock drafts and consider a lock for the second round, but seemingly because of some “extra curricular activity” Houston feel all the way to the third round.

Philosophy:

A

Grabbing a pass rusher to play opposite of Hali and to replace Vrabel was a necessity. It didnt’ have to be in the draft, but it did have to be done during the off-season.

Player Value:

A+

Great, great value. This is not a reflection, or indication of anything, but there is nothing I couldn’t care about less than a college kid smoking marijuana. That doesn’t really mean anything. Sure it’s not ideal, but I think that will have very little effect on anyone’s (not named Ricky Williams) career. What a great pick. How many players were true better values here? Martez Wilson? Few, if any players would have been a better pick here.

Round 3 pick: Allen Bailey, DL, The U

Bailey is more of a physical specimen than he is a great football player. But on the cool side, he grew up in a very small town “In the bayou” and eats crazy animals in his hometown. Bailey was mocked often into the second round.

Philosophy:

A

I really agree with the thought process of what the Chiefs were doing. They were getting good values at positions of needs. Can’t argue much with that.

Player Value

B+

The Second round would have been a reach to me, but the end of the third round is plus value for a guy who has Bailey’s upside, and a guy who plays in the trenches.  Plus value. Good pick.

Round 4 pick: Jalil Brown, CB, Colorado

Brown was overshadowed by the uber talented Jimmy Smith at Colorado, but is a legitimate quality N.F.L. prospect.

I don’t do philosophy after the third round. Teams should just pick players they think can make and stick on an N.F.L. roster because the majority of 4th and later round picks won’t be on rosters in a few years.

Player Value: I always like taking talented cornerbacks in the draft. You can’t have too many good cornerbacks, but Brown wasn’t really high on my board and I thought there was much better value. I know the Chiefs think Thomas Jones can still play, but they had a good opportunity to grab a Thomas Jones clone in Delonte Carter out of The ‘Cuse. Or Tandon Doss who was a good 2nd round WR prospect (the Chiefs don’t have a ton at Wide receiver and could have used more than just Baldwin). I also preferred Davon House to Brown by a wide margin.

C- (Below average value)

Round 5 pick Ricky Stanai, QB, Iowa

Stanzi was one of the top 8 quarterbacks in the draft, and a player everyone thought would go as high as the third round. Stanzi falls just short of the 26/27/60 rule (26 minimum on the wonderlic, 27 starts, and 60 percent completion rate) by a few passes in his first year.

Player value: A-

Quarterbacks are always over-drafted, but in the Chiefs case they actually got very good value with this pick.

Round 5 pick: Gabe Miller, OLB, Oregon State

I didn’t know Oregon State had any defensive players that could make it into the N.F.L. (lame joke).

Player Value D

There was about literally 40 players I would have chosen over Miller there. I’ve harped on this a few times, but there were good running backs available at this point, and many other good players. I don’t think Miller would have been drafted by anyone else in the 5th round. Bad value imho.

Round 6 pick: Jerrell Powe, NT, Ole Miss

Powe was cool enough to take time out of his schedule to interview with NFLmocks so this pick gets an A+.

Seriously though this picks Grade is an A-, and not just because he interviewed with us, but because it was exceptional value. I thought he could go as high as the second round early in the process and he plays a position of need for the Chiefs. He’ll eat up some space and is a natural fit as Nose Tackle, which is better than what the Chiefs have right now (not saying Ron Edwards is bad, but is he a natural nose tackle? Probably not). Powe could one day mature into a starter.

Round 7 pick: Shane  Bannon Fullback/H-back Yale

Grade C

Bannon is a versatile player who played a bunch of different positions for Yale last year. He has very good size for a full back at 6’2 265, but he doesn’t have good measurables (4.85 40 yard dash and only 14 reps on the bench press). I also think there were much better players available, but it’s a  fine choice in round 7. (Who gets worked up about 7th round picks?)

Conclusion

This Draft didn’t get as much love from analyst as other drafts, but I thought it was a pretty solid draft. I really was uninspired and unimpressed with the Chargers draft so the Chiefs gained ground on them in my opinion. There were some very good picks in this draft like Justin Houston and Jerrell Power. There were also some I didn’t love like Gabe Miller and Jalil Brown. What the Chiefs were able to do impressively is fill needs while getting  pretty good value which is always nice. I’m more about value than I am about needs. Like I say often leading up to the draft and whenever I talk about the draft, teams don’t really know what their needs will be by the end of the season. There are too many injuries in the N.F.L. and free agency changes rosters a lot each year. Players, especially after the first two rounds, don’t usually contribute anything major until a few years down the road…who knows what the needs will be then? Hard to predict. That’s why when I grade drafts I focus on the value first, and will vary the grade based on how well a team address percieved needs.

Chiefs Overall Draft Grade B+. I do weigh the first two picks more than the rest and I didn’t love the first two picks. I thought they were solid picks, but unspectacular value, not that there is anything wrong with that. The Chiefs had a much better than average draft and had a good approach, I just preferred different a few different players. All in all, good job Chiefs.

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Tags: Chiefs Draft Chiefs Draft Grade Jon Baldwin Kansas City Chiefs

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