Eric Fisher has had a career of ups and downs. Entering the NFL, he was a big question mark. It took him a while before he found his footing but now, the 29-year-old has emerged as a feature lineman. Despite early struggles, Fisher capped off his seventh NFL season by winning Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs. So how did he go from a near-disappointment to champion?
Eric Fisher in the 2013 NFL draft
At the 2013 NFL draft, the Chiefs had the No. 1 overall pick after an abysmal 2-14 season. In Andy Reid’s first year as Kansas City’s head coach, a lot was riding on this pick. There was speculation that the Chiefs would draft a quarterback after less than adequate performances from Matt Castle and Brady Quinn in the 2012 season. However, the team acquired Alex Smith from the 49ers a month before the draft.
So Reid and the Chiefs decided to bolster their offensive line, shocking everybody when they selected Fisher at No. 1 overall. When he entered the NFL draft, there was no denying he was an offensive talent. However, many scouts did not even rate him as the best offensive tackle in the draft.
So there was skepticism about Reid’s choice. Being selected No. 1 overall puts Fisher in the same category as other NFL talents such as Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Jameis Winston. There were going to be a lot of eyes on Fisher when the Chiefs started the 2013 season.
Early struggles with the Chiefs
When Reid drafted Fisher, the Chiefs made it clear they were building a stout offensive line to protect their quarterback. Fisher was going to be the future of that offensive line. He started his rookie season, yet struggled mightily as the season progressed.
Fisher did not display the same level of dominance he had back at Central Michigan. The Chiefs improved their record from the previous year to 11-5, despite a mediocre performance from their No. 1 pick. The expectations were sky-high for Fisher entering the league, which made it difficult for him to adjust.
Although he improved the following seasons, his contemporaries’ success overshadowed his No. 1 overall status. Luck was showing the NFL why he deserved to be a No. 1 overall pick when he led the Colts to the AFC Championship in 2015. Likewise, Newton made headlines every week during his MVP 2016 season, where he led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.
Fisher finally finds his footing in the NFL
Even though Eric Fisher was not lighting up ESPN’s highlight reel every week, he proved to be a valuable asset for the Chiefs. In 2016, he signed a four-year $48 million contract, with $22 million guaranteed. He made his first Pro Bowl selection in 2018.
Interestingly, Fisher is the only No. 1 overall pick from the first half of the 2010s to still be on the same team, even outlasting the likes of both Newton and Luck. It is too early to claim that Fisher is a future Hall of Famer. But there is no denying that he was an integral part of the 2019 Chiefs offense.
Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs capped off a historic season by coming back against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Fisher accomplished something that no other No. 1 overall pick in the 2010s was able to do, which is win a Super Bowl. The future looks bright for the athlete.