Things seem to really be turning around for the Kansas City Chiefs, in recent days. Andy Reid, a.k.a. "Big Red" was hired as the Kansas City Chiefs 13th Head Coach , and former Packers Director of Player Personnel John Dorsey was hired as the Chiefs new GM. Hopefully, us Chiefs fans will not have to go through such a dreadful 4 years, like we had to with former GM Scott Pioli.
I'm not going to lie, I'm excited! I love the hirings of Reid and Dorsey. I think they bring promise and stability to an organization who has lacked just that for a number of years. They each have proven track records in the National Football League, and know what it takes to build and coach a successful team. You also have to applaud Clark Hunt, the Chiefs owner, for going out and getting the two guys he wanted with no delay. I love the way that Clark has taken over this Chiefs team and actually made it his own! Overall, I'm ecstatic in the direction this organization as a whole is heading, but truth be told, the Kanasas City Chiefs are still a long way from being a
good average team. But hey, that doesn't keep us Chiefs fans from getting overly excited, right? No!
Unless you are a Chiefs fan who lives under a rock, and hasn't watched a game since the Trent Green era, you know that this team needs a Quarterback. Badly. You also probably know that this team has the number 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Aaaaaaand you also know that usually, there is always a Quarterback who is the clear-cut favorite to be taken by the first Quarterback needy team. Aaaaaaaaaaaand lastly, you probably know that with the Chiefs luck, that is not the case this year. This years draft in terms of Quarterbacks was described by an NFL executive perfectly. "If you like slop, then this is a great year for you." He couldn't have said it better. There are about 4 Quarterback's who all have a chance to be the first QB off the board come draft day, but not a single one of them is your ideal, "Franchise Quarterbck" at least as of now. That all can change in 1 month, like it did in 2010 when Cam Newton was expected to be drafted in the middle of the 1st round in December, but ended up being picked number 1 overall by the Panthers. But the moral of the story is, there isn't a clear cut Quarterback that the Chiefs should take, even though they desperately need one.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...
The Chiefs have a big decision to make within the next month or so. A decision that can, and will still effect the Chiefs 10 years from now. What path should the Chiefs go when trying to find a franchise Quarterback?
Free-agency: I'm not going to sugarcoat it: This free-agent class in the terms of Quarterbacks is horrendous.There's not a single quarterback who has the potential to be a high-end starter who can take a team to the playoffs. Joe Flacco's contract is expiring, but there's no way the Super Bowl MVP becomes available. Matt Moore, who started for the Dolphins in 2011 and backed up rookie Ryan Tannehill in 2012, but he's not going to be a quality starter anytime soon. If the Chiefs draft a rookie who they think can start right away, maybe Moore will brought in for a QB competition, but that is really about all he could be good for. He's shown zero promise in the past two seasons and woudln't bring any stability to a team that has been lacking just that since the 1960's. After Moore, your looking at a group of washed up, over the hill, flat out un productive signal callers who's times have come and gone. Players like Jason Campbell, David Garrard, Tavaris Jackson, Derek Anderson, Tyler Thigpen (The notorious T.H.I.G.), etc. A long list of backups that belong nowhere near a rebuilding team desperately searching for their signal-calling savior.
Surprise Cuts and trades: Every year there a few high-caliber players that surprisingly hit the open market or come available via trade, and some of which this year will be Quarterbacks. Last free-agency the Chiefs got lucky when the Houston Texans released perennial Pro-Bowl Tackle Eric Winston, and they scooped him up and he became a solid starter. There are a lot of high priced quarterbacks who could be staring at a release slip or a trade in the next couple of weeks, and will be headed to a different city to a different team. QB's to the likes of Alex Smith, Mike Vick, Matt Flynn, Carson Palmer, and Ryan Mallet. All of these guys have had success, or are very capable of having success in the NFL, and could be serviceable to the Chiefs for the right price. They could be a good stop-gap until the Chiefs find their guy in the draft. They've expressed interest (NFL.com reports) in Alex Smith, and there's an interesting connection between Mike Vick and Andy Reid. You could make your own decision on which guy you want, if any, but what we all want to talk about, is the draft.
Chiefs fans have been dying for a first round quarterback since Todd Blackledge, and now that they have the first overall pick, they HAVE to take a QB, right? They could, but they could just as easily go in a different direction. This year, it's no sure thing that there is a franchise quarterback in this draft. Instead of telling you who will be good and who will not, I've decided to let you make up your mind. I put together a full evaluation of the Top 9 Quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft who could be taken by the Chiefs. First, there is a general description of each of them. Then, I put together a thorough evaluation of each QB with Pros, Cons, and my Overall thoughts on their play as a whole.
Now, let's get down to business:
9. Landry Jones, Oklahoma- 6'4, 218 LBS- Landry Jones' stock has dropped dramatically since the end of last season, to say the least. He didn't really struggle to win games and be productive at Oklahoma. But what he did struggle with was to show that he can be a successful quarterback at the next level. To me, there is some potential there for Landry Jones, but not enough for him to be taken earlier than the 3rd round. He does have a strong arm, is extremely accurate on short passes (because that's really all Oklahoma threw) and definitely has the will to learn and get better. But I just don't think the talent is there. He has pretty bad ball placement, and forces a lot of his passes. I see Landry going to a team who needs some depth, and already has a starter in place.
8. Tyler Bray, Tennessee- 6'6, 215 LBS- Tyler Bray made his first mistake as an NFL player before his professional career ever even started. Bray, in my opinion and many others, should have stayed at Tennessee for his Senior season. He's far from a finished product and has some growing pains he'll need to go through to get to that point. Bray isn't all bad, with a rocket for an arm, an above average deep ball, and the ability to throw far on the run with ease, but his struggles definitely overshadow his strengths. He has some maturing to do, as he was arrested last off season for throwing beer bottles and golf balls at a neighbor's car (I know, right?) and misses badly on some attempts. He has a lot of upside, and a former NFL Scout even went as far as saying, "He is a starter waiting to happen" Bray will need a good quarterback coach to be successful because he's incredibly inconsistent and has some issues with accuracy, but the kid does have some upside. Although I ranked him at no. 8, he should be selected around the 3rd round.
