Save for Mr. Irrelevent, Ryan Succop, Scott Pioli's first draft for the Kansas City Chiefs has had almost no impact on improving the team. The draft is supposed to be an infusion of talent onto NFL teams and the Chiefs certainly needed more talent. Yet look at how little 2009s draft picks have contributed in their first year:
Round 1: Tyson Jackson
- Tackles: 20
- Assists: 8
- Sacks: 0
By this point in the 2008 season, Glenn Dorsey was being spoken of as a huge bust. By week 15, Dorsey had 38 tackles, 28 assists, and 1 sack.
Jackson was universally considered a reach when he was drafted #3 overall, but Pioli got a pass on it because of his reputation as a personnel guru in New England. He believed Jackson would turn into a keystone player in the future that the defense would be built around, and he might still turn out to be that guy. Or he might not. Even if you don't believe in tackling stats for defensive linemen, Jacksons part in the Chiefs 30th ranked run defense (before giving up 350 yds rushing to the Browns today) should be further evidence of his ineffectivness.
I'm not about to call Jackson a bust after less than 1 year and I still hold out hope that as he is surrounded by better players and gets more experience that he will become the player Pioli reached for. But he clearly has done nothing to help the 2009 Chiefs defense.
Round 3: Alex Magee
- Tackles: 8
- Assists: 6
- Sacks: 2
Magee is used largely as a situational player, normally only coming into the game on 3rd downs as part of a two man front with Tyson Jackson. He started for the first time against the Browns with Dorsey injured and registered 0 stats.
Clearly we haven't seen a lot of Magee yet and the fact that it takes defensive linemen time to develop means that Magee should improve over time. But on a team in a huge talent deficit that had taken a Defensive linemen 5th overall in 2008 and 3rd overall in 2009, Pioli decided to take a backup defensive linemen, not even a nose tackle with the second pick of his regime. It still leaves me scratching my head.
4th Round: Donald Washington
Normally you don't expect a lot from the 4th and later rounds, but on a team as bad as the Chiefs, you expect to see the coaching staff trying to develop young guys and give them some reps. Not so with Donald Washington. Even when Maurice Leggett fell out of favor and was moved out of the Nickel Back position, Washington didn't get a shot to play. In the last 8 games, Washington has only gotten on the field on defense once. It's not as though the Patriots rejects that have been playing instead are doing a great job. Why is Washington not getting on the field?
5th Round: Colin Brown
Not much to say about Brown. He got hurt somehow early in the season and has been on IR (not developing) ever since.
6th Round: Quinten Lawrence
- Receptions: 1
- Rec. Yds: 9
- Rushes: 1
- Rush Yds: 16
- Kickoff Ret Avg: 19.75 yds
A lot of people were excited about Lawrence because he was supposed to be a speed guy. But that never showed up on the field. He was tried out primarily as as a return man, but never had a return longer than 26 yds and most were much much shorter. He frequently dropped passes, showing an inability to make catches over the middle, often flinching from balls where he thought he was going to get hit.
Lawrence has been on and off the practice squad a few times and currently was released on Dec. 20th and has not yet been resigned. Not a huge loss, he is only a 6th round pick after all.
7th Round: Javaris Williams
- Rushes: 3
- Rush Yds: -2
On and off the practice squad, probably wouldn't be on the 53 man roster if not for all the injuries to RBs.
O'Connell seemed to be a guy Pioli really liked for some reason and has been given quite a number of opportunities, often at the expense of last years 3rd rounder Brad Cottam. So far though, O'Connell has 0 receptions and has dropped a lot of big passes.
What does Haley have against Cottam? He let the piss poor blocking Sean Ryan start most of the 1st half of the season (remember him? Oh he's still taking a roster spot, even though he's no longer playing). Leonard Pope is a Haley guy and has done OK, though he often looks like he has his head up his butt. O'Connell couldn't catch a cold and yet, Cottam has mostly been benched and playing a little Special Teams. Against the Browns, the first game he was really targeted much in the passing game, he had 4 receptions for 62 yds.
7th Round: Ryan Succop
84% FG accuracy
It took until the last pick of the draft to find Pioli's bright spot. Chiefs fans have really taken a liking to Ryan Succop.
So in Pioli's first shot at team building the Chiefs via the draft, we have a decent little FG Kicker (though at this point at least certainly not a superstar), 1 starter who has performed poorly and a situational backup. I think its safe to say that every one of the rest of those players picked up in the 4th round or later will be in the fight of their lives for a job in training camp next year.
The question is, were these mediocre or poor picks by Pioli, or a poor job of coaching them up by Haley?