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BURNING QUESTION: The Biggest Draft/Trade Bust in Chiefs History?

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a month away, and with plenty of positions to fill with just seven picks, Brett Veach will need to have a masterclass to make this draft as fruitful as possible. We'll have more time to discuss that with later mock draft pieces coming soon, however, a #BurningQuestion popped into my head while at my day job today, and that question was who is the biggest draft/trade bust in Chiefs history? I offer a few of my picks here below:


Todd Blackledge, QB, 1983 NFL Draft

Todd Blackledge is now a successful sportscaster, but before his career in broadcasting, Blackledge was a Penn State, Chiefs, and Steelers quarterback from 1979-1989. His tenure with the Chiefs though is what sticks out the most, and not in a good way. Blackledge was selected 7th in the 1983 Draft by the Chiefs. A 1982 national champion and Davey O'Brien award winner, the pick certainly didn't seem like a bad choice at the time, but then you look at the names that were selected around him. John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, and Ken O'Brien were just a few of the quarterbacks from this draft who went on to have successful NFL careers, three of those guys went into the NFL Hall of Fame. Blackledge was nowhere near as successful, passing for just 5,286 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 38 interceptions throughout his less-than-spectacular 6-year NFL career. Given the talent he was surrounded by in his draft class, it only made him look worse, making him an all-time bust in not just Chiefs history, but NFL history too. This being said, before the great Patrick Lavon Mahomes II, Blackledge was the last QB drafted by the Chiefs to win a game for the franchise in 1987. The Chiefs weren't exactly great at scouting QB talent pre-Mahomes...




Jonathan Baldwin, WR, 2011 NFL Draft

Jonathan Baldwin was a big-bodied receiver with seemingly great hands at Pitt, to the point of where he was vaunted as one of the best wide receivers in the 2011 draft. The bad part? The 2011 draft is widely regarded as one of the worst drafts of all time, and Baldwin was one of the worst picks in said draft. Baldwin would last just two seasons with the team, and while they were seasons of downright terrible quarterback play, tumultuous tenures at the head coaching position, and overall perhaps the stinkiest era of Chiefs football, Baldwin was in no way a bright spot. 41 passes caught for 579 yards and just two touchdowns. He contributed to the year where the Chiefs did not have a single touchdown thrown to a wide receiver, and the year after he was shipped off to San Francisco where he didn't fare much better. The guy he was traded for didn't really do all that hot either, in fact, WORSE than Baldwin and potentially has a spot on this list. That player would be AJ Jenkins, who caught exactly zero passes in just three games. If there is a single series of transactions that defines the pre-Andy Reid Chiefs, the Baldwin-Jenkins ordeal would be that defining transaction.



Orlando Scandrick, CB, Signed from Washington in 2o18

Orlando Scandrick was a solid corner for the Dallas Cowboys from 2008-2017, after 9 years with the Cowboys, Scandrick signed a free-agency deal with the Washington Commanders, but he wasn't the same player he was with the Cowboys. The Commanders would cut him before the season started, which should have been the first red flag for newly appointed GM Brett Veach. The red flags didn't stop appearing though, as Scandrick was clearly not who he used to be. He looked slower, gave less effort, was constantly penalized, and overall, just looked like he lacked the confidence, discipline, and ability that a seasoned NFL corner should have. Scandrick would record 44 tackles and 1 interception with the Chiefs, who were promptly done with him after one of the worst years for the Chiefs' defense in a long time. Scandrick would go on to play with the Philadelphia Eagles the next year, who released him in October 2019. He would never play another down, but certainly had no problem talking bad about his time in Kansas City, saying he regrets ever signing a deal with the team and that the Chiefs should "carry this L" in a 2019 interview with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe's "Undisputed" regarding the 2018 AFC Championship Game (That he was a part of and was an absolute liability in) Scandrick burned plenty of bridges after he left the Cowboys and is widely regarded as one of the more obnoxious personalities in today's NFL atmosphere, both as a player and as an analyst.



Honorable Mentions

  • Brodie Croyle, QB, 2008 NFL Draft

  • Peyton Hillis, RB, Acquired from the Browns in 2012

  • Breeland Speaks, DE, 2018 NFL Draft

  • Chester McGlockton, DT, Acquired from the Raiders in 1998



Conclusion

The Chiefs certainly have not been perfect in selecting the best and brightest talent for their squad, with some major duds strewn about their history. However, who do you think is the biggest dud of them all? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and let me know what I should do next for a #BurningQuestion!





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