The overall outcome of KC's draft class might not impress many people around the NFL. KC didn't land impact play-makers that will see the field as starters in 2014, but the overall plan could set KC up well for the near and distant future. General Manager John Dorsey stated during his NFL Draft recap press conference that KC's overall strategy was to allow the Draft Board to fall and to take advantage of that. KC knocked it out of the park (baseball pun) by doing so in my opinion.
==========My 2014 KC Chiefs's Draft Recap w/ Help of CBS Sports Insights==========
Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Vance Walker, Dontari Poe and now Dee Ford, if Bob Sutton can get all of them on the field at the same time, who would you focus on? Dee Ford will learn from two of the best OLBs in the NFL while he develops in the NFL. Drafting Dee Ford doesn't only give KC depth at a critical position in the NFL (pass rusher) but it might signify a roster change in the near future.
Tamba Hali is 30 years old and will play 2014 under the 4th year of his 5 year contract that began in 2011. If KC sees enough in Dee Ford, cutting Tamba Hali might be a real possibility. Tamba Hali is due to make almost $12M next season, Kansas City would save $9M if they cut Tamba. While a obvious fan favorite and productive member of the KC Chiefs, when you can potentially replace an aging NFL star with a young player at a fraction of the cost you do it. You feel better about this type of move when it also helps create CAP space so you can resign a OLB like Justin Houston before he hits Free Agency.
When QBs like Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers live in your conference and you face them twice a year, the best way to attempt to limit them is to put a pass rush on the field and get big physical corners that can cover their WRs. Phillip Gaines adds to the recent tradition of larger Kansas City CBs that have a physical presence and have shown the length, speed and agility to make a difference. With CBs Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith and Marcus Cooper on the field, Phillip Gaines could quickly be a rotational player or even bid to see a good chunk of time at the Nickle position.
This part will sound a lot like the second paragraph about Dee Ford from above. Brandon Flowers, while not too old is aging and seems to be digressing in some of his skills/abilities (IMO). While KC could do very well to run with three or four competent CBs for the near future they also have the opportunity to make a roster change after this season. Cutting Brandon Flowers would save $7.5M in CAP for the 2015 season, Brandon Flowers is currently scheduled to make $11.5M with $4M in DEAD MONEY.
Kansas City has found the replacement for RB/WR/OW Dexter McCluster with their 4th Round pick. De'Anthony Thomas will provide KC with a solid option in the return game immediately and another slot receiver/offensive weapon in the near future. HC Andy Reid should have a field day playing with different ways to utilize this speed back from all points of the field.
While I do not see De'Anthony Thomas as a valid candidate to replace Jamaal Charles in the near future he should provide a significant impact to KC as a rookie. With that said, Jamaal Charles is in the 5th year of his 6 year contract that began in 2010. KC might not have targeted De'Anthony Thomas as the heir to Jammal Charles, but having him on the roster could provide one half of a tandem (Kniles Davis being the other half) that could see the field in the event of a injury to KC's current RB superstar.
KC chose QB Aaron Murray in the 5th round of the Draft with the teams 4th draft pick. While the pick isn't a clear sign to the departure of QB Alex Smith in any way, it could potentially be a sign of the long-term future. Kansas City will have hopes to develop Aaron Murray into a Drew Brees type of quarterback (IMO, which I realize would be a large development to get him to Brees' level). Murray's physical size (6ft 1 in and 207 lbs) isn't the ideal size for the NFL QB but that hasn't stopped Brees who stands a inch shorter (6ft and 209lbs).
GM John Dorsey mentioned that the Chiefs firmly believe that Aaron Murray is more than capable of making all of the NFL throws. Sitting behind Alex Smith could be one of the best opportunities that he could have walked into, he gets to sit behind a smart QB and learn a system that he can do very well in. After spending time in the SEC, Murray has already been exposed to NFL type defenses and talent (like our 1st overall pick DE Dee Ford....). The jump to the NFL will be a significant one for Murray, but he should have time to develop and learn.
Round #6, Pick #193: Zach Fulton, OG (Tennessee) (Couldn't find a highlight video.)
Zach Fulton is being touted as a "project", but does have the size/build and overall athleticism to at some day become a solid if not great NFL offensive lineman. Fulton, who started at Tennessee since 2011, with the Chiefs could easily be a starter within a year or two. Kansas City did sign OG Jeffery Linkenbach who should start but isn't above being pushed by competition by Fulton.
As a player that was projected to go at sometime during day three of the draft, KC getting this guy in the 6th round might be a huge steal. If everything goes well for Kansas City, Zach Fulton could develop into a fixture of the offensive line for a couple years. The pick isn't a splashy one in any regards but with the proper development and time could pay well for KC.
Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson should be fixtures at LOT and ROT as long as they stay healthy this season. The Chiefs could have made this selection in hopes of finding a developmental OT or swing Tackle. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif processes the agility and natural ability to be effective and make adjustments on the fly. While he is more than likely a long shot to make the final 53 man roster, if effective enough KC could have found another steal at OL in the later stages of the draft.
Duvernay-Tardif was projected as the #1 overall pick in the CFL Draft so there is obvious talent. KC will focus on developing his instincts and attempt to find the right weight/muscle balance to take advantage of his physical size. And if it doesn't work out on the field, KC could find work for him as member of the KC medical team.
The majority of the draft picks that KC hauled in will overall provide a lot of depth that KC can develop behind talented starters. GM John Dorsey and HC Andy Reid began the process of putting their stamp on the KC Chiefs last year with the trade of QB Alex Smith. They have continued to build the roster this year in the manner of adding depth through the NFL Draft, but not just any type of depth. These players should be depth, rotational players and even spot starters for at least a year or two before being ready to step into starting roles and making an impact.
The ability of KC to let the draft board fall the way it did and to not reach to make selections means that KC didn't force themselves to trade talent or additional draft picks to find players. Their actions also speak very loud about their opinions on the current roster or their feelings on talent that is either still available or that they feel might become available in the near future. Fans in the NFL consistently want to see their team draft impact NFL stars in the Draft, no matter if their team is picking #1 overall or all the way down at #32.
Kansas City fans should fell good about the players that KC drafted over the past few days. Not only did KC not reach for or trade assets (players or draft picks) to select players, they found players all over the draft that will contribute for KC. We also need to remember that we as fans do not know the "whole story" behind the attempts to trade back (finding more picks) or the front offices feelings on our current roster.