Football Memo

AFC West Draft Grades: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City will be picking 23rd overall in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Outside linebacker Dee Ford

Outside linebacker Dee Ford

Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are chasing the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, and they wisely used their first two selections to chase Peyton Manning and the Broncos receivers. Kansas City grabbed pass rush specialist Dee Ford with the 23rd-overall selection. Ford is a bit undersized (6-2, 244), but he is a relentless rusher with a quick first step. The Chiefs are hoping the addition of Ford gives the Chiefs a third top-notch pass rusher to go along with Tambi Hali and Justin Houston. In the third round, Kansas City turned to improving the secondary, by taking Rice’s Phillip Gains, a long, athletic cornerback. If Gaines can become a more physical player, he should help the Chiefs early in his career. He has good range and displays good instincts in coverage. He allows the Chiefs some flexibility on the outside, and could team with Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith to better match up with the Broncos’ passing attack. The Chiefs added lightning-quick De’Anthony Thomas, who should fill the role of Dexter McCluster, who signed with the Titans. Thomas is a more-dynamic version of McCluster, and will help immediately as a situational player on offense and in the return game. The Chiefs added depth and insurance at quarterback with the selection of Georgia’s Aaron Murray in the fifth round. Murray was a very productive college performer, and should at least become a serviceable backup for the Chiefs, who are currently at a standstill in contract negotiations with starting quarterback Alex Smith. Kansas City used sixth-round selections on guard Zach Fulton and small-school tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, to add depth and talent to the offensive line. I was a bit surprised the Chiefs didn’t address the receiver position. They really need to add some talent and depth behind starters Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery.
Grade: B-

Kansas City Chiefs – 2014 Draft Selections
1 (23) Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
3 (87) Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
4 (124) De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
5 (163) Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
6 (193) Zach Fulton, G, Tennessee
6 (200) Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OT, McGill

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