Kiper gives Chiefs a 'B-minus' for draft


For those with ESPN Insider access, draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has handed out his annual post-draft grades to the 32 teamsInsider. The Chiefs received a "B-minus," which I'm thinking is a fair grade this soon after the draft.

If the first-round selection, outside linebacker Dee Ford, doesn't develop into a productive pass-rusher, he won't be a good pick for the Chiefs. But I like the Chiefs' thinking here and Kiper agrees. The selection of Ford gives the Chiefs some insurance for the aging and expensive Tamba Hali and for Justin Houston, who also will be expensive when his contract runs out at the end of next season. In the meantime, Ford also can provide some value.

The Chiefs' next three picks were cornerback Phillip Gaines (third round), slot receiver/kick returner De'Anthony Thomas (fourth) and quarterback Aaron Murray (fifth). They all play impact positions and if the Chiefs hit on even two of them, this should be a good draft. Kiper points out that the Chiefs' final pick of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in the sixth round could wind up as a good one. Kiper believes Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive lineman, could be a sleeper.

The trouble with assessing a draft so quickly afterward is that higher grades are usually awarded to teams that selected players at positions of immediate need. Not counting Thomas, the Chiefs didn't draft a wide receiver and right now that looks like a mistake. But they obviously didn't like any receivers available at their turns to pick and it's a mistake to grade them down for not selecting someone they didn't like or feel comfortable with.

We'll know better in a couple of years whether this six-player haul for the Chiefs was good, bad or somewhere in the middle. For now, a B-minus looks about right.