KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The recent departures of offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson, second- and third-round draft choices in 2012, leave the Kansas City Chiefs with just four picks remaining from Scott Pioli’s four years as their general manager.
That’s the same number of picks remaining from Carl Peterson’s time running the Chiefs. Peterson left after the 2008 season and was replaced by Pioli, who left after the 2012 season.
The Chiefs still have linebacker Derrick Johnson and punter Dustin Colquitt from their 2005 draft, linebacker Tamba Hali from 2006 and running back Jamaal Charles from 2008. They were all picks made by Peterson -- Johnson and Hali in the first round, and Colquitt and Charles in the third.
The Pioli picks that remain with the Chiefs are safety Eric Berry (in the first round in 2010), linebacker Justin Houston and defensive lineman Allen Bailey (in the third round in 2011) and nose tackle Dontari Poe (in the first round in 2012).
That a general manager now seven drafts removed from the Chiefs has as many players remaining as one three drafts removed is quite a statement about Pioli, who was brought to Kansas City in large part for his supposed ability to spot talent.
Eleven of Pioli’s draft picks are on another NFL roster, as opposed to four Peterson picks. That’s natural given the time lapse. But with the exceptions of Allen with the Houston Texans, Stephenson with the Denver Broncos and center Rodney Hudson with the Oakland Raiders, Pioli’s picks are either backups or roster hopefuls.
The Chiefs have no players remaining from one of Pioli’s four drafts, in 2009. They also have no players remaining from one of Peterson’s last four drafts, in 2007. But in 2007 the Chiefs at least drafted Dwayne Bowe, their all-time leading pass-catcher among wide receivers. In 2009 their most productive drafted players were defensive end Tyson Jackson and kicker Ryan Succop. Jackson was still a huge disappointment given that he was the third overall pick.
It’s common for roster turnover to occur when a team changes its head coach and/or general manager. But Johnson and Colquitt are now playing for their fifth coach and third GM, proving that players who are good enough can survive from one administration to the next.
So the Chiefs are still paying for the failures of the Pioli years. They’re better off for having Berry, Houston, Bailey and Poe, but they could and should have even more remaining players from that era.