Chiefs NFL Draft: Would Matt Barkley or Geno Smith look better in red?

Stephen Dunn

It's obvious the Chiefs need to draft a quarterback. The question is which one?

It's become clear the Kansas City Chiefs are one of, if not the worst, football team in the NFL this season.


More: Kiper picks Te'o for KC | Kansas City Chiefs tickets


With the pain of being that awful, comes hope in April when the 2013 NFL Draft comes around with new prospects who could alter the next decade of your franchise.

Kansas City will almost certainly have a chance to pick either Matt Barkley out of Southern Cal or Geno Smith from West Virginia to fill the void behind center. Barring the biggest disaster in Chiefs history (which is reallllllllly saying something), the organization will use its first-round pick on a signal-caller for the first time since 1983.

Hopefully this pick will be more successful that Todd Blackledge.

So without further adieu, which man would be better for the job? Let's compare their stats in college:

Geno Smith: Senior, 6'3'', 214 pounds

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Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

In his sophomore year, Smith took over the starting job, playing in 13 games and showing well. The youngster completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 2,763 yards and 24 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. He averaged 7.4 yards per attempt and took off running 106 times.

During his junior season, Smith stepped up across the board (again in 13 games). His completion percentage increased marginally (65.8) and INT's stayed the same, but he threw for 31 touchdowns, 8.3 yards/attempt and 4,385 yards. Also, he became more comfortable in the pocket, only rushing 56 times.

This year, Smith couldn't have been hotter to start the campaign but has trailed off somewhat. However, his stats are again excellent. His completion percentage (71.8) is through the roof, while he's already thrown 31 touchdowns compared to only three picks.

The bad news? He has already taken off 53 times and is only throwing for 7.6 yards per attempt which ranks him 51st in the nation.

Matt Barkley: Senior, 6'2'', 230 pounds

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Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Barkley is a rarity, starting all four seasons he has played for USC. The 22-year-old was thrown into the fire as a freshman and played like one. He completed just 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,735 while tossing 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also threw for just 7.8 yards per attempt. Yikes.

In 2010 - his sophomore year - Barkley really picked up the pace. His completion rate wasn't great (62.9%) but it was improved, as were his touchdowns (26). The yardage was basically identical (2,791) and so was his INT total (12) while his yards/attempt actually dropped to 7.4.

To this point, Barkley looks like nothing special. Then his junior season came along.

In that campaign, the California kid put on a show. He threw for career highs in touchdowns (39), yards (3,528), yards/attempt (7.9) and completion percentage (69.1) while heaving just seven interceptions. Many felt he should have come out along with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but he chose to stay one more year.

This season, many feel Barkley has regressed. The stats corroborate some of that, but certainly not all of the argument is strong. In 2012, Barkley has already thrown for 2.972 yards and 33 TD's.

On top of that, his yards/attempt is terrific at 8.5. Unfortunately, his completion percentage has dropped to 64.8 and he has thrown 13 picks. It's understandable though when you factor in the yards/attempt. Barkley is being much more aggressive and showing confidence. Sometimes you get burned that way, just ask Brett Favre.

Result: Personally, I want Barkley. I believe Smith can play, but I'm a big believer in guys who start for four years. It gives them a chance to grow more and learn how to deal with adversity, something that certainly will come being a No. 1 overall pick.

I wouldn't turn over a table by any stretch if the Chiefs took Smith, but I think Barkley has special qualities that could make him an instant success. It also showed me something that he went back to USC because he felt there was unfinished business.

He wanted to get a championship, despite risking millions of dollars. In my eyes, that screams winner.

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