7. EJ Manuel. Florida State- 6'5, 240 LBS- EJ Manuel is the most athletic QB in the draft, by far. He has a lot of upside due to his mobility and ability to extend plays. He excels at escaping the pocket and can definitely succeed on designed runs. He reminds me of Colin Kaepernick when he came out of Nevada, but just not as good of a thrower, which, I mean I guess, is a big part of being a quarterback. Manuel showed some flashes of being able to make accurate throws, but his ball placement was erratic for the most part. He needs to become better with looking through all of his reads and not forcing passes, as well. I think that Manuel can be a good quarterback in the NFL, but only if he is in a system that plays exactly to his strengths. He'll need to work on his mechanics before he can be a quality starter, but he indeed has a lot of upside.
6. Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)- 6'4, 228 LBS- Before I say anything about Dysert, it needs to be known that at Miami of Ohio, he was accompanied by one of the worst supporting casts a quarterback could ask for. He was basically the coach of the Miami offense. He made pre-snap reads, adjustments, audibles, and showed some good intangibles when working with such an embarrassing group of football players. Dysert has a high football IQ, a solid arm, and is fairly mobile, running a 4.83 40 yard dash. He's about as tough as they come next to Tyler Wilson in this class, but he does struggle with accuracy, and forcing throws to his first read. He could end up being taken anywhere from the middle of the 2nd round, to the 4th round. Just like bray, he'll need a good quarterback coach to help him get out of some of the bad habits he formed when playing with such bad talent around him at Miami.
5. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse- 6'2, 228 LBS- Ryan Nassib is a fastball throwing quarterback with arguably the strongest arm in the draft. He's a hit or miss type of guy, in terms of whether he can be a franchise quarterback. He has a lot of upside to his game, because he's fairly mobile and can fit the ball into the tightest of gaps. But the downside is that his ball placement and accuracy are average at best, and he has a lot of room for improvement in that category. Some people love Nassib, and some people just don't see it. One former NFL Scout, Russ Lande, has Nassib as the top player on his Top 200 Prospects. Nassib does have the potential to be a good starter at the next level, but in my opinion needs to improve his ball placement and decision making a lot before he sees the field. As for him to the Chiefs? The Chiefs reportedly are very high on Nassib and could possibly trade up into the 1st round for him. I wouldn't be too confident with him starting right off the bat, but if he could sit out a season and get the speed of the game down, he could end up being a quality Quarterback.
4. Mike Glennon, NC State- 6'6, 220 LBS- Mike Glennon is a strong armed QB who played well out of an NFL system in college with little talent around him. He's got great accuracy down the field and is accurate over the middle. Sounds perfect, right? The problem is, he gets away with some terrible decisions on a lot of those "incredible" throws that seem to fit perfectly in place. Sometimes, it is hard to even see what he saw to make him throw the ball in the first place! Glennon's also very inconsistent with his ball placement. Some passes weave through defense and the ball finds itself in the receivers hands, but on others, a receiver is nowhere to be found. Some people (Notably ESPN's Mel Kiper) have Glennon as the best Quarterback in the draft, but I think his inconsistencies could keep him in the second round. He does have a lot of upside, and definitely has the talent to have success at the next level.
3. Matt Barkley, USC- 6'2, 230 LBS- If you've kept up with college football over the past few months, you know that Matt Barkley struggled a lot in 2012 at USC. But one has to ask, was the quarterback who in last years draft was projected to be a 1st round pick really that bad? No. His struggles were extremely over exaggerated, in my opinion. He has proven many times that he has a strong arm with a very accurate deep ball, and next to Geno Smith is the most accurate QB in the draft. A lot of NFL fans are completely against drafting another USC QB in fear of them panning out how Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, and Matt Cassel did, who all played at USC. But you can not, and I repeat, can not, make a decision to draft or not draft a player because of who came before them. They have zero effect on how good he will or will not be in the NFL. As for where he will land, ESPN's Adam Schefter said that after talking to people around the league, he is hearing that Barkley may rise back up into the early first round because he is expected to impress coaches and scouts in interviews and pre-draft workouts. I see him landing in the early 2nd round, and to me, it would make a lot of sense to draft him.
2. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas- 6'2, 218 LBS- Tyler Wilson is as tough as they come. He has a strong arm and throws the football at a high velocity to all parts of the field, but struggles with accuracy. At Arkansas, he got hit way too many times every single game, and got back up every time. Wilson trusts his arm and isn't afriaid to take chances down the field, either. Wilson reportedly has an incredible football IQ and is expected to impess in his pre-draft interviews which could cause him to rise on some teams draft boards. He can escape the pocket and is arguably the best scrambler in this draft. On the downside, he tends to force the ball too much, and that is the main reason he had 13 interceptions last season. His footwork also isn't great, but is still much better than some others in this class. Look for Wilson to be the second QB taken, even possibly the first in front of Geno Smith. He fits the chiefs offense and has a lot of upside to his game, which Chiefs scouts must love, because their scouts reportedly really like him.
