We’re less than 10 days away from the opening night of the draft. I wanted to dive in and give the fans a look at some of the best and worst drafts in Kansas City history.
When researching, you tend to always learn a few things. I figured there would be some hits and misses throughout the history of the Chiefs when it came to the draft. The conclusion I have come to is there is always a lot more misses and the Chiefs have had some terrible drafts. In my lifetime, 2004 and 2009 come to mind with Mr. Irrelevant, Ryan Succop, being the only player to stick out from those two drafts. Those two stinkers have nothing on what went down for the Chiefs in the smoke-filled banquet halls of three separate New York City hotels in the early to mid 1970’s. Here is a look at the three worst drafts in Kansas City Chiefs history.
The Bad: Worst Drafts in Chiefs History
The Chiefs had 15 selections over the 17 rounds in the Americana Hotel. Six of the 15 would eventually don the red and gold on the sidelines of the newly opened Arrowhead Stadium. Only fourth-round selection Emporia native and Emporia State alum John Lohmeyer would play more than one season in Kansas City. The Chiefs first selection TE Gary Butler had a whopping 8 receptions during his Chiefs tenure, which accounted for 80% of his career catches. Others to play in Chiefs Kingdom from this draft; Doug Jones, Al Palewicsz, Bill Story and Willie Osley.
Fresh off of our Super Bowl IV victory over Minnesota, the Chiefs had 17 selections in the Belmont Hotel. Of those 17, five would eventually play in Kansas City accounting for eight starts over five seasons. The standout, and I use that term loosely, was Clyde Werner who garnered half the starts from his draft class. Other players to play in Kansas City: Sid Smith, David Hadley, Mike Oriard and Bob Liggett.
If you think what went down in 1970 and 1973 were bad, let’s have a look at 1975. In the grand architecture of Hilton at Rockefeller Center, the Kansas City made 11 draft picks. One, sixth-round running back Morris LaGrand out of the University of Tampa, is worth mentioning. Morris’ career stats included 13 rushes for 38 yards and one touchdown, with one reception that went for negative yards. That is all we know about Morris LaGrand and all we need to know about the 1975 draft.
The Good: The Best Draft Classes in Chiefs History
The very first draft in Kansas City Chiefs history. Known then as the Dallas Texans the AFL franchise had 26 picks. Ten would go on to have decent and lengthy careers both in Dallas and Kansas City. Headlined by first ever selection E.J. Holub, Jim Tyrer, and Fred Arbanas. This draft would have made the top three if not for second-round pick Bob Lilly choosing the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys over the Texans. Other selections to play for the Chiefs Jerry Mays, Dick Mills, Paul Hynes, Curtis McClinton and Aaron Thomas.
Recency bias plays full well into this pick. I know only one of the six players drafted will play on the Chiefs five years after. Of those six, only three were ever starters for the Chiefs, yet all six did see action for Kansas City. Tanoh Kpassgnon was a stretch in the second round but freakishly athletic defensive ends are worthy gambles. Kareem Hunt looked like an absolute steal after his rookie campaign where he led the NFL in rushing but a domestic violence altercation derailed a promising career in Kansas City and in my opinion cost the Chiefs a chance at the Super Bowl in the 2018-19 season. The sole reason for the 2017 draft class is the decision to move up from 26 to number 10 and select Patrick Lavon Mahomes II. An NFL MVP in his first season as a starter, Super Bowl MVP in his second, before his third season he signed the biggest contract in professional sports history. He’s worthy of this spot even when his classmates didn’t pan out.
One of the biggest draft classes of 21st Century. The Chiefs made 12 selections in 2008, 11 would wear a Chiefs uniform. What this class lacks in star power it more than made up with roster depth. Six players from this class: Glen Dorsey, Brandon Albert, Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Carr and Barry Richardson, would all be multiple-year starters for the Chiefs. Dorsey was considered the safest pick in the ’08 draft and ended up being a bust. Albert had a strong hold on the left tackle position for half a decade. Carr and Flowers were our starting corners for three season and Richardson was a solid swing lineman. The shining light was Charles, whose electric speed and stellar vision led him to over 7,000 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns in his Chiefs career.
Quite the opposite of the other two drafts on this list, the 1963 draft had a record 30 selections for the newly transplanted team in the midwest. Only six of those picks would ever call themselves a Kansas City Chief but of those six, four of them, Buck Buchanan, Ed Budde, Bobby Bell and Dave Hill, are in the Chiefs Ring of Honor. Buchanan and Bell are also in the NFL Hall of Fame. Punter Jarrel Wilson, who played in Kansas City for 14 seasons, was part of this draft class. Nearly a tenth of the Chiefs Super Bowl IV roster came from this draft class, marking it as the best in franchise history.