Most NFL fans are aware of Coach Andy Reid’s success, and even fewer are aware of General Manager John Dorsey’s achievements. Combined, they only have one year of experience together as head coach and general manager, and it is reasonable to question how well they might fare in this year’s NFL draft (disregarding player injuries and disappointing draft picks). Others have discussed their more recent history with the Chiefs, but I wanted to take a look at their overall past. Below is a look at their careers in the NFL and their draft histories so far:
Big Red, as Coach Reid has come to be known in Kansas City, became a head coach in Philadelphia in 1999 at the age of 41. He previously worked as an assistant with the Green Bay Packers from 1992 to 1999 (hence the John Dorsey connection). In 14 years as the head coach of the Eagles, he accumulated an overall record of 140-102-1, including 19 playoff games. During that time, he only had 3 losing seasons and 2 seasons with an even record. Perhaps more important than his record is his history of developing talented players. Below is a partial list of players that Andy Reid has drafted who have made solid contributions in the NFL:
QB Donavan McNabb QB AJ Feeley RB Brian Westbrook DE Trent Cole WR Jason Avant QB Kevin Kolb WR DeSean Jackson DB Quentin Demps LB Andy Studebaker LB Joe Mays WR Riley Cooper C Jason Kelce RB Bryce Brown QB Nick Foles WR Jeremy Maclin RB LeSean McCoy DT Fletcher Cox OL Danny Watkins
You will notice that Big Red drafted several quarterbacks who have started for the Eagles or elsewhere, and also Quentin Demps, who with the loss of him and Dexter McCluster leaves a hole in KC’s lineup for a return man. Reid has drafted plenty of players in the past that could fill that role for the Chiefs. It is clear that Reid values playmakers, as he drafted few OL or DL in the early rounds. There are also some other KC connections, such as current Chiefs LB Joe Mays, Andy Studebaker, who played for the Chiefs from 2008-2012, and Jason Kelce, who is Chiefs’ Tight End Travis Kelce’s brother.
John Dorsey was actually drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1984, playing as a linebacker and on special teams. After a 5-year career, he was eventually hired as a scout for the Packers. In 1999, he followed former Packers coach Mike Holmgren to Seattle, but returned to Green Bay one year later to continue as their director of college scouting. In 2011, he was named the Director of Football Operations. In his tenure with Green Bay, he never had the final say in draft picks but has been somewhat credited with helping to develop one of the deepest franchises in the NFL. In fact, the majority of the players on Green Bay’s Super Bowl winning team in 2010 came from the draft. Some of the players that have made contributions in the NFL during Dorsey’s time there are listed below:
QB Aaron Rodgers LB Clay Matthews G Josh Sitton WR Randall Cobb OT Bryan Bulaga NT BJ Raji WR Jordy Nelson TE Jermichael Finley QB Matt Flynn K Mason Crosby WR Greg Jennings
Examining draft picks from both Reid and Dorsey shows a few trends: quarterbacks are common and drafted in the first few rounds; playmakers abound, with a plethora of athletic wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs drafted by both men; and there are some successes on the defensive and offensive lines. Chiefs fans should feel comfortable coming into tomorrow’s draft, knowing that Big Red and John Dorsey have a rich history of drafting and developing solid athletes who have contributed in the NFL.
And of course last year’s draft, which was their first as Coach and GM together, included Eric Fisher as the first pick overall. Fisher had a rough year that included moving to a new position and battling injuries and the increased pace of the pro game, but should improve in 2014 as he is moving back to his natural position. Two other Chiefs draft picks were hurt all of last year (Sanders Commings and Travis Kelce), but are expected to play a role in 2014, and Knile Davis showed some flashes of being a solid backup in case Jamaal Charles gets hurt. It is still too early to fully evaluate how that draft will turn out.
Currently, plenty of mock drafts are floating around that have the Chiefs picking a wide receiver with the 23rd selection, and this is a particularly deep draft for wide receivers and defensive backs, two positions of need for Kansas City. This is great news for Chiefs fans, so relax and have faith that Reid and Dorsey will stock the Chiefs with lots of talent to produce lots of wins in the coming seasons. Go Chiefs!