As John Dorsey entered his fifth draft as the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, anticipation was high amongst Chiefs Kingdom as it appeared that this would be the year the team finally drafted a quarterback in the first round. Kansas City has avoided quarterbacks in the first round of the annual draft since 1983 when they chose Todd Blackledge seventh overall. Ever since that failed experiment, the Chiefs have been busy acquiring other teams quarterbacks in hopes of putting the team over the top.
Still, the feeling was different this year. Alex Smith is 32 years old and has two years left on his contract, which includes a $20 million cap hit next year. The Chiefs head coach is quarterback guru Andy Reid, who is known league wide for his ability to maximize his quarterbacks talents. It seemed like the perfect marriage this year between the Chiefs and a first-round quarterback. The biggest question mark was whether or not one of the top flight quarterbacks would be available for Kansas City at their originally slotted pick, 27th overall. Dorsey did not want to wait, and made what could be one of the biggest moves in Chiefs history but jumping 17 spots and picking Patrick Mahomes tenth overall. Here is how the rest of the draft played out:
First round, 10th overall: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
Second round, 59th overall: DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova)
Third round, 86th overall: RB Kareem Hunt (Toledo)
Fourth round, 139th overall: WR Jehu Chesson (Michigan)
Fifth round, 183rd overall: LB Ukeme Eligwe (Georgia Southern)
Sixth round, 218th overall: S Leon McQuay III (USC)
Chiefs 2017 Draft Grade: 9/10
Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Draft Review
Best Player: Patrick Mahomes
The obvious choice here is Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has been compared to multiple NFL quarterbacks because of his different traits. He is a gun-slinger like Brett Favre. He has the arm strength of Matthew Stafford. He throws interceptions like Jay Cutler. You name a quarterback, Mahomes has been compared to him in some way. Mahomes will likely not see the field for the first year, and some speculate he may not even see the field in 2018, but he will be the ultimate deciding factor on the future of the Chiefs organization. By giving up the 2018 first round draft pick as well as a third round pick in 2017, John Dorsey essentially tied his success as a general manager to the right arm of Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has all of the necessary tools to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, it is up to Andy Reid and the coaching staff to get it out of him.
Head Scratcher: Tanoh Kpassagnon
I’m going to give this “honor” to Tanoh Kpassagnon. This is not because Kpassagnon cannot become a good player, but simply because it was a head-scratcher that Dorsey selected another project in the second round when the Chiefs first round pick is already going to take some time to develop. Most would have assumed that the Chiefs would grab an immediate impact player in the second round since their first round pick will likely see very little playing time. Kpassagnon is a physical freak and has some impressive pass rushing moves, but will also likely be behind Chris Jones, Allen Bailey, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches to start the season.
The Surprise: Patrick Mahomes
Going back to Patrick Mahomes on this. Any way you look at it, it was a shock to see the Chiefs logo pop up on the broadcast to show that they were on the clock at the tenth pick of the draft. For John Dorsey and Andy Reid to make such a drastic move, it shows that they really wanted Mahomes and believe he will be a star.
The Steal: Kareem Hunt
The Chiefs steal of the draft could be Kareem Hunt. Hunt, picked in the third round by the Chiefs, has a lot of ability and fits perfectly in the Chiefs offense. In college, Hunt forced 98 total missed tackles, which was the second-most in the nation in 2016. Hunt also has great ball security, as he fumbled just one time in his college career. In addition, Hunt averaged 6.8 yards per carry during his time at Toledo. Hunt’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will only increase his chances of productivity for the Chiefs. Out of all of the draft picks from this draft, Hunt has the tools and ability to have the quickest impact for the Chiefs.
Most Likely to Turn Heads in Training Camp: Ukeke Eligwe
While I think Patrick Mahomes will turn heads with his arm strength, I’m going with linebacker Ukeme Eligwe. Eligwe is an interesting prospect. He has exceptional talent and essentially dominated during his time at Georgia Southern. Eligwe was a “big fish in a little pond” as he was originally a member of the Florida State football team but was kicked off for a failed drug test. Eligwe can run sideline to sideline, and the 40-yard dash he ran at his Pro Day would have been second best among all linebackers at the Combine. Expect to hear Eligwe’s name pop up during training camp as he tries to make his way in to the starting line up.
Kansas City picked up wide receiver Jehu Chesson in the fourth round. Chesson was a dominant receiver in 2015, only to regress in 2016. Some will point to a knee injury at the end of 2015 as the reason for the dip in productivity, but some scouts were concerned that Chesson just lacked desire last season. Safety Leon McQuay was a starter for the USC Trojans and does have some ability in space. He is a box safety that does very well on cleaning up in run support. Expect both of these players to mainly have an impact on special teams to start their careers.
The Chiefs came in to the weekend with ten draft picks but ended up selecting only six players. Kansas City made trades to jump up and get Mahomes, Hunt and Chesson, which required the team to relinquish some of the later picks to do so. The Chiefs had the ability to do so because they are already one of the deepest teams in the league. John Dorsey focused on the future with this draft and a lot of the picks have the potential to be high impact players for the Chiefs.