Chiefs: Which QB Should KC Draft Next Year?

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It’s time, Chiefs fans.  It’s time to throw in the white flag, realize this season is lost, stop cheering this team and instead, root for them to lose.  I know, it goes against your nature to wish your favorite team to lose the rest of their games this year.  Only bandwagon fans would wish such ill on their favorite team.  It’s not easy for me to write these words.  I’d much rather spend my Sundays believing the Chiefs can dominate at Arrowhead, walk away with a convincing win and dream of playoff possibilities.  But that time has passed.  The Chiefs have zero chance of making the playoffs after the debacle in Tampa Bay, and now it’s time to realize that the only way the Chiefs will ever get back to the playoffs is to lose now.

Here’s what will happen if the Chiefs lose the rest of their games this year.  Scott Pioli will be fired.  Romeo Crennel will be fired.  Owner Clark Hunt will hire a new GM, who will hire a new coach, who will bring in leadership, a new attitude, new philosophies about the draft, and rebuild this team into something Kansas Citians can be proud of, because right now, there’s not a lot to be proud of – besides Dustin Colquitt and Jamaal Charles.

Okay, that’s not fair.  The Chiefs have a lot of very talented players, but there is no fire in their belly, no direction, no will to lay it all on the line for their teammates.  It feels like they are giving up in the second half, letting the other team run right over them, crying uncle while we turn off our televisions in disgust. It takes strong leadership to get the players to come together and play for each other.  Talent alone will not win you games.  Talent and teamwork – now that’s a combination that’s hard to stop.  Our TEAM is not playing like a TEAM, and until they do, this is a TEAM that will not win.

The leader of the team is the quarterback, and obviously, we are hurting in that position.  Heck, we’ve been hurting there since Joe Montana!   The Chiefs haven’t drafted a quarterback in the first round since Todd Blackledge in 1983.  1983!  I was eight years old!  In this quarterback first league, it is inexcusable that the Chiefs have not drafted a quarterback in the first round.  It’s the most important position, and we’ve learned that when you don’t have strong leadership there, the team crumbles.

With that in mind, it’s time to look ahead to the draft.  The Chiefs should end up with a top 5 pick and should be able to snag a good quarterback.  But which one?  Here are my top five quarterback prospects.

#1) Geno Smith, West Virginia, Senior

I expect Geno to go number one.  Even though they lost big to Texas Tech this past weekend, his numbers are amazing.  He leads all NCAA Division I quarterbacks in completion percentage (75.1%), touchdowns (25), and QB rating (180.8).  In my humble opinion, the Chiefs need to bet the house on Geno.  I think they should trade whatever they need to trade to get the number one pick, if they don’t end the season with it.  Geno is the next RGIII, and we are already amazed watching what RGIII is doing for the Washington Redskins.  Get Geno and Chiefs fans can be thrilled about the future, watching an amazing athlete who can run and throw better than most quarterbacks already in the league.

#2) EJ Manuel, Florida State, Senior

This is my sleeper pick for next year, if he can be called a sleeper.  EJ stands 6’5”, 230 pounds and has improved every year to the next.  He is a top five passer in the NCAA this year with the third best completion percentage (72.1%).  Florida State is finally a national power again thanks to his leadership at QB.   I am a big believer of drafting players from big schools that have had success.  If you are a stud at a national powerhouse, you’ll be a stud in the NFL, as long as the coaches use you the right way.  EJ has really improved his game and his numbers from last year, and that shows me he is just beginning to reach his potential.

#3) Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, Senior

Poor Tyler.  He came in as the best quarterback in the SEC but then his head coach was fired after lying about a motorcycle crash with his mistress, his new head coach admitted to owing a bunch of money on bad investments, and then he was hurt during an overtime loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.  No quarterback has faced greater adversity, and yet, he’s beginning to come around and shine.  His ability to bounce back from injury and turmoil will help him adapt quickly to the NFL.  If he can finish the season strong, he will prove to NFL executives that he can thrive as a top passer at the next level.

#4) Matt Barkley, USC, Senior

Matt is not having a great season, but when you look at his credentials and pedigree, you realize he has the potential to be an Andrew Luck type of player.  He is very smart and has high character.  Despite a ban on postseason play, Matt stuck it out at USC and convinced many of his talented teammates to stick around for their senior year to play in a bowl game for their first time.  The question is this: does he have the potential to get even better or has he hit his ceiling?  He’s been very consistent his past four years, so chances are, what you see is what you get.  While there is risk with taking Matt in the first round, he’s smart enough to adapt to the NFL and become a very serviceable quarterback.

#5) Landry Jones, Oklahoma, Senior

Landry has been a solid four year starter at Oklahoma.  Not especially great, but good enough.  His problem is he throws too many interceptions, but he also has thrown for a bunch of yards and touchdowns over the years.  His experience playing at Oklahoma could translate to a nice NFL career, but honestly, I see Landry as a second or third round pick, not first round material.

Of course, these predictions could change based on which underclassmen declare for the draft and how these five fare the rest of the year.  It doesn’t appear to be an especially strong class of incoming quarterbacks this year, but I think any of these top five would be a huge upgrade for the Chiefs.  I still have hope for Brady Quinn, if they let him start again.  We’ll see.  Regardless, let’s take our lumps and wish for the Chiefs to lose so we can get a top notch quarterback in the draft and enjoy winning for the long term future.

You can contact Matt Stewart at matt.stewart@wdaftv4.com

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