Tonight is the first night of the 2017 NFL Draft. Every year, fans across the league fall in love with a certain player or even position that they feel like their team must draft, and if their team does not draft said player or position, then they might as well just cancel the upcoming season. Who is your “draft crush” this year? And what happens if the Chiefs do not draft him? Have a little faith. In John Dorsey we trust.
Kansas City Chiefs: In John Dorsey We Trust
It seems now more than ever: Kansas City Chiefs fans are clamoring for a quarterback to be drafted in the first round of the draft. Alex Smith has failed to get the Chiefs over the hump and is 32 years old. It is clear that Kansas City does need to start preparing for the future. But what happens if the big three in Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes are all draft before the Chiefs even have an opportunity to make a pick? What happens if draft falls a certain way and the Chiefs are left to take one of the less than sexy picks like another defensive lineman or inside linebacker? Have a little faith in general manager John Dorsey.
Since arriving in Kansas City, John Dorsey has done an exceptional job with the draft. Dorsey’s first year consisted of eight draft picks, two of which have become major contributors for Kansas City. Eric Fisher is a good – if not very good – left tackle (save your rage emails for another article to debate this on) and Travis Kelce is a Pro Bowl tight end who has served as a pivotal piece in Andy Reid’s offense over the past few seasons. The 2013 draft, Dorsey’s first, also brought Knile Davis to the squad. While Davis likely does not have much of a future with the Chiefs, his opening kickoff return for a touchdown against the Houston Texans two years ago sparked the Chiefs first playoff victory in almost 30 years.
John Dorsey’s second draft in Kansas City netted some serviceable, yet unspectacular players. Dee Ford was drafted in the first round and really came on last season by amassing ten sacks in the first ten games of the season before being slowed by a hip injury. Ford figures to be a large part of the defense again this season, as Tamba Hali inches closer to retirement. The 2014 draft also brought some significant special teams players in Phillip Gaines and De’Anthony Thomas, both of whom played extremely well last year covering kicks and punts for Dave Toub’s special teams unit. The hidden gem of the 2014 class was sixth round pick Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who signed a major contract extension this off season and will be the Chiefs starting right guard for at least the next few seasons.
The 2015 draft may be Dorsey’s crowning achievement thus far. All pro corner Marcus Peters is the crown jewel of this class, but there are plenty of other contributors to be mentioned. Mitch Morse has started at center for the Chiefs since being drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft. Third round picks Chris Conley and Steven Nelson both have carved themselves out nice roles in the offense and defense, respectively. Linebackers Ramik Wilson and D.J. Alexander both had opportunities to start last season, while Alexander also earned a Pro Bowl nod for his special teams play. Sixth rounder Rakeem Nunez-Roches was a sixth round pick who started a few games towards the end of the season for Kansas City. He figures to play a large role in the front seven with the recent losses of Dontari Poe and Jaye Howard on the defensive line.
The jury is still out on all of the 2016 draft class, but there is little doubt that Dorsey struck gold with a few of the picks. Second round pick – and the Chiefs first pick of the draft in 2016 – Chris Jones was a force in the middle of the field and will be a premier defensive tackle in the league for years to come. Fourth round pick Parker Ehinger earned a starting spot at left guard before tearing his ACL early in the season and figures to be the starter for the 2017 season. Rookie secondary players Eric Murray and D.J. White both saw significant time in the secondary and special teams, both bringing solid contributions to the team. The biggest name from the 2016 draft is Tyreek Hill, the fifth round pick who lit the league ablaze with his speed and incredible punt returns. Hill is going to be a centerpiece for the offense moving forward and will force special teams players to kick away from him any time he lines up deep to return a kick. After earning All-Pro honors in his first season, Hill will continue to be an important piece to John Dorsey’s legacy in Kansas City.
Sure, there are the occasional misses. KeiVarae Russell was drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft and was cut before the season even began. The two quarterbacks that Dorsey has drafted, Kevin Hogan and Aaron Murray, are no longer on the roster and have bounced around the league since being cut by Kansas City. But, this should not deter you from having faith in John Dorsey when it comes to handing in the card for their pick tonight.
So, if your favorite player does not get drafted tonight, take a deep breath and have faith. The Kansas City Chiefs are a much better team than they were a few years ago, and John Dorsey deserves a lot of that credit.