The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft flew by, but not before the Kansas City Chiefs selected Auburn DE Dee Ford with the team's 23th-overall pick. When the first round concluded, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey left the draft room and entered the media room to speak more about the Chiefs newest member.
Q: A lot of people thought you were going wide receiver. All along, did you know you were going with a defensive player?
DORSEY: “All along, what we’ve always said is that board is going to — when you get down to the twenties – that board is going to kind of dictate to you and you let it unfold. As you well know, every draft is different. All scenarios fall in different orders. But at the end of the day, he was the highest-rated player on that board and we decided to go in that direction and we feel like we got a very fine football player.”
Q: Was it just a matter of waiting until your time came for him?
DORSEY: “All along, like I said earlier, we had targeted four guys and he was in a grouping of that four and as it began to unfold, you could see certain things begin to work out. When it unfolded, we all kind of looked at each other and said, ‘You know what? We just added a little pass rush here to the Kansas City Chiefs.’”
Q: How does Dee Ford complement
DORSEY: “This guy is a good football player. He has a unique ability to rush the passer. I think in today’s National Football League, and the way the game has begun to increase in speed, what this does is it gives you another component at the pass rushing position. I think that is very vital in today’s football (game). As everybody knows, when you can rush the passer, it makes the back seven look a little better.”
Q: Is there an NFL player that reminds you of him?
DORSEY: “Not particularly. I mean, I could name some names, but I’d like to reserve that for a later date. I admire him not only as a person, but again, I keep adding his ability to rush the passer. If you look at him later into the season, as he goes along, we clearly thought he was the second-best pass rusher in this draft. If you watch the National Championship Game against Florida State, if you watch him against Texas A&M, even if you watch him in the Senior Bowl, the way he dominated people in the Senior Bowl, he’s got a unique trait; not only is it speed, but what the great pass rushers have is they have this strong interior hip, when they start leaning to the quarterback, he doesn’t lose his balance and he continues to drive forward and that, to me, is a very rare trait.”
Q: Who else were you considering?
DORSEY: “Well, there were three other guys and they had kind of peeled off there and at the end of the day, we got the guy we really wanted.”
Q: Would you have taken Johnny Manziel if he was at 23?
DORSEY: “That’s a hypothetical, because he went before us. That wasn’t even in the equation.”
Q: How do you feel about where you are at wide receiver?
DORSEY: “I think that right now what we have, we’re going to be very competitive at that position. What we’re going to have to do here is all along, we said the wide receiver position has extended depth, not only in the first round, but in the second and third. I think as we’ll see tomorrow in the second round, we’ll start to see a lot of these receivers peel off there in the second round, but there are still, in each round, other receivers and if everything works out, maybe that guy that you’ve identified falls to you."
Q: How close were you to trading out of that pick?
DORSEY: “Our phones were so active and busy; it was kind of fun to be honest with you. We had five or six teams that we were talking to as this was beginning to unfold. At the end of the day, when you take the player and the compensation offer and you really think about what’s best, you go with the player. The compensation didn’t outweigh what the player’s value was; we felt that the player’s value was the best thing for us.”
Q: Once Manziel went off the table, did the phones go silent?
DORSEY: “By then, we had already done our legwork and we were probably talking to about six teams. By that time, we knew who we were going to pick.”
Q: Dee Ford was saying you all didn’t talk to him much after the Combine; can you tell me more about that?
DORSEY: “We sat him in the sixty‐player interview at the combine and he left and all of us were going, ‘This is a good kid.’ You guys are going to love him tomorrow, when he gets here. One of our scouts got a text from the head coach at Auburn saying, ‘You just got a champion.’ You guys will see that tomorrow, when he comes in for the interview.”
Q: That 15 minutes was enough for you?
DORSEY: “It’s not just the 15 minutes; it’s also the pro‐day. There are different phases in there and every time you walk away, everyone gave ringing endorsements on this guy, so I had no reservations whatsoever about his character or his ability to play the game and be a good football player.”
Q: What was his reaction like, after you picked him?
DORSEY: “He was excited; that’s a good thing. You want the players to be excited to come and be a part of your organization. Slowly, as we go along here, you want more and more players to be excited. He’s going to be part of that locker room culture that we talk about and he’ll be a fine addition to that
Q: Are you confident you can get back in the next round or higher in the third round?
DORSEY: “That’s all hypothetical. We’re going to try and do different scenarios. What we have to do as a group is reconvene tomorrow; we’re going to run through the board, assess it and see the strengths and weaknesses as they unfold. We’ll make the determination at that time, if we want to move up and acquire some players or stay pat or move back. I think what you have to do is explore all these opportunities and that’s what you do in the best interest of the organization.”