KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Today we’re starting a series that looks at each of the 10 2013 Kansas City Chiefs rookies who either played for the Chiefs last season or figure in their plans in 2014 or beyond. We’ll do one each day and we’ll start with last year’s first overall pick in the draft.
OT Eric Fisher
How acquired: 2013 first-round draft pick.
2013 season: Fisher had something far less than a spectacular rookie season for the first overall pick in the draft. He started 13 games at right tackle, missing three starts in the regular season and one in the playoffs because of various injuries. Fisher’s durability wasn’t so big of a problem last season because the Chiefs had adequate depth at tackle. His season started so poorly that he probably deserved to be benched at various points. He had particular problems handling bigger, more physical opponents. He didn’t arrive in Kansas City strong enough to consistently handle his position and it often showed. But the Chiefs stuck with Fisher and he made some progress as the season went on. He showed flashes, particularly later in the season, of the reasons the Chiefs picked him first overall. He made some athletic plays in getting down the field and throwing some blocks to spring long gains that not a lot of other tackles could have made.
Looking ahead: Fisher could be the Chiefs’ starting left tackle in 2014 and beyond. Branden Albert is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and could be too pricey for the Chiefs to re-sign. That would mean more pressure would be on Fisher to improve and do so quickly. It’s reasonable to believe Fisher can still become the player the Chiefs envisioned when they drafted him No. 1 overall. He has the athletic skills and his work habits seem in order. A year in the Chiefs’ weight program should do wonders for Fisher. “I think it’s going to be huge,’’ Fisher said late in the season of that prospect. “Just giving me that much more of an anchor, really locking down those power guys. There are different kinds of rushers in this league and the power rush is probably the thing I’m working on the most. I’m fixing that every day.’’