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia- 6'3, 220 LBS- Geno Smith doesn't possess the strongest arm in this draft class, but he does have the most accurate one. He rarely misfires and often gets the ball into tight spaces with ease. Geno can escape the pocket and can 10 yards when he needs to, but he is not a scrambling quarterback by any means. he's calm in the pocket and shows no signs of panic when pressureis near, which sometimes even hurts him when he doesn't get the ball away soon enough. His ball placement, for the most part is spot on, and his footwork under center is very good. Geno also displays good leadership and is extremely confident in himself and his teammates. He does struggle with locking onto one receiver. At WVU, when defense took away Tavon Austin, Geno's go-to receiver, he seemed stuck. Overall, he's the clear cut best quarterback in this draft, and has a flew flaws but they all are very correctable. If the Chiefs can take care of the Left Tackle issue, they need to take Geno at #1 in my opinion.
That was a general description of each Quarterback. Now, if you really want to go in depth, I did a thorough evaluation of each QB with video:
9. Landry Jones, Oklahoma- 6'4, 218 LBS
Pros: Landry Jones is equipped with a good, strong arm, which has earned him a lot of fans and is one of the sole reasons he is thought of as a, "Top QB Prospect" I'm a big Oklahoma fan, and after watching Landry Jones this last season, I feel that he was not used right. At all. With that arm, he should've been throwing the ball over the middle and deep down the sidelines multiple times every game, but instead, I only saw it once or twice a game, if that. A lot of OU's play's are short passes to the sidelines, out routes, and short crossing routes, which don't allow Jones to show what he is capable of. Hopefully at the Senior Bowl, they'll open it up for Landry.
Landry has sub-par footwork, but has a lot of room for improvement. When not under pressure, he's generally very comfortable in the pocket, because he rarely leaves it. He isn't a complete statue when he drops back and he can run for a couple yards here and there, but for the most part he is not a scrambler.
If Oklahoma's conservative play calling worked to Landry's advantage in the draft at all, it was that it showed that he has a quick release and can get the ball out right away with accuracy. A lot of his yards last season came off of screens and out routes because he gets the ball out quick, and leads his receivers enough to set them up for yards after the catch. That should translate well to the next level for Jones.
Earlier, I noted that Jones comes into the draft with a strong arm and can throw to all levels of the field. He can also put the necessary touch on throws towards the sidelines. Jones and WR Kenny Stills connected many times in the endzone when Jones would perfectly loft a pass into the corner of the endzone over the cornerbacks head.
Jones can definitely chuck the deep ball, with accuracy, as he put on full display when he was given the chance. Jones wasn't completely restricted with long throws, but I guarantee that if he was allowed to make more throws down the field than short and to the sidelines, we would know much more about this guy. With such a small sample size of those throws, I don't know what to make of his deep-medium throw accuracy. But maybe the Oklahoma coaches know something that I don't (which they almost always do) about his arm.
Cons: Landry Jones is the definition of inconsistent. He will miss badly on some throws that will be completely way off, but on others, will throw a hard strike and hit his receivers right in stride. Inconsistency sometimes can be turned into a positive if the Quarterback is easy to be coached, but usually when the problem is with ball placement, it doesn't lead to good things.
Next to being inconsistent with ball placement, Jones also tends to force some throws into coverage when he has time to go through all of his reads. Too many time he has had the opportunity to make a play, but tried to force the ball to his 1st read, and the result of the pass was incomplete.
I've already mentioned multiple times how Oklahoma's offense was focused on short, easy passes, but Jones wasn't completely restricted of longer throws. One has to wonder if he lacks the confidence to try to fit balls into tight windows down the field. If so, he'll need to cut that out this week at The Senior Bowl, unless he wants to end up like our buddy Matt Cassel, who hates throwing the ball past the 1st down line.
Landry Jones' footwork is far from perfect, especially under pressure. In the face of pressure, Jones' footwork falls apart . He isn't afraid to take a hit as he seems comfortable in the pocket most of the time, but his feet seem to panic when pressure is near. He'll sometimes throw off balance when he needs to get the ball away, and that is likely the cause of some of Jones' inaccurate throws.
Overall: I see Landry Jones as a Quarterback who deserves to have a chance to start at the next level, but won't get one in the near future. I see him as a 4th or 5th round pick. He has the potential to become an average Quarterback with his strong arm and quick release, but I'd be lying if I told you he didn't have a long road ahead of him before he sees the field. Expect him to get taken by a team with a starter in place, but may be looking for some competition in a few years to push their starter to the next level. A team like Houston, San Diego, or maybe even Miami.
Landry Jones vs Utep (2012) (via TTN2810)(Bad Example because of the poor competition Landry is playing against, but it was the only video available)
8. EJ Manuel, Florida State- 6'5, 240 LBS
Pros: EJ Manuel's has a ton of upside, and is by far the most athletic quarterback in this draft class. He runs a 4.6 in the 40 yard dash, which says all you need to know about his speed and agility, which are two of Manuel's biggest strengths. Manuel can escape the pocket and run for first downs with ease, and also has had success at FSU with designed runs, similar to the ones run by Colin Kaepernick. EJ knows when to tuck and run and when not to, and is a good decision maker in the terms of running the ball.
Although Manuel comes off as an Robert Griffin III or Michael Vick type runner, he's a little bit different in a couple of ways. Manuel is a more durable player weighing in at 240 LBS. With that size he should be a much more reliable quarterback. He also knows when to take a hit and when not to, and is careful with the hits he lets his body take.
Manuel has above average arm strength to go with his mobility, and although he lacks the necessary ball) placement, for the most part, he has shown flashes of being able to throw down the field with accuracy. At the Senior Bowl EJ had a couple of nice throws down the field and showed that he can makes some nice NFL-type throws.
Manuel has a lightening-fast release on his short passes which sets his receivers up for yards after the catch. EJ also has a trait that is big when coming into the NFL: He takes what the defense gives him. If there's no one open downfield, and he has room to run for 5 yards, he'll take the 5 yards. He won't try to force a pass. If there is no one open downfield, he'll check it down along the sideline instead of risking a turnover. He'll need to take chances once in a while, but it's good to have a QB who doesn't try to do too much.
