Kansas City Chiefs Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
May 20, 2013

Solid Starter

Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan – Round 1
The late change from Luke Joeckel to Fisher is questionable in some ways, but either player was considered to be an extremely safe pick to pan out at the next level. Fisher was thought to be the lesser prospect by most, but he has more size and run-blocking ability than Joeckel.

Fisher (6-7, 305) is tall and long an NFL offensive tackle. Some coaches prefer their tackles to be not quite so tall because those blockers can have issues with pad level and standing up too high, but Fisher has the athletic ability and work ethic to use his length to his advantage.

Fisher is considered to have more upside than Joeckel. There is the potential for Fisher to be one of the top left tackles in the NFL. At the very least he should turn into a good starter for Kansas City.

Most Likely To Bust

Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas – Round 4
This was an easy call. There were good, safe running backs available when the Chiefs took Davis, but the team went for the boom-or-bust risk with this selection. On the plus side, Davis is big and fast with an impressive 2010 season on his resume. On the downside, he has broken the same ankle multiple times and there are serious durability concerns.

Another big reason why Davis could bust is his propensity to fumble the ball. He had a bad case of fumblitis in 2012. Davis wasn’t running well all season and was replaced as the lead back by Dennis Johnson, who went undrafted and signed with Houston.

Davis was a workout warrior at the Combine, but last football season he was in a serious funk and was ineffective in the SEC. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Davis turned out to be a bust.

Potential Boom Pick

Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati – Round 3
Kelce has an intriguing mix of size and quickness. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder could turn into a three-down tight end who has the ability to move defenders in the ground game and contribute as a receiver. He is an underrated athlete and even played some wildcat quarterback in college.

Kelce had to work through some off-the-field issues earlier in his career, but the senior was a force last year, making 45 receptions for 722 yards and eight touchdowns. Kelce has the ability to stretch the field vertically and is fast running down the middle seam. He is a physical blocker who has a mean streak.

There were some who compared Kelce to the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski. It is a stretch to see Kelce turning into a tight end as good as the Gronkowski, but even if he is a poor man’s version, he’ll be a real weapon for Kansas City. Kelce has the potential to be a boom pick.

Future Depth Player

Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia – Round 5
The Chiefs didn’t have a real need at cornerback, but Commings was nice value in the fifth round. The 6-foot, 216-pounder has the size to be a big cornerback and start on the outside. He also could be cross-trained at safety and provide some valuable depth at two positions. Commings is a physical receiver with the ability handle big receivers. Kansas City doesn’t need Commings to develop into a starter at corner or safety, but he could be a good backup who also performs well on special teams.

Walt’s 2013 NFL Draft Grades:

1. Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan: C+ Grade
An offensive tackle is what makes sense most for the Chiefs. Branden Albert was franchised, so he probably won’t be around in 2014. He may not even make it to training camp because he could be dealt to the Dolphins, per reports. Luke Joeckel was the consensus top tackle in the 2013 NFL Draft, so he would have been the right pick. Eric Fisher has been considered the lesser prospect throughout, but Andy Reid liked him more than Joeckel. They’re both close in talent, but selecting a rising prospect based on workouts is usually treacherous. Also, I’m penalizing the Chiefs because they traded for Alex Smith too soon and ruined all leverage they could have had for a potential trade. There shouldn’t have been any hurry to overpay for Smith. That trade earned Kansas City a “Millen” grade, as you can see in the 2013 NFL Free Agent Grades page.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

63. Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati: C Grade
Tight end was not a need with Tony Moeaki and Anthony Fasano on the roster. Travis Kelce could eventually emerge as an upgrade, but only if he stays out of trouble. He has off-the-field issues. This pick isn’t very good.

96. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas: C- Grade
The Chiefs were searching for a power back to complement Jamaal Charles. However, Knile Davis is not a good runner and has terrible fumbling issues. Kansas City overdrafted him.

99. Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama: B- Grade
Nico Johnson should be able to compete for the starting job next to Derrick Johnson, vacated by Jovan Belcher. This is slightly higher than I thought Johnson would go, but it’s still an OK pick.

134. Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia: B+ Grade
This doesn’t fill a need, but there’s no denying the value. Sanders Commings could have been taken at the end of the third round. He’s a tall corner, which is in vogue right now, so I thought he’d go earlier than No. 134.

170. Eric Kush, C, California-Pa.: C Grade
Eric Kush wasn’t considered draftable by most, but it’s the sixth round. The Chiefs need to bring in interior offensive line depth just in case they can’t get Ryan Lilja to return.

204. Braden Wilson, FB, Kansas State: B Grade
Andy Reid still likes to use fullbacks, and Braden Wilson is a solid one. The value is just right for him at the end of the sixth round.

207. Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton: B- Grade
This is a tough one to grade. I like Mike Catapano and feel like he should have gone in the fifth round. However, I don’t like his fit in the Kansas City defense. Andy Reid has quite frequently selected players who don’t fit his stop unit, so this is not surprising at all.

2013 NFL Draft Team Grade: C . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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