For Kansas City Chiefs fans, it must have felt like coming downstairs on Christmas Day to find no presents under the tree.
For more than 3 hours on Thursday, Chiefs fans closely followed the NFL draft and as it unfolded they no doubt became excited when some expected high picks didn’t come off the board.
Finally, about 10:15, the 28th pick was about to come up. But then it was announced the Chiefs had traded their pick to San Francisco, receiving the 49ers’ second-round pick this year, as well as the fourth- and sixth-round picks.
This tells me a couple of things. First, the player the Chiefs coveted had been selected a pick or two before their selection came up. Secondly, it tells me what everybody knows — this is a draft with a lot of good players, but nobody whose bust will someday appear in Canton, Ohio.
The Chiefs, who also threw in a seventh-rounder in the deal with the 49ers, now have eight picks. They have two in the Round 2, none in Round 3, and two in Rounds 4, 5 and 6.
They lost their third-round pick for alleged tampering with Jeremy Maclin while he was with Philadelphia, a charge they are still arguing. But if it cost the Chiefs a third-rounder to woo Maclin, easily the team’s best receiver, it was a price well worth it.
It couldn’t have been easy, though, for the Chiefs to deal away that pick. When it came time for them to choose, there were some solid players on the board, including the draft’s No. 1 boom-or-bust candidate, Robert Nkemdiche of Mississippi. A year ago, NFL teams were drooling at the thought of him coming out in 2016 and some thought at the time he might be the top pick. But he’s had numerous off-the-field problems and fell to No. 29 to Arizona. If he dumps his posse and other bad influences, he’ll be the steal of the draft.
But it’s not in KC GM John Dorsey or coach Andy Reid’s DNA to take a problem child. They want upstanding citizens, not knuckleheads. They inherited Dwayne Bowe, who didn’t last long with the Chiefs once the new regime took over. He’s now an NFL drifter who’s nothing more now than a hanger-on. Nobody wants to deal with his baggage and big contract demands.
Alabama’s duo of Reggie Ragland and A’shawn Robinson and UCLA’s Myles Jack were still on the board when the Chiefs’ turn came to pick. Ragland was projected by many boards to be the Chiefs’ pick, while others had Robinson. Jack was supposed to go in the Top 5, but word must have gotten out that his knee problems must be worse than feared. If he’s right, though, he could join Nkemdiche as the steal of the draft.
Chiefs fans certainly are disappointed with no No. 1 pick, but I have faith in Dorsey and Reid. Their pedigree is pretty solid and all they’ve done in three years is make the playoffs twice. The Chiefs will get some good players, but not great ones.
Which is what this draft is all about anyway.