When you combine Manuel's speed, strength, size, and durability, you see a player with a lot of upside, who if can be put in a system that plays to his strengths, can be successful.
Cons: One thing that Manuel struggles with, is velocity on his throws. A lot of his passes go sailing over the receivers head, and in the NFL, those inaccurate passes will turn into interceptions. He'll need to get the ball to his receivers quicker or else NFL defensive backs will be hopping one front of his throws and making them incomplete.
One of the causes of EJ's velocity issues is that he lifts his back foot while throwing on almost every pass. If he's not pushing off of that back foot, he's not putting 100% of his strength behind that pass. This problem can be an easy fix, but it could also lead to issues with his throwing motion as a whole. If you mess with one thing, everything gets effected by it.
The further EJ Manuel throws down the field, the worse his accuracy gets. On short passes, EJ is accurate for the most part but as I mentioned earlier, some of his passes sail over the intended receivers heads. Then, on medium passes, Manuel's ball placement gets much worse.Although he has shown the ability to make some nice, well placed touch throws to the sidelines, most of his passes are all over the place. it gets worse. Manuel's deep ball is horrendous. He throws it far too high, and his ball wobbles through the air like a Matt Cassel interception. He definitely needs to work on his accuracy.
Speaking of Matt Cassel, EJ is not very comfortable in the pocket. When pressure is near, he looks like he panics and often decides to run it instead of going through all of his reads. Even when he isn't under pressure, he has this look of being uncomfortable. I just think that once he advances to the NFL and won't be able to scramble as easily or as often, he'll hold on to the ball too long and/or start to force throws because he doesn't want to get hit. That isn't something he's done yet, but one thing I can definitely see happening.
Overall: Overall, EJ Manuel has a lot of upside by being such a fantastic athlete, but his throwing ability leaves much to be desired. He struggles with the necessary ball placement and will also continue to struggle if he doesn't fix his footwork. If Manuel can be put in a training camp battle on a team with a good offensive line and a productive running game, he could, COULD, see the field because of his tremendous upside. But for him to have a good chance of success, he'll need to go to a team who is patient with his development, and has an offense that plays strictly to his strengths which are play actions, options, and short passes. As for where he'll land? I see him going somewhere in the 4th round, but it wouldn't surprise me if a team does what the Seahawks did last season by picking Russel Wilson, and pick him ahead of where he's projected to land. Will that team be the Chiefs? He does fit Andy Reid's system, and defense would have fits trying to stop a backfield with EJ and JC in it (if Manuel improves). But the Chiefs need someone who could be productive early in his career, and that guy is not EJ Manuel.
EJ Manuel vs Clemson (2012) (via Eric Stoner)
7. Tyler Bray, Tennessee- 6'6, 215 LBS
Pros: The first thing you need to know about Tyler Bray, is that he has a rocket for an arm. He has a stronger arm than any QB on the Chiefs roster right now. He fires the ball extremely hard to his receivers and has the potential to make all of the NFL type throws.
Next to Bray's arm strength, one of the biggest positives about his game is that he throws with terrific accuracy on crossing routes and short throws over the middle. He often hits his receiver in stride and sets them up for extra yards after the catch, which is an important trait to have as an NFL QB. Bray's ability to just fire the ball to his receiver without too much thought can and will cause some problems vs. NFL Defensive Backs, but also makes these throws his most accurate ones.
When Bray rolls out of the pocket, he puts his arm strength on full display. On the run, he can reach all parts of the field with ease which will have some scouts intrigued. His deep ball stays low to the ground, and often is on target, which a lot of scouts will fall in love with, too. Lastly, something that is very important to some teams is how a Quarterback handles pocket pressure. Do they stand tall and make a strong throw, or will they crumble in the pocket like something us Chiefs fans know all too well after watching Matt Cassel play? Well, Bray doesn't crumble. He stands tall, and isn't afraid to take a hit from a defender in his face. He plays with confidence. Confidence in his arm and confidence that he can make the play at hand, even when someone is in his way. That's another important trait that coaches like to see from a young Quarterback, but sometimes, Bray trusts his arm too much and makes some bad decisions.
Cons: Tyler Bray has a lot of maturing to do. When drafting a QB there is enough that needs to be studied and worked out physically, and it can be a pain for coaches to also try to help their QB mature. Tyler Bray and a friend were arrested, but not charged, for throwing beer bottles and golf balls at a woman's car, late one night. That's something that will definitely be brought up in pre-draft interviews, and will not be accepted in the NFL.
There a lot of negatives about Tyler Bray's game, physically. Plain and simple: He has a lot to work on. For one, he is very sloppy. He doesn't step into his throws. He often throws the ball flat footed, which is one of the main reasons a lot of his throws are extremely inaccurate. He fails to step into his throws, and that is why you see a lot of his balls sail past the receiver. That will need to be fixed immediately.
Another thing Bray struggles with is his consistency. Some of his throws hit receivers right in the numbers, and on other throws you can't even tell who he was targeting. He left me dumbfounded after a couple of throws because he was left with a lot of time to throw, but just fired the ball into space nowhere near a receiver. When Bray advances to the NFL level, and the game speed picks up, more and more of those throws will go right into a defensive backs hands for an interception.
Another thing that Bray will need to work on, is his weight. He is 6'6, but only weighs 215 pounds. If he doesn't add some bulk to his body, he won't be able to withstand the pounding that NFL Quarterbacks take, and will find himself on the injury report quite a bit. Lastly for Bray, above all, is his throwing motion. Now, I'm not a Quarterbacks coach and nor should I be, but I can tell that Bray's throwing motion is too slow. He takes too long to throw the ball , which messes up his footwork, which leads to bad accuracy. When you have too slow, or too fast of a release, it's like the domino effect. One thing leads to another. A bad motion and release, leads to footwork that doesn't match up with your throwing motion. That leads to inaccurate passes, and inaccurate passes, leads a to a Quarterback struggling. With a good coach or trainer, Bray's motion can be fixed. But it will be hard for it all to change before draft workouts and the NFL Combine starts.
