The one thing about the NFL Draft is that it creates a lot of history.
All one has to do is be willing to dig into the past. Sometimes it’s quite instructive and points the way to the present and future.
A new era in the Draft will begin for the Chiefs this weekend with the first effort by Scott Pioli and Todd Haley. With seven selections, including the third choice in the 2009 Draft, the new duo will get a chance to quickly make history.
Years from now, will Pioli/Haley be able to match what got done in the past with this team, both good and bad?
Will they be able to find players like Buck Buchanan, Bobby BellÂ and Willie Lanier (right)?Â Will they stay away from players like Trezelle Jenkins, Brian Jozwiak and Gary Butler?
Those player are at the extreme ends ofÂ Chiefs history in the AFL and NFL Drafts.Â They are some of the best and they are some of the worst.
Today, we have one man’s opinion as the best and worst draft picks in Chiefs history, starting with the first American Football League Draft in November of 1959, through last year’s draft class of 12 players selected in April 2008.
The team’s previous 49 Drafts have been divided into four separate eras: the AFL days, Hank Stram Era, Jim Schaaf Era and the Carl Peterson Era.
Within each group, we divine the best and worst of that era. In looking at the history, several factors must be remembered. Today, the 32nd pick is the final choice of the first round. In the AFL years, it was the last pick of the fourth round in that league and there was competition for that talent as the NFL held its own draft. In those early days, only players that actually signed with the Texans/ChiefsÂ became part of the equation in ourÂ handing out good and bad grades.
We also did not grade out players from the last two drafts at the same level as the previous 47 classes; there just hasn’t been enough time to judge them.
An important statistic in our process was games played and Pro Bowl nominations. We limited our worst Chiefs draft choices to players taken in the first 75 picks. In today’s league that would be the first two or three rounds. Likewise, we gave extra credit when a player was taken in later rounds who started and played a large number of games, even if not at a Pro Bowl level.
One thing that comes across in all the eras: good players were drafted and bad players were drafted. No decision maker in Chiefs history was perfect. I know a lot of Carl Haters think Peterson completely screwed up the draft for two decades but the evidence shows otherwise. Hank Stram found Hall of Famers, but he also had plenty of stumbles along the way.
There are no perfect records in the draft.Â It is the teams that are successful more often than not in the draft that are successful more often than not on the field.Â In that way, it’s really a simple equation.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Again, this is one man’s opinion. Please, no wagering. No matter what, it should create plenty of discussion.
COMINGS & GOINGS AT ARROWHEAD
The Chiefs subtracted three and added one to the roster on Tuesday.
Don’t read too much into the signing of TE Sean Ryan. The Chiefs had just two tight ends in their mini-camp last weekend since Tony Gonzalez did not show up. Ryan is a blocker not a catcher at the position, as evidence by his journeyman career where he’s caught 12 passes in 43 games with the Cowboys, Jets, Dolphins, Saints and 49ers.
The release of Robinson makes it pretty plain that Pioli/Haley are not overly impressed with the 2008 draft class for the Chiefs. That’s three of 12 who have been sent packing. Seventh-rounder TE Michael Merritt got sliced sooner after he was arrested in Orlando. Fourth-round choice WR Will Franklin was released when he showed up overweight and out of shape for the team’s off-season program.
Robinson never really got fire at any point in the second half of last season when he got on the field. Drafted for his returning ability, Robinson showed no burst when bringing back kicks. He actually showed some good skills in running the ball, and he almost always had straight-line returns. But his lack of speed is going to limit the big returns in the NFL that he enjoyed at Utah State.
BRONCOS VISIT SANCHEZ IN SOCAL
The time period for potential draft picks to visit teams at their facilities ended last week. That doesn’t mean that teams can’t go out for one last visit on the player’s home turf.
That’s what the Denver Broncos did on Tuesday, when they traveled to southern California and spent time with quarterback Mark Sanchez.
General Manager Brian Xanders and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy traveled to Mission Viejo High School to meet and workout Sanchez. Head coach Josh McDaniels became ill Monday night and did not make the trip west. Sanchez’s former high school coach Bob Johnson ran the workout.
After the workout, Sanchez posted on his Twitter page: “had a great workout with QB coach Bob Johnson. Headed up to Staples for Lakers vs. Jazz, game 2.”
GET IT RIGHT AND FAST, NOT FAST AND WRONG
An old journalism school professor would start every class he taught by writing three words on the blackboard:
Get it right.
The folks at SI.com forgot that little bit of advice earlier this month when the website reported that Boston College DT B.J. Raji had tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Turns out it wasn’t true. This week, the league issued the drug testing report from Indianapolis and Raji’s name was not among those players listed.
So on Tuesday, the website uploaded this retraction:
An SI.com report posted earlier this month incorrectly stated that Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji‘s name would appear on the NFL’s list of players who tested positive for drugs at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. We regret the error.
The author of the story, Tony Pauline says he stands by what his sources reportedly told him.
It was also learned Tuesday that Pauline is a honors graduate of the Jack Harry School of Journalism.
FORMER CHIEFS DB GUILTY OF DUI
David Macklin was found guilty this week of drunk driving in a Newport News, Virginia court. Macklin, who played in four games with the Chiefs during the ’08 season, was given a six-month suspended jail term, a $250 fine, and a restricted driver’s license by Newport News General District Court Judge Richard C. Kerns.
Macklin was cut from the roster on March 18, five days after his arrest in Virginia.
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …
Born on April 22, 1961 in Bad Cannstadt, Germany was G Mark Adickes. He joined the Chiefs in 1986 after playing in the USFL after he came out of Baylor. He appeared in 53 games, with 48 starts over four seasons (1986-89.) After two seasons with Washington, Adickes retired and attended George Mason University and then Harvard University Medical School after which he completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He completed his sports medicine fellowship under the tutelage of Richard Steadman at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail. Adickes serves as Co-medical Director and Orthopedic Surgeon at the Memorial Hermann Hospital – Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance in Houston.
Born on April 22, 1966 in Westminister, California was G-T Glenn Parker. He played 42 games with 41 starts over three seasons (1997-99) with the Chiefs, joining them off the waiver wire from the Buffalo Bills. Parker’s teammates voted him the Chiefs MVP for the 1998 season.
Born on April 22, 1967 in Hempstead, Texas was RB Harvey Williams. The Chiefs first-round selection in the 1991 NFL Draft out of LSU, Williams played in 35 games with seven starts over three seasons (1991-93). He ran the ball 217 times for 858 yards and 2 TDs and caught 28 passes for 213 yards and 2 TDs. Williams went on to play the Seahawks and Raiders before his career was over.