There's still time for Chiefs' rookie class

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
7:30
AM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For those with ESPN Insider access, Mel Kiper Jr. grades each team's 2013 draft again Insider and he gives a B- to the team that picked first overall, the Kansas City Chiefs.

That's a bit generous given what the Chiefs got from their rookies. As Kiper wrote, this would be a disappointing draft for the Chiefs if that opinion was just based on how their first-year players fared as rookies. But the Chiefs gave their second-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers last year as part of the trade that brought quarterback Alex Smith and that has to be factored into the equation.

Another thing that needs to be considered: This draft class isn't finished yet. It's still premature to give the class a final grade, and while it's true the Chiefs didn't get a lot from their rookies in 2013, those players may yet produce.

Tackle Eric Fisher didn't play like the overall No. 1 pick but he will get better. Fisher showed flashes of his potential during the season. A year in Kansas City's weight program should do wonders for him.

Tight end Travis Kelce, a third-round pick, missed virtually all of the season with a knee injury, but he will eventually give the Chiefs something, if he can stay healthy. Another third-rounder, runningback Knile Davis, showed some big-play ability between fumbles and before breaking his leg in the playoff loss to Indianapolis.

Fourth-round linebacker Nico Johnson and fifth-round defensive back Sanders Commings provided little this season, but both could be starters next year. Cornerback Marcus Cooper wasn't drafted by the Chiefs. The 49ers took Cooper in the seventh round and released him at the end of training camp. The Chiefs claimed him off waivers and he played well as their third cornerback early in the season. It's troubling that his play faltered later on.

Not all of these players will come through for the Chiefs. Chances are some will.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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