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Chiefs scoop up Fisher at No 1

By Associated Press in Kansas City, Missouri | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-27 07:37

Chiefs scoop up Fisher at No 1

Eric Fisher (right) of the Central Michigan Chippewas stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Fisher was picked No 1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday in New York City. [Photo/Agencies]

Offensive tackle from Central Michigan to bolster Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs began to realize about two weeks ago that Central Michigan's Eric Fisher would be their choice with the No 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

The only reason they used up the 10 minutes allotted to them on Thursday night? The offensive tackle's cellphone kept cutting out inside New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

"We waited a while because we had a hard time getting hold of him," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said with a smile. "The phone was dying. That was the reason for waiting."

Evidently, Fisher was worth the wait.

The Chiefs picked him ahead of Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, who went No 2 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, to kick off a draft heavy on linemen. Fisher is a potential replacement for Branden Albert, and should help protect the blindside of new quarterback Alex Smith.

"It was almost surreal that phone call was happening," said Fisher, just the third offensive lineman picked No 1 since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. "It was my goal all along, but I think it didn't hit me until my phone rang."

Chiefs scoop up Fisher at No 1

The Chiefs had the top pick in the NFL draft for the first time in franchise history. But rather than announce their intentions early, like the Indianapolis Colts did in picking Andrew Luck last season, new General Manager John Dorsey and Reid decided to wait until they were on the clock before making their choice public.

Kansas City was still considering a handful of players early this week, including Joeckel, who many believed was the best available player. Dorsey also indicated he would listen to offers from teams trying to trade up until the last possible minute.

When nothing materialized, Dorsey phoned in his selection and Fisher became the first player from Central Michigan to be picked first overall.

"What you're getting is a very athletic player, a great kid, a smart kid - engineering major," Reid said. "He can play any position along the line, and loves to play the game."

The Chiefs were in a need of a quarterback after going 2-14 a year ago, but without a top-end talent available, they chose to acquire Smith in a trade with San Francisco. That allowed them to spend the most coveted pick in the draft on who they believed to be the best player.

Fisher is only the third player in the past 20 years to be drafted first from a non-BCS school, and the first non-quarterback. The only other player out of Central Michigan to go in the first round was Joe Staley, the San Francisco 49ers' Pro Bowl left tackle.

With surprising athleticism in a 2.01 meters, 134 kilogram frame, Fisher rocketed up draft boards after the Senior Bowl. And while he doesn't play a marquee position such as quarterback, and may not push the needle for many Chiefs fans, Fisher does fill a significant need.

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