Overall: My overall opinion on Tyler Bray is that he needs more time to develop. He's the definition of what people like to call a project. He really should've stayed for his senior season at Tennessee so he would have more time to polish off his mechanics, but that decision has already been made. He has a lot to work on with his throwing motion and accuracy, but his arm strength is definitely there. When watching him play, his arm strength is evident. For the Chiefs, he isn't a good fit because the Chiefs need a player who can be ready to play at a high level in the near future, and Tyler Bray is not that guy. It would be best for him to be drafted by a team with a starter in place that could be replaced in a few years. A team like San Diego, or New England (It would help to sit behind Brady). Bray can be a decent Quarterback in this league, but he'll need a few years to get further along in his developing process before he is ready to be at the helm for an NFL franchise. He can eventually be a good, quality NFL QB, but not in the next year or two.
Tyler Bray vs NC State 2012 (via JPDraftJedi
6. Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)- 6'4, 228 LBS
Before I say anything about Zac Dysert, it needs to be noted that he played with one of the worst supporting casts in the NCAA. He made that Miami team. He was constantly under pressure, his receivers dropped routine passes, and Miami's defense couldn't stop a nosebleed. Now that I got that out, let's get on to Dysert's strength's:
Pros: Dysert has a phenomenal football IQ. He is basically the coach of the Miami offense. When it comes to making audibles and pre-snap reads, the Miami coaches gave Dysert complete control of the offense this year. He made a lot of audibles at the line and made tons of pre-snap reads, which must convince coaches that he is one of the smartest Quarterbacks in this draft class.
Next to being a smart Quarterback, Dysert is a strong quarterback. Especially when throwing on the run. There was one play vs. Kent State when Dysert really flexed his incredible arm strength. The ball was snapped, and in the face of pressure (already) Dysert rolled out to his right, and while running, fired the ball 50 yards down the field, and hit his well covered receiver right in the hands. After seeing that throw, I searched for more throws that put his arm strength on display, and I was not disappointed. Dysert can make almost every throw in the book, with accuracy. Dysert's also one of the most efficient Quarterbacks in this draft class. He gets the ball out quick, and accurate with no delay. It's like he has a clock in his head as to when the ball needs to get away. He's always aware of what's going on around him in the pocket, and simply knows when to get the ball away.
Zac Dysert is not the most athletic Quarterback in this draft. Plain and simple. He has some solid bulk to him and weighing 228 LBS, and measuring up at 6'4, he can move around much better than I bet you expected. He runs a 4.83 40 yard dash, and he reminds me of Alex Smith (speed wise) coming out of college. He isn't going to burn your defense. He isn't an explosive runner like the RGII's and Mike Vick's of the world. But what he is, is a smart scrambler, and with a good offensive line, boy will he be fun to watch. He can read defenses quickly and proficiently, and often just slips through the cracks of the offensive line and runs for a first down. Defensive Coordinators will always have to worry about the threat of Dysert scrambling for a first down, which is an important attribute for a Quarterback to carry.
Luckily, Dysert also is not as fragile and injury prone as the RGII's and Mike Vick's of the world, either, because he gets hit A LOT. He's as tough as they come. He took a boatload of hits in his tenure at Miami of Ohio and on quite a few of them, I didn't expect him to get right back up. In any other draft in the past, he'd be the most durable and tough Quarterback in the draft, but Tyler Wilson still holds that title right now.
Cons: A quick fun-fact on Dysert: In high school, he once quit football to play hockey, and he contemplated transferring from Miami before this past season. This likely will not scare any teams away, which it shouldn't, but Dysert's passion to play will definitely questioned in pre-draft interviews.
On the downside, Zac Dysert does have some struggles. Nobody is perfect, right? Among them, is that he tends to lock onto one receiver, and may even try to force a pass to his first read. He may have gotten away with some of those forced throws against the mediocre secondaries that he went up against, but that will all change quickly at the next level.
Earlier I complemented Dysert on how good of a decision maker he is, which I stand by, but in the face of pressure, he tends to carelessly throw the ball away. One of the most simplistic rules you have to abide by to be successful at the Quarterback position in the National Football League, is to be careful with every throw you make. Dysert, along with a few other top QB's in this class struggle with that simple concept. A lot of his passes will wobble through the air, too, which is the effect of a minor, quick-fix mechanical flaw; he grips his thumb lower on the ball than the average QB. That causes his thumb to put a bad spin on the ball. Luckily, a good Quarterbacks coach will notice this flaw immediately, and he should have no problems adjusting to the new grip. Dysert can afford to put more zipon the ball, too.
Dysert's mechanics and accuracy in the 2012 season were good for the most part, but when he threw over the middle, his balls tended to sail over the receivers head. That also could be the effect of his thumb-grip, but it's something he'll need to improve on, because those high throws will translate to interceptions in the NFL.
Overall: Overall, I like Zac Dysert. Do I like him enough to say he's a top 5 quarterback? Not yet, at least. I also don't think he's good enough to be taken any higher than the 3rd round, simply because he is so unproven. He did play with some absolutely terrible players which was holding him back, but he still put up unspectacular numbers against below average competition. Going to Mobile, Alabama will be like a breath of fresh air for Dysert, because he ill finally be playing with some quality receivers and offensive lineman around him. Dysert has the potential to be a starter one day, but he needs time to develop. Like I said before, he played with some pretty bad players around him, and I have to think that if you put him on a better team, would he be ranked higher? It'll be interesting to see how he performs with whichever team selects him, whether it is the Chiefs or not.
