We’ll continue our series looking at what the Chiefs can expect from each of their 10 draft picks with the first of their two third-round choices, this one being No. 80 overall. Here are the five players selected with the 80th pick in each of the past five drafts.
2010: Baylor center J.D. Walton was selected by the Denver Broncos. Walton started his first two seasons for the Broncos before injuries threatened his career. He played only four games over the next two seasons, and after being released by Denver and Washington, he caught on last year with the New York Giants. He started but was rated by Pro Football Focus as the 38th best center among 41 players. Walton has since moved on to the Miami Dolphins.
2011: South Carolina cornerback Chris Culliver was selected by the San Francisco 49ers. He missed the 2013 season with a torn ACL but otherwise Culliver has been a productive player. Pro Football Focus last year ranked him 14th among 108 NFL cornerbacks. He signed as a free agent during the offseason with Washington.
2012: Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming was selected by the Arizona Cardinals. A long and winding road led Fleming to the Chiefs. He spent time with the Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens before joining Kansas City early last season. He wound up starting four games in 2014 and played well enough to be considered, at this point at least, the leading contender for the cornerback spot opposite Sean Smith.
2013: Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox was selected by the Dallas Cowboys. Wilcox became a full-time starter last year in his second season with the Cowboys. But Pro Football Focus had him rated 76th among 87 safeties who played at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps.
2014: Maryland cornerback Dex McDougle was selected by the New York Jets. McDougle missed his rookie season because of a torn ACL and may not have a job waiting for him upon his return after the Jets went on a spending spree at cornerback during the offseason.
This group, particularly Culliver, offers some hope for the Chiefs with the 80th pick. Even if their pick doesn’t turn out as good as Culliver, the Chiefs should be able to get some help from the player they choose at this spot -- if they select wisely.