Night one of the 2020 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 23, a date that is quickly approaching. For the first time since 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs will have a selection in the first round. During Andy Reid’s time, the team has had only four first-round selections. The Chiefs traded back in 2016 to eventually select Chris Jones at the top of the second round. In 2017, they traded up to take Patrick Mahomes, giving up their 2018 first round pick in the process. Last year, they surrendered the selection to the Seattle Seahawks for Frank Clark. The Chiefs have used the First Round as a tool to bolster positions of need while also using them as a bargaining tool for roster improvement. The grades for the Chiefs first-round draft picks will be based on their success and longevity with the team.
Eric Fisher: B
The weight of being the first overall pick of the draft is immense, and for Eric Fisher, this was especially true during his first few seasons in Kansas City. Pro-Football Focus shows Fisher allowing 14 sacks between the 2013 and 2014 seasons. This lead to the ire of many fans who prematurely labeled Fisher a bust. Fisher would play significantly better the following seasons. However, an untimely holding penalty late vs the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round took a two-point conversion off the board that would end up being the difference in the contest. Since then, Fisher has evolved and progressed into a top-ten left tackle in the NFL. This was on display in the 2019 season where he recorded only two penalties and one allowed sack. In games that Fisher played, the Chiefs never lost in 2019. Also, the game-sealing run in the Super Bowl by Damien Williams was behind the left side of the line. It took Fisher some time to arrive and develop but he has been a steady reliable starter on a championship team.
Dee Ford: C
Injury and inconsistency plagued Ford during his time in KC. We saw flashes of brilliance with his two, double-digit sack seasons in 2016 and 2018. Yet, more often then not, injuries hampered his play. Ford missed significant time during the 2017 season and had other minor injuries that helped keep him sidelined. Ford developed into a Pro-Bowl caliber edge rusher by the 2018 season in which he had 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Despite outstanding production as a pass rusher, Ford still struggled to play the run and was at times picked on by teams who felt they could over power him. Ford will, more than likely, be remembered for lining up offside during the 2018 AFCCG, a play that could have sent the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. Ford showed some flashes of elite talent but all too often he was inconsistent when it mattered most.
Marcus Peters: B
There can be no denying that while his time in KC was short, Marcus Peters was a difference-maker on the field. 19 interceptions in 3 seasons with 55 passes defended in that time is proof enough of his on-field contributions. In the same time frame, he made two All-Pro teams and also had two Pro-Bowl appearances. Takeaways are big in the NFL and Peters took the ball from the other team a lot. Although, Peters did have the tendency to get beaten after trying to cheat for interceptions and was more of a liability in the run game. Toward the end of the 2017 season, Peters showed some signs of struggling as some in the local media questioned his character and leadership. It was apparent with a contract year on the horizon, the Chiefs wanted to get some return on their investment. Therefore, they traded Peters to the Los Angeles Rams for a 2018 4th round pick and a 2019 2nd round pick.
Patrick Mahomes: A
The most recent first round pick the Chiefs have made resulted in grabbing the best player in football. Trading up and trading future picks allowed the Chiefs to take Mahomes 10th overall. The rest is history. Mahomes has an MVP and a Super Bowl MVP to his name, and his career is just getting started. Perhaps the best first round pick in the history of the NFL and Mahomes has just begun giving opponents nightmares.