Zac Dysert vs Ohio State (2012) (via TTN2810)
5. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse- 6'2, 228 LBS
Pros: Ryan Nassib, standing at 6'3, 227 LBS is a good athlete and is equipped with a big, strong arm. He can make practically every throw in the book, and after watching three of Nassib's games, only once did I see him underthrow a receiver. That's impressive. He keeps his ball low, throws a tight spiral, and excels with throws over the middle.
Another thing that I love about Ryan Nassib is his mobility. He's one of the better athletes in the draft class at Quarterback. He has good, but not great athleticism and is just fast enough to escape the pocket when under pressure to pick up a first down. Mobility wise, he reminds me of Jay Cutler. Defensive Coordinators won't stress over how to stop Ryan Nassib on the run, because he's not that type of explosive RGII type runner. But he will always need to be accounted for because he does have the speed to make some plays.
Nassib excels with throws over the middle since he is a, "fastball" throwing quarterback. A lot of his throws just seem to weave through the opposing defenses nearly making to the intended target. If he can touch up his accuracy a bit, his draft stock will continue to rise. He throws with a type of gun-slinger mentality because he isn't afraid to make tough throws, and has tons of confidence in his arm.
Sometimes Nassib throws the ball so hard, that I'd be afraid to ask him to pass the salt, because he'd throw it 100 mph. at my face. Nassib's biggest strength is definitely... well... his strength. He's hard to bring down, and with his physical build, he can take hits and his hard to bring down. With a good Quarterbacks coach like Andy Reid, he can be groomed into a pretty nice QB.
Cons: One of Nassib's greatest strength's (throwing power) is also one of his most blatant and obvious weaknesses. When you combine a quarterback who throws the ball how a pitcher throws a fastball with bad ball placement, the result is never good. Occasionally will he flash the ability to put the necessary touch and arch on his throws, but he lacks the ability to do that on about 90% of his throws.
To coaches, footwork and pocket presence have to be the two most worrisome flaws that Nassib has. In the face of pressure, Nassib panics by dropping his eyes and automatically looking for a way out. By doing that, he doesn't give his receiverrs' routes enough time to develop. Even when not under pressure, he doesn't look comfortable. Nassib's footwork leaves much to be desired, too. NFL defensive backs are going to feed off of the way Nassib telegraph's his throws. When he drops back he automatically turns and directs his body to his first read, practically giving the defense a handout on where he wants to go with the ball (hence the term, 'telegraphing his throws'). Changing his footwork will play a big part on how scouts and coaches look at Nassib at the Senior Bowl and combine.
The last thing I have to mention under the con's section on my assessment of Nassib isn't exactly a struggle of his, but more of something that could make some teams back off on taking him early in the draft: The thing with Nassib is that he has a lot of talent and has a chance to become a good quarterback at the next level, but he's a very raw player. If the Chiefs don't (which they likely will) acquire or sign a Quarterback who can start next season while a rookie learns and develops, Nassib would not be the right pick. He needs a year or two to collect all of the talent he has, and actually put it together. If they do find someone to start and then draft Nassib as a backup-soon-to-be-starter, then that's good. But as a guy that can play right away, he may not be the right pick for teams like the Chiefs, Bills, and Jaguars.
Overall: Ryan Nassib does have his strength's and he sure does have a lot of potential. He's just raw, and has some major flaws with his footwork. You may be wondering how I can speak so highly of a guy and have him ranked so low, right? Well, he's ranked #6 but he could easily be ranked #4 or even #3 in a few weeks after the NFL Combine. Only time will tell. But Nassib is a high-risk high-reward type of guy, and if the Chiefs do find a temporary, or permanent, productive starter outside of the draft, Nassib would be a good pick.
Ryan Nassib vs Louisville 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
4. Mike Glennon, 6'6, 220 LBS
Pros: Mike Glennon comes into the NFL measuring up at a Quarterback friendly 6 foot 6 inches, and has incredible arm strength to go with that frame. Glennon has shown multiple times at his tenure at NC State that he is fully capable of making NFL-type throws, and that he can reach all parts of the field with ease.
When Mike Glennon impressed me the most, was when he went up against Clemson. Early in the game, Glennon put his arm strength and deep ball accuracy on full display for NFL scouts and coaches to see. He made three consecutive throws, two of which were touchdown passes, all far down the field, exactly spot on. Glennon who although is a hit or miss quarterback, has good accuracy on most of his throws down the field, which will definitely impress NFL Personnel. A lot of the throws he makes leave me saying, "Wow" which hasn't happened too many times when watching these 9 QB's.
Next to Glennon's arm strength, is his solid mechanics. He's comfortable when in the pocket and for the most part, doesn't have much to fix when it comes to his pocket presence. He's not afraid to step up in the pocket whether he will get hit or not, and stands tall when pressure is near. Glennon was under pressure often at NC State pretty often due to poor offensive line play.
If Glennon does have an upper hand on a few of the QB's that are nationally ranked ahead of him, it's the fact that the offense that he ran at NC State was similar to an NFL style offense. Learning a new NFL offense and adjusting to a more complex system should be a smooth transition for Glennon, while others may struggle with their new system.
Glennon has a ton of confidence in his arm, which is good to see in a young quarterback. He trusts his arm, and isn't afraid to take a chance down the field even when his receiver is tightly covered. Overall, Glennon is a talented QB prospect with a ton of upside. He definitely has the talent to be the first QB selected, but he's a bit pretty rough around the edges, which I'll let you know about next.
