Revisiting the Kansas City Chiefs 2002 Draft

* Dallas traded its first-round (#6) pick to Kansas City for the Chiefs' first (#8), third (#75) and 2003 sixth-round draft choices.

Round 1, #6 overall, DT Ryan Sims -- The poster child for the Kansas City Chiefs' draft busts. Before the 2002 draft, Sims was asked what player he modeled his game after -- "Kind of a combination of Dana Stubblefield, Warren Sapp and John Randle." It would appear Sims meant a literal combination of those three players' weights. Not surprisingly, that interview included a number of questions about Sims' UNC teammate, Julius Peppers. Peppers would go no. 2 overall.

Defensive tackles are a tricky lot to gage coming out of college and the first round of the 2002 proved that. In the top 15 of the first round, four defensive tackles were taken. Albert Haynesworth and John Henderson have both made the Pro Bowl since they came into the NFL. Ryan Sims and Wendell Bryant, the other two tackles taken, have fallen off the map and in Bryant's case fallen out of football entirely.

Ryan Sims turned out to be a complete bust for the Chiefs but could the organization have seen that coming? Sure, hindsight is 20/20 but I'm naturally weary of guys who have superstars playing right next to them. There has to be a cause and effect relationship there that inflates one player's ability. But like I said before, the Chiefs had a 50% chance of drafting a Pro Bowl defensive tackle and they did not get the luck of the draw. Grade: F

Notables taken recently after this pick: DE Dwight Freeney, DT John Henderson, DT Albert Haynesworth, SS Ed Reed, LB Napolean Harris

Round 2, #43 overall, DT Eddie Freeman -- Who? You mean the other busted defensive tackle draft pick by the Chiefs? Yes, we had two of them this year. Freeman played sparingly for two years with the Chiefs and has been out of regular season football since 2004. He bounced around on a few practice squads, most notably New England's in 2006.

Freeman was a four-year starter for Alabama-Birmingham and played every single position on the defensive line. The second round of the 2002 draft is littered with unknowns and second-tier NFL players, so the Chiefs wouldn't have scored big with another pick. Interestingly enough, safety Jon McGraw was taken in the second round and he is currently a Chief. Grade: F

Notables taken recently after this pick: RB Clinton Portis

Round 4, #107 overall, FB Omar Easy -- Pre-Larry Johnson, the Chiefs were interested in another Penn State rusher in Omar Easy. The Jamaican born fullback hung around Kansas City for four years, playing in 53 games in his career. Easy suffers from exercise-induced asthma, which is a condition where his lungs are intake half the normal amount of oxygen.

Easy was presumably supposed to be the heir to Tony Richardson's long-held starting fullback position and for a time, while Larry Johnson rode the bench, was briefly talked about as a third running back. But the Chiefs never were impressed enough with Omar Easy to provide him with a starting roster spot. Grade: D+

Notables taken recently after this pick: QB David Garrard

Round 5, #143 overall, LB Scott Fujita -- Fujita started 41 games with the Chiefs and played in 48. He was traded to the Cowboys after the 2004 season for a 6th round pick and a conditional pick in 2007.

Scott Fujita was a pleasant surprise coming out of this draft. Any time you get a starter out of a second day pick, especially at the linebacker position, you've done well. He gave the Chiefs a solid three years and inspired Asian-Americans everywhere despite not being Asian at all. Fujita is currently the defensive captain for the New Orleans Saints. Grade: B+

Notables taken recently after this pick: None

Round 7, #221 overall, LB Maurice Rodriguez -- A typical 7th round nobody. Maurice is a personal trainer now though -- "Whether your goals are to add muscle, decrease body fat, increase endurance or a combination, with Maurice’s motivating and high energy personality he will guide you to achieving your goals! 'Live Life to its Fullest!'" Grade: F

Notables taken recently after this pick: None

Another scary example of the Chiefs' talent evaluation failures in the early part of this decade. Overall Draft Grade: D

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