There's a maxim that floats around football circles that says you can really only judge a draft class after three years. As we gear up for the 2008 draft, I'll be revisiting the Chief's draft classes over the last few years and grading them. I'm taking into a lot of factors with these grades -- round picked, expectations, position, etc. Also, in the case of trades, I'll grade the trade as well. As a side note, was the 2005 draft weak or what? Geez...
Round 1, #15 overall, LB Derrick Johnson -- When you look back at the first round of the 2005 draft and see who was drafted after Derrick Johnson, you realize the Chiefs made a good pick. By today's standards, the first round of the 2005 draft has turned out to be quite weak -- Alex Smith, Cedric Benson, Pacman Jones and Cadillac Williams all have questionable futures in 2008 (but not necessarily because of talent). Rounding out the top ten of the '05 draft were two wide receiver busts in Troy Williamson and Mike Williams.
So for the Chiefs to figuratively dodge a bullet, a little credit needs to go to the guys behind the scenes. The Chiefs brass did a good job drafting a solid linebacker with an unlimited potential in a sea of first round fallouts. Mark my words, Derrick Johnson will make a Pro Bowl or two in his career and you can expect that to happen in the next couple of years. Grade: A
Traded Round 2 Pick for Pat Surtain -- The Chiefs would have had the 46th overall pick in the second round but traded that pick to Miami in exchange for Pat Surtain and a 5th round swap of picks. It retrospect, it was a smart move. The Chiefs received a solid corner back for a pick that would have been muddy at best for the Chiefs. The '05 second round was wacky enough that a place kicker went right after the Chiefs traded pick. Surtain hasn't played at a Pro Bowl level for the Chiefs but I shudder to think about throwing out lesser known experiments at CB over the last few years. If not Surtain, who else? Grade: A-
Round 3, #99 overall, P Dustin Colquitt -- Cha-ching! Colquitt has turned out to be exactly what you want when you draft a punter -- a no hassle, no frills deal that you never have to think about again. You can debate the merit of taking a punter in round three but the Chiefs were again limited in their choices. Colquitt was picked third to last in the third round, making him virtually a fourth round pick. Interestingly, Colquitt was only one of two punters taken in the 2005 draft. The other was taken late in the sixth round by the St. Louis Rams. Grade: A
Round 5, #138 overall, LB Boomer Grigsby; #147 overall, CB Alphonso Hodge -- In any draft analysis I do, you'll see me lay up on the criticism of the second day, late round picks. Simply put, you get lucky or you don't. Sure, some coaches excel and placing less talented players in effective roles in their system. But I'm not going to fly off the handle because the Chiefs botched the 200th-whatever pick of the draft.
These two picks, more Hodge and less Grigsby, left a lot to be desired. The Chiefs have squeezed three years of miscellaneous play out of Grigsby. Depending on the results of this year's draft, Grigsby may not even be on the team next season.
Hodge became one of those draft picks that just fell off the map. He literally has no careers stats and is currently a member of Team Michigan of the All American Football League, a league scheduled to begin in April 2008 that only accepts college graduates as players.
The Chiefs also traded an extra 5th round pick they had to Tennessee for defensive end Carlos Hall. Hall ended playing only one season in KC after posting minimal stats in fourteen games. He is currently a member of the Denver Broncos. Grade: C
Round 6, #187 overall, OG Will Svitek; #199, DE Khari Long -- At least Will Svitek is still around.
Khari Long, to the best of my research, didn't make the team in 2005 (or at least didn't register any stats). Long has spent the last three years has a journeyman-practice squad member, playing for four different teams. This isn't unexpected though. The guy was a 6th round defensive end from a Baylor. He wasn't expected to light it up.
Will Svitek, if he was even just a bit better, would have shined in the last two years with our beleaguered o-line. But he hasn't, thus proving his worth as a 6th round pick. Many forget that Svitek was originally drafted as a defensive end and was forced to play out of his natural position his entire NFL career. Svitek may nor may not be around next season as a back up and that's about as good as it's going to get for a 6th round, converted offensive lineman. Grade: C
Round 7, #229 overall, QB James Killian; #238 overall, T Jeremy Parquet -- No need to waste much space on these guys. Both are journeyman whose best hopes are playing backup or sticking around on a team's practice squad. Grade: C
Overall Draft Grade: B-