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Cheifs Chatter

Summarizing and grading the Chiefs' draft

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

Summarizing—and grading—the Chiefs' draft:

The Picks:
1-6 overall (From Dallas) Sims, Ryan DT 6-4 311 North Carolina
2-43 overall Freeman, Eddie DT 6-5 310 Alabama-Birmingham
4-107 overall Easy, Omar RB 6-1 244 Penn State
5-143 overall Fujita, Scott OLB 6-5 248 California
7-221overall Rodriguez, Maurice OLB 6-1 239 Fresno State

Dick Vermeil put it very well, “I am not a guy that gets all fired up about this is the greatest draft and this is the greatest first round pick we’ve ever had in our lives, and you can’t wait until you see him on the field. Hey, only time will tell.”

But it’s time to take a look at just what the Chiefs accomplished with this attempt at player acquisitions to aid a team that finished a disappointing 6-10 in 2001.

Day One Evaluation:
KC got the defensive tackle they coveted in Ryan Sims. I had him rated as the best defensive lineman in the draft (yes ahead of Julius Peppers). But all of this came at a price. The Chiefs made a late trade with Dallas to move up from the number eight spot to number six.

It cost the team their third round pick and made for a very short first day.

Sims can make an immediate impact. He should be a starter against Cleveland in game one. He has few weaknesses and can provide a much-needed potential superstar in the middle of the defensive line. He is the best choice the Chiefs could have made once QB Joey Harrington went to Detroit. A big time selection.

With the number two pick KC went after another defensive lineman Eddie Freeman. Freeman played inside at Alabama-Birmingham but the Chiefs may have the idea to shift him to defensive end. He was a four-year starter and could be a great pick. Athletic, strong and able to provide a pass rush. This guy finds the ball and pursues.
Day One Grade: A-


Day Two Evaluation:
Only three selections left for the Chiefs as their sixth round selection was traded away last season for project QB Joe Germaine.

In round four KC took a RB/FB out of Penn State named Omar Easy. He is big and fast and the Chiefs see him as a backup and insurance policy for FB Tony Richardson. No way to understand this pick without being inside the Chiefs war room. A big reach.

Round five was a nice selection. Scott Fujita is a LB that played at Tony Gonzalez’ alma mater, Cal. He could be the sleeper of the draft for the Chiefs. He’s a hard worker and intelligent and will need to be signed early. If he does, he may make an impact this season. Great selection.

Round seven saw another LB selected, Maurice Rodriguez. This is a stretch. He likely would have fallen off the board and could have been picked up as an undrafted free agent.
Day Two Grade: C-


The Chiefs defense was a need. They made a conscious attempt to fill that void with nearly every selection in the draft.

Three of these guys may actually contribute this year. As Vermeil stated, “Only time will tell.”
2002 Draft Grade: B-