Chiefs general manager John Dorsey relishes entering draft with full complement of picks



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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The first few years John Dorsey was in charge of the Kansas City Chiefs, he was hampered by having traded picks away to acquire quarterback Alex Smith.

He has a full complement this year. And then some.

Even after trading a fifth-round pick to New Orleans to acquire former Pro Bowl offensive guard Ben Grubbs, the Chiefs have 10 selections in next week's draft. That includes a second-round pick for the first time under Dorsey, and four compensatory picks handed out by the league.

"I don't think it changes your approach in how you go about your business on draft day," Dorsey said Friday. "I think the hard thing and most stressful thing is making sure you have the best player. I think you go about your business the same way as the first year."

That first year produced some mixed results.

Eric Fisher was the first overall selection, but he's struggled to adjust to life as an NFL left tackle. Tight end Travis Kelce and running back Knile Davis, both chosen in the third round, have turned out to be wise moves — in particular, Kelce has shown flashes of becoming the kind of transcendent talent that the Chiefs once had in Tony Gonzalez.

The rest of the draft has largely been a bust. Nico Johnson is no longer on the roster, Mike Catapano and Sanders Commings have been held back by injuries and illness, and Braden Wilson didn't make it to training camp before he was cast aside.

Asked to summarize that draft, Dorsey replied: "The one, the two threes, have turned out to be pretty good players. And if I had to do it all over again, this is a quarterback-driven league. You need a quarterback. I have no problem giving up a second-round pick for Alex Smith."

Last year's draft also produced some highs and lows.

First-round pick Dee Ford, an outside linebacker, struggled to get on the field with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali in front of him. But cornerback Phillip Gaines, running back De'Anthony Thomas and offensive guard Zach Fulton, a sixth-round pick, all played crucial snaps as rookies.

"Each position has their different degrees of how fast they can get up to speed," Dorsey said. "The demands of each position vary, and it also comes to the person — what their makeup is, how fast they can grasp the system. I think the hardest thing for young guys when they come from college to the pros is how they grasp the playbook."

Dorsey said that's a factor, among many others, when he sets his draft board, a process that is nearing its conclusion with the first round set to begin Thursday night.

The Chiefs' offensive coaches met Thursday to discuss various prospects, and Dorsey met with coach Andy Reid, owner Clark Hunter and team president Mark Donovan on Friday. Defensive coaches will meet soon, and the special teams folks will give their input on Monday.

"What you want to do is get as much input as you possibly can with regards to how people see specific players," Dorsey said. "You listen to everything and filter through everything."

With more than 150 players on their draft board, that's no easy task.

The Chiefs have the No. 18 pick in the first round, and they're widely expected to target a wide receiver, offensive lineman or cornerback — three areas of need. But given the number of choices they have this year, Dorsey also has some flexibility to move around for the first time.

In other words, predicting where the Chiefs go in this year's draft is difficult.

"I think for the organization, you try to keep all your options open," Dorsey said. "The hard part is when you move up, are you making the right move up? Those are the things you sit and think about on a daily basis."

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