Biggest 1st round draft busts of the Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs Draft Busts

When it comes to the NFL Draft, there’s always possibility that not every pick made will actually pan out. For every Peyton Manning taken in the first round, there’s almost always a Jamarcus Russell taken as one of the top picks. The Chiefs are no exception. Recently, their first-round picks have been homeruns, picking up Pro Bowl-caliber players, such as Marcus Peters, Dontari Poe and Eric Berry. On the flip side, they have made some major blunders in the first round. After taking a look at the best Chiefs draft picks, now we take a look at the five biggest first-round draft busts by Kansas City.

(Note: Here’s to hoping this year’s 1st round pick, Patrick Mahomes II, is never mentioned on this list in the future.)

Chiefs Draft Busts: #5 Tyson Jackson

Defensive End, LSU, 3rd pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, Played for KC 2009-13

It’s not that Tyson Jackson had a bad career in Kansas City, he just never lived up to the potential of what fans hoped, especially as a pass rusher. With the switch to a 3-4 defense during the offseason, it almost came off as a forced pick to find a defensive lineman to fit the system. It was quite a reach to pick him, too, as Jackson wasn’t even the top-rated defensive lineman going into the draft. The bummer is seeing the three defensive lineman taken after Jackson have great careers. The number 9 pick, B.J. Raji, has 11 career sacks, a Pro Bowl appearance and a Super Bowl ring with the Packers. The 13th pick, Brian Orakpo, has been to four Pro Bowls and has 351 tackles and 58 sacks with the Redskins and Titans. In Jackson’s career as a Chief, he had 137 tackles and only 9 sacks. Jackson was also recently released by the Atlanta Falcons and is now a free agent. For someone picked so high in the draft to have an average career on the defensive line, Jackson will be known as a bust in the Chiefs’ draft history.

Chiefs Draft Busts: #4 Brian Jozwiak

Guard, West Virginia, 7th pick of the 1986 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1986-88

Unfortunately, Brian Jozwiak’s career was cut short due to a career-ending hip injury, but he still didn’t do much in his three years in Kansas City. Jozwiak only started in three games out of the 28 he played in, starting only one game each season. Even if he wouldn’t have been injured. Jozwiak probably would have been a career back-up, which you don’t want from a top-10 pick. In hindsight, the Chiefs passed on some solid offensive lineman that had good careers, including Will Wolford, a three-time Pro Bowler that started in every game he played in during his 13-year career for the Bills, Colts and Steelers. It’s always disappointing when someone’s career gets cut short, but that can’t be ignored and the fact that Jozwiak didn’t play much when he was healthy makes him one of the biggest busts in Chiefs’ history.

Chiefs Draft Busts: #3 Jonathan Baldwin

Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh, 26th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, Played for KC 2011-13

Jonathan Baldwin seemed like a solid pick and someone who could complement then-top receiver Dwayne Bowe. Man, did that end up being wrong. Baldwin started his career on the sidelines after injuring his wrist because he got into a fight with running back Thomas Jones, missing the first five games of the 2011 season. Baldwin would only stay with the Chiefs for two seasons and was then traded to San Francisco for receiver A.J. Jenkins. Baldwin was at best underwhelming as a Chief, only having 41 catches for 579 yards and two touchdowns, so it was no surprise the Chiefs traded him away. The other two receivers taken in the same round as Baldwin, A.J. Green and Julio Jones, have gone on to become two of the top receivers in the league, making Baldwin even more forgettable. In fact, Baldwin is statistically the worst receiver drafted in the first two rounds of the 2011 draft. Plus, hindsight being 20/20, the Chiefs passed on Torrey Smith and Randall Cobb, two Super Bowl-winning receivers that have had over 4,000 career receiving yards each and a combined 72 receiving touchdowns. Baldwin has a strong case to be the biggest bust in Chiefs’ history, but being picked towards the end of the first round keeps him from being the biggest bust.

Chiefs Draft Busts: #2 Ryan Sims

Defensive Tackle, North Carolina, 6th pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, Played for KC 2002-06

In the five seasons Ryan Sims spent with the Chiefs, he did so little on the field that it seems hard to believe the Chiefs picked him sixth overall. Sims got decent playing time in Kansas City, starting in 36 of the 59 games he played in, but did next to nothing with all the opportunities given to him. Sims had only two seasons with more than 10 tackles. I repeat, only two seasons with double-digit tackles. No matter what position you play on defense for that long of time, averaging at least a tackle per game should be the bare minimum expectation players should have. Add to that only five sacks in his time with the Chiefs, the only way to describe his time in KC would be disappointing. What makes picking Sims at six even more disappointing is seeing the successful careers of the defensive lineman picked after him. The Jaguars drafted two-time Pro Bowler John Henderson at the ninth pick. Dwight Freeney was picked eleventh by the Colts, who has recorded 122.5 career sacks, selected to seven Pro Bowls, and won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Albert Haynesworth was chosen at fifteenth and made two Pro Bowls and named the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Even at the 22nd pick, the Jets drafted Bryan Thomas, who went on to have a good 10-year career. Not only did Sims become the worst defensive lineman picked in the first round of the 2002 draft, he showed to be the biggest bust the Chiefs drafted on defense.

Chiefs Draft Busts: #1 Todd Blackledge

Quarterback, Penn State, 7th pick of the 1983 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1983-87

Todd Blackledge will always be known as the biggest bust in Chiefs’ draft history, not only because of his numbers in Kansas City, but for all the quarterbacks the Chiefs passed on to pick Blackledge. In the five years Blackledge played in Kansas City, he started in only 24 out of the 40 games he played in, had a record of 13-11 as a starter, and had dismal career passing numbers. His career passing percentage as a Chief was 49.1 percent and had 4,510 passing yards, averaging 112.8 yards per game, 26 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. When you take a quarterback as a top 10 pick, you hope to get a franchise player, and that’s not what the Chiefs got. What really stings fans about the Blackledge selection is who the Chiefs passed on. The next quarterback taken, Jim Kelly at 14th by the Bills, took the team to four-straight Super Bowls, made five Pro Bowls, and inducted into the Hall of Fame. After Kelly, the Patriots selected Tony Eason with the 15th pick, who lead the team to Super Bowl XX. The next QB taken was Ken O’Brien by the Jets with the 24th pick, a two-time Pro Bowler, the 1985 AFC Player of the Year, and second in Jets’ history in career passing yards and touchdowns. Last, but not least, the one that hurts the most, the Dolphins selected Hall of Famer Dan Marino with the 27th pick and would go on to become one of the best statistical quarterbacks in NFL history with 61,361 career passing yards and 420 passing touchdowns. Not only did fans get burned by who the Chiefs passed on, but the type of career Blackledge had really hurt the franchise, making Todd Blackledge the biggest bust in franchise history.

What do you think? Did we leave someone off this list? Let us know in the comments!

For more on the Chiefs and to see their best picks round by round, take a look at our Chiefs’ page. Become a fan of Kansas City Sports and Fitness by signing up on the home page to receive free digital copies of the magazine and make sure to like/follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Article by Drew Parks.

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