Cons: Inconsistency. What a popular trend this draft, eh? I talked about Glennon's accuracy on throws down the field, right? Although he is accurate down the field, some of his throws are away off. On one throw, he'll hit a tightly recovered receiver right in the chest 30 yards down the field, but on others, it's hard to tell which receiver he was throwing to. Some of that comes from Glennon's confidence in his arm, or should I say, over-confidence. He trusts his arm a little bit too much, and definitely got away with a lot of risky throws that wouldn't be completed in the NFL. He'll need to start looking off safeties and linebackers before he throws, and will need to think before chucking the ball out there for anyone to catch.
Another thing that teams will be cautious about when thinking of the possibility of spending a pick on Glennon, is his weight. For a QB who is 6'6 3/4, and only weighs 220 LBS, one has to question if he can take the beating that NFL quarterbacks do. He'll definitely need to put some muscle on throughout the summer as many people who were at Glennon's Senior Ball weigh-in claim that he doesn't have much muscle tone to him.
Another thing I saw Glennon struggle with was forcing passes. This issue simply could be the effect of an untalented offense and a quarterback trying to do too much, but it's definitely something to look out for.
Lastly for Glennon, is his lack of mobility. This would only be an issue if Glennon was drafted by the Chiefs, because Andy Reid's offense requires a quarterback who can scramble and move around in the pokcet. Glennon just doesn't do that. I wouldn't really count this as a struggle, but it could come into play if he's on the board when the Chiefs have their no. 33 pick.
Overall: All and all, I think Glennon is fully capable of becoming a solid starter. I'm just not sure if it will be with the Chiefs. The kid has an incredible arm, an accurate, low to the ground deep ball, and has good footwork. But his lack of mobility and inconsistency could keep him out of Kansas City. I expect Glennon to be either a late first round pick or an early second. With that arm, he's got a lot of upside, and I could see a team like Arizona or Buffalo taking him, if they don't take a QB in the first round.
Mike Glennon vs Clemson 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
3. Matt Barkley, USC- 6'2, 230 LBS
Pros: Matt Barkley's stock has drastically fallen, and that is truly an understatement. At this time last year, many assumed that he would be the clear no. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. But, he struggled in 2013. Without watching Barkley on film, you'd think that he had a terrible season. That's how the media is portraying it, but that is not necessarily how I see it. I think that Barkley's struggles were extremely over exaggerated. Matt is a smart quarterback, who has a full body of work since he was a four year starter at USC. He played in an NFL type system and spent a lot of time under center, which is always valued due to experience many QB prospects lack with taking snaps under center.
Next to being a smart quarterback, Barkley demonstrates good ball placement on short-medium yardage throws, and sets his receivers up for yards after the catch. Although Matt doesn't have the strongest arm, he makes up for it for the most part with his great accuracy.
Barkley is far from a scrambling quarterback, but he has good pocket presence and can escape the pocket when pressure is near. He does a good job of slipping through the cracks of the pass rush to extend plays, which is something the Chiefs haven't had in a long time.
Lastly, Barkley makes sound decisions, for the most part, and that should translate well at the next level. Barkley's overall grade while he is in the pocket has to be an A+. He can escape pressure, extend plays, has solid footwork, and has a high release point that makes up for his short 6 foot 2 inches frame.
Cons: Barkley's lack of arm strength is likely a turnoff to many NFL scouts and coaches, and it limits what he can do on the field drastically. Because of this, he struggles with being able to fit the football into small windows which more than a few Quarterbacks excel at in this draft class. His ball placement which is good on short-medium throws, gets worse and worse the further he goes down the field.
Matt Barkley was blessed with two of the best WR's in the nation in the past two seasons, and sometimes he got lucky when chucking up touch passes down the field hoping they would come down with the ball. Barkley fell in love with those passes. Too often would he loft the ball into tight coverage, and the result of the play would either be an interception or a batted down pass. NFL Defensive Backs will hurt Barkley if he doesn't fix this problem within the next year. The problem is, his arm strength doesn't allow him to throw bullets down the field, so he throw's more touch passes than the average QB to avoid an under-thrown ball.
Barkley's footwork in the pocket is better than most of the signal callers in this draft class, but that doesn't mean he has zero room for improvement. Yes, he took a lot of hits at USC and wasn't afraid to make a strong throw under pressure. But when the pocket closes in on Barkley, he tends to throw off of his back foot. Barkley has a weak arm to begin with. Then when you add to the fact that he has the tendency to throw off of his back foot, you get a little weary about letting him make throws down the field.
Overall: Matt Barkley is expected to dominate his pre-draft interviews which will lead to his stock rising come April. One team reportedly has already fallen in love with Barkely, so it's not too much of a stretch to say that he can be picked in the middle of the 1st round. Do I think he deserves to be picked that high? No. His lack of arm strength scares me and I'm not so sure he has the potential to improve too much once he advances to the NFL. Barkley has great accuracy, above average footwork and displays great leadership, and has the potential to one day be a good Quarterback. I know that Matt Barkley isn't very well liked here at Arrowhead Pride, but I will repeat what I said earlier in this post: You do NOT, I repeat, do not, decide to draft or not draft a player because of who came before him. If you don't like the idea of drafting a USC quarterback in fear of them panning out how Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart, or Mark Sanchez did, Ok, I understand that. But we all have to understand that the no organization makes a decision on a player because of who came before him. If the Chiefs don't select a Quarterback with their 1st round pick and Matt Barkley is still available with their pick at no. 34, I'd expect them to follow their, "Best player Available" approach and take the USC grad.
Matt Barkley vs Stanford (2012) (via Eric Stoner)
2. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas- 6'2, 220 LBS
Pros: Tyler Wilson is as tough as they come. There is no doubt about that. He took an abnormal amount of hits in his years at Arkansas and stood tall in the pocket again and again after every hit. Wilson is not afraid to make a strong throw while knowing he is going to hit.
Tyler Wilson's arm strength is pretty impressive. He put that arm on full display at the Senior Bowl when accurately making throws from the left hash all the way to the right sideline. He can fit the ball into the tightest of windows and definitely has the confidence to take a few chances down the field, showing that he clearly trusts his arm.
