With the 2007 draft out of the way, it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane. This was the 41st edition of the college draft as we know it today. In those 41 years, the Chiefs, like every other team, have made some excellent picks, some really rotten picks, and a whole lot of mediocre picks. Excellence is a subjective term and one can argue convincingly whether a player like Dave Szott was truly a great player or merely a very good player. Rotten, on the other hand, is a little easier to define.
What follows is my list of the 20 worst draft choices the Chiefs have made since 1967 (the first year of the common draft). Players were chosen based on what round they were drafted in, how long they played in KC, and what they did while they wore the Chiefs uniform. There were two players – LB Percy Snow and WR Sylvester Morris – who I did not put on this list as their careers were ended by injury rather than a lack of talent. I made no attempt to rank the players who did make the list, but feel free to try if you’re so inclined. That said; allow me to present the crčme de la phlegm:
CB William Bartee (2000, 2nd round, 54th selection) - How this bum lasted six seasons is beyond me. His career stats consisted of one punt return for zero yards and zero interceptions.
QB Todd Blackledge (1983, 1st, 7th) – Drafted ahead of Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, and Dan Marino, Blackledge was given every opportunity to take control of the team during his five seasons in KC. He didn’t. Kelly, Eason, and Marino all took their teams to at least one Super Bowl. Blackledge put up career stats of 752 attempts, 364 completions, 4510 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 32 interceptions.
QB Matt Blundin (1992, 2nd, 40th) – In 4 seasons, Blundin attempted a whopping total of eight passes and completed two for 15 yards and one interception.
QB Mike Elkins (1989, 2nd, 32nd) – He attempted as many passes as the number of years he spent in KC – two. He did, at least, complete both attempts; one to his receiver for five yards and the other to the cornerback covering his receiver.
DT Cliff Frazier (1976, 2nd, 41st) – Team management really played up Frazier as a “steal” after he was selected. The only one who stole anything was Frazier, who pocketed his signing bonus and gave the Chiefs one season.
DT Eddie Freeman (2002, 2nd, 43rd) – Freeman and Ryan Sims were selected with the hope that they would plug the middle of the Chiefs’ defense for the next decade. Freeman couldn’t stay healthy and was cut after two seasons.
WR Anthony Hancock (1982, 1st, 11th) – Hancock gained over 1,400 yards returning kicks while catching 73 passes for 1,266 yards and 5 touchdowns. At first sight, those don’t seem like bad numbers. It’s just too bad that it took him five seasons to accumulate them.
RB Ethan Horton (1985, 1st, 15th) – His numbers are bad enough (48 carries for 146 yards and 3 tds, and 28 receptions for 185 yards and 1 td) to justify why he was cut after just one season. It’s even worse that KC could have selected a wide receiver by the name of Jerry Rice instead.
QB David Jaynes (1974, 3rd, 66th) - Hank Stram was starting to realize that Mike Livingston wasn’t the answer, so Jaynes had a golden opportunity to take control. Two pass attempts later (one was intercepted), he was gone.
T Trezelle Jenkins (1995, 1st, 31st) – Carl Peterson knew that Jenkins was a reach, but his size (6-7, 317) and athletic ability made him seem that he could develop into a top-notch left tackle. A classic case of “Look like Tarzan, Play like Jane.”
T Brian Jozwiak (1986, 1st, 7th) – He lasted just three seasons because he was too top-heavy and was bothered by constant shoulder injuries. The guy who was picked just after Jozwiak was DE Leslie O’Neil …………..oops.
DE Scott Lewis (1971, 2nd, 42nd) – Another guy who had a golden opportunity to step in and grab a starting job. He didn’t even make it out of training camp.
WR Marvin “Snoop” Minnis (2001, 3rd, 77th) – In two seasons, this supposed “steal” racked up 48 receptions for 678 yards and 3 tds.
DT Junior Siavii (2004, 2nd, 36th) – At 6-4, 350, you would think that Junior could have been an effective run stopper. The coaching staff thought that too. It’s too bad that no one bothered to check to see if the guy actually wanted to play football.
DT Ryan Sims (2002, 1st, 6th) – Maybe this guy will turn it around now that he’s been shipped to Tampa Bay, but I doubt it. To be fair to the Chiefs’ staff, a lot of talent evaluators missed on Sims. Like Siavii, it turns out that Sims didn’t really want to play.
T Sid Smith (1970, 1st, 26th) – Viewed as the successor to Jim Tyrer, Smith quickly proved that he couldn’t play at the NFL level. In three seasons, he got tryouts at tackle, guard, and center before being shown the door.
DE Gene Trosch (1967, 1st, 24th) – Drafted with the intention of being the eventual replacement for Jerry Mays, Trosch missed the 1968 season with a knee injury, played in ’69, and was out of the league in 1970.
DT Cornelius Walker (1975, 3rd, 59th) – By 1975, KC was in desperate need for defensive tackles. By 1976, when Walker was cut, KC was still in desperate need for defensive tackles.
T-G Rod Walters (1976, 1st, 14th) – Like Sid Smith before him, Walters also proved he didn’t belong in the NFL by failing his tryouts at tackle, guard, and center.
WR Elmo Wright (1971, 1st, 16th) – It’s ironic that the player who originated the end zone celebration only got to do it seven times in his four seasons in KC. With the great Otis Taylor manning the Flanker spot, how Wright was only able to snag 66 receptions in those four years is a complete mystery.