1st overall selection by the Kansas City Chiefs
Overview: While Eric Fisher’s long term position could be tied to the outcome of Brandon Albert’s contract talks, his career will start as the Chiefs starting right tackle. Fisher played primarily on the left side for Central Michigan though he did start a number of games early in his collegiate career on the strong side. His skillset is ideally suited to todays NFL as he is fundamentally strong while possessing the strength to thrive in the run game with the athleticism needed for pass protection. New Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid made a bold move to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers and have made his protection a priority. Fisher will bookend with left tackle Brandon Albert and line up next to right guard Jon Asamoah. The right side combo of Fisher and Asamoah look to maintain an already strong running game led by the electric Jamal Charles.
Position battles: The man Eric Fisher was drafted to replace is 7 year veteran Eric Winston, who was signed to a 4 year $22 million deal last off-season. While Winston holds the edge in the running game, the superior athleticism of Fisher is a much better fit for the pass heavy west coast offense that Andy Reid has been installing since his arrival in January. With the game evolving to a more wide open and pass heavy league, the Chiefs were one of many teams to begin emphasizing athleticism and pass pro on both sides of their offensive line. In fact, Fisher is one of 4 right tackles that are being counted on to start from day 1 after being drafted in the top 11 of April’s NFL Draft. As the first overall selection, Fisher is not facing any competition and will be counted on to start from day 1 of camp.
Notable Match-ups: Fisher will be tested early and often in 2013 against some of the NFL’s best defenses. He will face off against the Denver Broncos duo of Von Miller and Shaun Phillips twice, as well as a very tough out of conference schedule against the NFC East. Cowboys pass rushing tandem of Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, Redskins outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants are some of the best in the league at getting after the quarterback. Fisher’s greatest test should come in week 7 against the Houston Texans and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, a player who was nearly unblockable in 2012.
2014 and Beyond
With 2013 underway and Fisher working as the Chiefs starting right tackle, Andy Reid will eventually have to decide where his best fit along the line will be. As mentioned earlier, incumbent left tackle Brandon Albert is the teams franchise player and his contract runs out after the 2013 season. Unlike Fisher, Brandon Albert has openly stated that he has no desire to play anything but left tackle and wants to be compensated at an elite level, which is something that John Dorsey and the Chiefs have been hesitant to agree to. Albert’s contractual demands played a very large part in the Chiefs selecting Fisher, as the team had to protect itself in the event that Albert were to be dealt or eventually hit the open market. Luckily for Kansas City, Fisher is a complete offensive tackle and can be an upper echelon player at either spot. The eventual problem which is very likely to arise, if Fisher is kept at right tackle for the duration of his rookie deal, will be the Chiefs ability to retain Fisher and justifying paying two players left tackle money. It is a long way down the road, but it is difficult to imagine Fisher and Albert playing together past 2013 thus signaling a switch to left tackle for the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.