I was thinking about this the other day decided to look into it a little bit. Obviously, there's no way of projecting any of this, but I was curious about what might have been.
When Marty Schottenheimer took over the Chiefs in 1989, he was handed a team with some talent (a far more talented team than Haley inherited), especially on the defensive side of the ball. This is not to ignore inheriting guys like John Alt and Christian Okoye on offense, but the Chiefs defense was pretty stacked when Marty arrived: Albert Lewis, Kevin Ross, Deron Cherry, Neil Smith, Dino Hacket, Bill Maas, Kevin Porter and Jayice Pierson. Of course the Chiefs would draft the great Derrick Thomas with the first pick of the Peterson era and Marty would make that talent the #2 defense in the NFL in his first season in KC.
So in the 1990 draft, with a rock solid defense and a very suspect offense that basically hinged on an aging quarterback with a masterful way with the play action pass, Carl used the Chiefs first round pick to draft Percy Snow, a linebacker from Michigan State. Snow, who was ironically born in Canton, Ohio, had a solid rookie year with the Chiefs. And then it all went very wrong.
For those of you too young to remember this, during the 1991 training camp, Snow was injured with riding a scooter on the UWRV campus. You didn't misread that. He was injured while riding a scooter. He injured his knee badly, missing the entire 1991 season and for all intents and purposes ending his career. Snow would return in 1992 but only start one more game in his NFL career. This winds up being the first in a series of gigantic first round busts for Carl Peterson. Harvey Williams, the Montana trade, Greg "The Real Deal" Hill, Trezelle Jenkins, Victor Riley, Sylvester Morris, Ryan Sims, and Junior Siavii (technically a second round pick) would all follow.
So I present three "what if" scenarios:
1. What if Percy Snow was never been injured and developed into a Pro Bowl linebacker? How might that have affected the 1990s Marty era Chiefs? Could that have led to an '85 Bears level defense that got us to the Superbowl?
2. What if the Chiefs had drafted offense with the first pick that year instead? Whitlock favorite Jeff George was the overall #1 pick in 1990. By drafting Percy Snow at #13 the Chiefs passed on drafting Emmitt Smith, who would of course become the all time leading rusher in the history of the National Football League . Rodney Hampton was available as well. Yes, the Chiefs had a Pro Bowl running back in the Nightmare who had just become the first Chief to lead the league in rushing. However, the Chiefs would go on the draft a running back in Round 1 in 1991. So what if? What if the Chiefs had taken Smith instead of Snow?
3. What if George Bailey had never been born? Keep in mind, George Bailey was no ordinary yokel.
If the Percy Snow pick had worked out differently, how might the fortunes of the Chiefs have differed in the 1990s?