From the FanPosts -- JD
It's mock draft season.
Everyone has one. Thanks to countless apps, we can all even make our own. Overall, I think there is more draft coverage than ever before. But mock drafts, however, do a worse job of predicting what will happen -- especially after the first 8 to 12 picks.
As mock drafts have started appearing, I have looked at Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid's drafts -- since 2013 in Kansas City and when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 through 2012. I know Reid does not have personnel control, but he has always had a reputation for being involved in the draft process. In addition, he has always been paired with general managers who share his philosophy about which positions should take priority and what kind of players he values.
So I made a list of how Reid's teams have used top 100 picks in the draft. By my count, Reid's teams have made 64 of those picks.
I have grouped them by position. Please note that I have done this based on what position they played in the NFL. For example, Dee Ford is counted with the defensive line and pass rush -- even though he was listed as a linebacker on draft day.
Here's what I found -- showing the number of picks used for each group and the last player drafted:
- Defensive linemen and pass rushers 19 (Khalen Saunders 2019)
- Defensive backs 12 (Juan Thornhill 2019)
- Wide receivers 8 (Mecole Hardman 2019)
- Offensive linemen 7 (Mitch Morse 2015)
- Running backs 6 (Kareem Hunt 2017)
- Linebackers 6 (Dorian O'Daniel 2018)
- Quarterbacks 4 (Patrick Mahomes 2017)
- Tight ends 2 (Travis Kelce 2013)
Some trends I have noticed:
- A Reid team has never taken a running back or a linebacker (other than a pass rusher) in the first round. Those are two positions to which the Chiefs currently seem connected. The 32nd pick is far enough down that I think the Chiefs could break that trend this year, but think it would be surprising for Reid -- during his 22nd draft -- to display a change in philosophy.
- Last year, the Chiefs' first three picks were at wide receiver, defensive back and defensive line. It shouldn't surprise anyone if those positions -- perhaps in a different order -- make up the team's first three picks in 2020. Over 60% of Reid's top 100 picks have been used for those positions. Part of smart cap management is having a steady supply of such players, who are very expensive to acquire in free agency. Reid -- and the people around him -- clearly value athleticism at these position groups in the top half of the draft.
- Reid seems to have become less willing to address the the offensive line in the earlier rounds than he used to be. But with a ton of money tied up in three offensive linemen during the next two years, I think there is a chance that could change in this draft.
- I don't know when Reid will next draft a tight end in early rounds -- but when he does, he won't be drafting someone to complement Travis Kelce. Instead he'll be drafting the next Kelce. Whether here or in Philadelphia, Reid has never shown any interest in a two tight end arrangement like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Since Reid has been with the Chiefs, no second tight end has gained more than 226 yards. Given Kelce's target share, that is probably the ceiling for the second tight end -- which makes it likely that the position won't be a huge draft priority.
- Reid and those around him will always value raw athletic ability over refined technique. He has generally drafted players with high-ceiling athletic ability instead of those who are sure things with high floors. For some highly-drafted players -- like Eric Fisher, Dee Ford and Tanoh Kpassagnon -- it has taken time to see a return on the team's draft investment.
About 10 weeks from now -- when we are wondering why a position wasn't addressed or why the the team chose a player with less college production than we would have liked -- this will be the history to consider.
Thanks for reading!