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Thoughts on the Draft

More by Ed Fulda
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If you haven't marked your calendar yet, the annual college draft is coming up fast - April 26-27 to be exact. Unlike the rest of the writers here at wildbillschiefs.com, I won't even try to conduct a mock draft. There are simply too many variables to consider and all I would end up with is a king-sized headache for the effort. Suffice it to say that I think the Chiefs will either end up taking DE Chris Kelsay in the first round or trading down for additional picks. If they trade down, who knows whom they'll end up picking. Based on past history, however, I can tell you that there is a 64.3% chance that the player selected will be an offensive player. There's a 45.2% chance that the player will either be an offensive (26.2%) or defensive (19%) lineman. There is only a 9.5% chance that he will be a defensive back and a 7.1% chance he'll be a linebacker. Although there is only a 16.7% chance the player selected will be a RB and a 9.5% chance he'll be a QB, there is a 100% probability that the RB or QB selected will be a dud (Todd Blackledge, Steve Fuller, Paul Palmer, etc.).

It's amazing how the draft has turned into a big production - TV, spectators, commentators, analysts, retired generals complaining about the war plan, etc. I understand that Geraldo will be imbedded with one of the teams until he gets kicked out for drawing a detailed map on the air. That is unless, of course, he's imbedded with the Bengals who might be grateful for the help. On second thought, maybe the Bengals should hire Baghdad Bob to explain away their woeful track record. But I digress.

As I said, it's amazing how the draft has turned into such a big production. It is certainly a far cry from how the draft was handled before the AFL-NFL merger. Back in the old days, most teams showed up on draft day with a copy of Street and Smith's College Football magazine and that was the "scouting report" they based their choices on. The Chiefs (still the Texans at the time) and the Cowboys were among the small handful that actually employed real scouts at least on a part-time basis. The Chiefs' head talent scout was Tom O'Boyle, who was also an assistant coach, but the guy who was the real "ground-pounder" was Lloyd Wells. Two scouts wasn't much compared to the huge scouting staffs most teams employ today, but at least they had some.

The first AFL draft was conducted in two phases. The primary phase was held on November 22, 1959 and the secondary phase on December 2, 1960. To begin the draft, selected a "territorial" player (for the Texans, that player was SMU QB Don Meredith). After that, the draft proceeded position-by-position and teams literally picked players names out of a hat (A committee headed by Texans' GM Dan Rossi had previously determined who the top players at each position were). Teams selected 32 players each in the primary phase (including the "territorial" player) and up to 21 in the secondary phase. Team selections were announced alphabetically. Imagine trying to conduct a draft like that today.

Not including supplemental drafts or "red shirt" drafts, the Chiefs/Texans have selected 42 players in the first round. Three of those choices, QB Don Meredith, RB Ron Bull, and RB Gale Sayers, chose to sign with the NFL instead and never played a down for the Chiefs/Texans. Several of the others never panned out due to injuries (Brian Jozwiak and Percy Snow immediately come to mind). A few others like Ethan Horton and Trezzelle Jenkins didn't pan out due to lack of talent.

A final thought: whoever the first round pick is has only a 21.4% chance of sticking with the team for at least ten seasons but a 23.4% chance that he'll stick around for three seasons or less. Where's that copy of Street & Smith's when you really need it?

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