In their first draft of the Andy Reid/John Dorsey era, the Chiefs didn’t get much production after their first two picks, tackle Eric Fisher and tight end Travis Kelce. The drafts got progressively better after that.
There is this distinction: When this year’s Pro Bowl team and alternates were announced, at least one player from each of the four classes was represented, including Fisher and Kelce. In all, Reid and Dorsey have drafted 32 players in Kansas City: 21 are on the 53-man roster heading into the Chiefs’ Jan. 15 AFC Divisional Playoff game, 12 were starters on offense or defense during 2016 and five were selected to the Pro Bowl or as alternates.
Here are the Chiefs’ drafts for the previous four seasons, which feature more hits than misses, especially in the later years:
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Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan (1st round): Beginning to live up to expectations of top pick. Pro Bowl alternate in 2016.**
Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati (3rd): One of the best tight ends in the game. Pro Bowler in 2016.**
Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas (3rd): Still churning as a reserve.*
Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama (4th): Never played for Chiefs.
Sanders Commings, DB, Georgia (5th): Appeared in two games as a rookie.
Eric Kush, C, California (Pa.) (6th): Appeared in three games for Chiefs.
Braden Wilson, FB, Kansas State (6th): Cut during training camp.
Mike Catapano, LB, Princeton (7th): Fan favorite played one season with Chiefs.
Dee Ford, LB, Auburn (1st): Came into his own this season with 10 sacks. Pro Bowl alternate in 2016.**
Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice (3rd): Battled injuries throughout career.*
De’Anthony Thomas, WR, Oregon (4th): Team’s reserve speedster behind Tyreek Hill.*
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia (5th): Released after two seasons.
Zach Fulton, G, Tennessee (6th): Became a starter this season.**
Laurent Durvernay-Tardif, T, McGill (6th): Two-year starter.**
Marcus Peters, CB, Washington (1st): Two years, two Pro Bowls.**
Mitch Morse, C, Missouri (2nd): Two-year starter.**
Chris Conley, WR, Georgia (3rd): Number of receptions jumped from 17 as rookie to 44 this season.**
Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State (3rd): Worked way into starter in base defense.**
Ramik Wilson, LB, Georgia (4th): Importance increased with every game.**
D.J. Alexander, LB, Oregon State (5th): Special-teams coverage specialist.*
James O’Shaughnessy, TE, Illinois State (5th): Third tight end for offense that loves tight ends.*
Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL, Southern Mississippi (6th): Terrific progress from first to second year.*
Da’Ron Brown, WR, Northern Illinois (7th): On practice squad last year
Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State (2nd): Impact performer on defensive line.**
KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame (3rd): Cut before season started. Stunning misfire for Chiefs.
Parker Ehinger, OL, Cincinnati (4th): Left guard was off to solid start before season-ending injury vs. Colts.**
Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota (4th): Safety got season high 20 snaps against Chargers last weekend.*
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida (4th): Embraced role as special-teams gunner.*
Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford (5th): Lost competition for third quarterback spot and was waived.
Tyreek Hill, RB/WR, West Alabama (5th): With 12 touchdowns, steal of the NFL Draft. Pro Bowler in 2016.*
D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech (6th): Got many snaps early when secondary dealt with injuries.*
Dadi Nicolas, LB, Virginia Tech (6th): Solid special-teams performer who sustained season-ending injury vs. Chargers.
*on 53-man roster heading into playoff game; **offensive or defensive starter during 2016 (Ehinger is on injured reserve)