When people talk about the quarterbacks coming out the draft this year, and bring up running quarterbacks, they often think Geno Smith is the best scrambler in the draft. That is not the case. First of all, Geno Smith is a pocket passer. Second of all, Tyler Wilson is the best scrambler in this draft. Many people, sadly, see Geno's skin color and assume that he is a runner, then look at Wilson and see him as a statue in the pocket. Neither of them are, "statues" and both have the ability to run, but Wilson is the better scrambler and evades pressure a little better than Geno Smith does. Wilson reads blitzes well and has that very useful clock in his head that lets him know when he has to pick up whatever yardage he can by running the ball. He was constantly under pressure at Arkansas and is accustomed to being forced to take what the defense gives him, which is a very viable trait in the NFL. Because when you try to do too much, the result is rarely positive.
Tyler Wilson demonstrates above average footwork, better than most of the other QB's in this draft. He doesn't struggle with locking onto one receiver too often either, and when he does find an open receiver he gets the ball and quick and clean. Wilson made a lot of short-medium yardage throws over the middle and was able to set his receiver's up with a good amount of yards after the catch.
Above all, what I was most impressed by with Tyler Wilson, was his leadership. He went through a boatload of adversity going into his senior season with the Bobby Petrino incident, and he also lost his three top receivers from the year before. But he showed that he was the leader of that Arkansas team and that he wasn't afraid to stand up and say it how it is, which he clearly did here: He's a fiery player. I like when quarterback's show emotion because it can turn things around instantly and it can amp up a whole team as a whole.
Cons: Tyler Wilson didn't have too good of a year in 2012, which has to worry some teams a little bit. But he had a bad offensive line, below average wide receivers, and an overall sub-par supporting cast. He went through a lot of adversity this past season, but numbers don't lie. He didn't have that great of a year.
Wilson definitely forced too many passes in the past two seasons, and ended up with 13 interceptions at the end of 2012. That INT. number could've, and maybe should've been a bit higher because he got away with some bad decisions throughout the year.
Ball Placement and accuracy was definitely Wilson's biggest struggles last season. The further Wilson throws down the field, the more his ball dies and gets under thrown. He misses his target too many times and his ball placement will only get worse at the next level unless he can improve it quickly.
Wilson has a quick release but seemed to develop a bad habit: Short Arm-ing passes. this could be the result of having defenders in his face constantly and worrying about hitting his arm on the defenders helmet, but it clearly is affecting his accuracy. Lastly, Wilson's deep ball fails to impress. Tyler has a cannon for an arm and puts a ton of velocity on his shorter passes, but when it comes to his deep ball he puts far too much air under the ball, which causes it to die in air.
Wilson has a few correctable struggles, but his erratic ball placement could be a big problem in the NFL. If he could add an accurate deep ball to his game, he could improve his draft stock drastically.
Overall: Some people are very high on Wilson and think that he can be a top-15 pick, and others think he won't go any higher than the 2nd round. For me, I think he should be taken in the middle of the 1st round. he has an incredible football IQ and displays great leadership on and off the field, but will need a year or two to develop into a quality starter. The Chiefs scouts reportedly really like Tyler Wilson, so there is a small chance that they could take him at #1, but if he will be a Chief he'll either have to drop to #34, or the Chiefs will have to trade up into the 1st round to get him. If Wilson can be coached up by a good coaching staff and polish his skills for a year, he could be that quality starter that so many teams need at this time. But is he worthy of being the #1 pick? No, not in my opinion. He needs to get his ball placement down and will need to work on his decision making before being named a starter at the next level. We'll be seeing Tyler Wilson and the Chiefs in the same sentence for the next 2 months a lot, if I had to guess.
Tyler Wilson vs LSU 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia- 6'3, 220 LBS
Earlier this year when the possibility of the Chiefs having the first pick in the NFL Draft became realistic, it seemed that Geno being that pick come April was imminent. Now? Not so much. Some people are still on the Geno Smith-bandwagon, but others think that picking him #1 one would be a huge reach, and that he isn't the best QB in this draft class. Here's what I saw from Geno:
Pros: What separates Geno Smith from the rest of this class of quarterbacks? His accuracy. Geno by far, has the greatest accuracy in this class. He rarely misfires and often sets up his receivers up for yards after the catch. Although his arm strength is good but not great, that doesn't hold him back as much as you'd expect. Geno excels with touch and timing passes and can anticipate when his receivers routes are going to develop. He delivers on the ball on time with accuracy.
One of the knocks on Geno Smith is that he lacks the experience in playing in an NFL system and needs more work under center. Yes, Geno did play out of the shotgun about 90% of the time at West Virginia, but his best throws came when he was stabilized in the pocket and had his feet under him. This shows that Geno could make better , stronger throws from under center, and that his mechanics could improve. His mechanics weren't perfect at WVU and that could be the cause of playing in the pistol and taking snaps out of the shotgun.
Geno Smith's running ability has been widely misconceived around the football world lately. People think of Geno Smith, and they think of a Cam Newton type of runner. Geno Smith isn't that type of guy. He's not going to burn a defense one a 25 yard run, and he definitely isn't going to have designed run plays called for him. But what he can do, is escape pressure in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield. He can make a play when throwing on the run, and doesn't panic when pressure is near.
Decision making is key for Geno. Someone once said that numbers don't lie, and that phrase directly applies to Geno Smith's TD-INT ratio in this past season. Geno threw 42 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He trusts his arm enough to make the tougher throws, but rarely makes those, "What was he thinking?" decisions.
Geno's understanding of the game and willingness to be coached and improve is something that NFL coaches will like. His struggles are very correctable and if he can be paired with a good coaching staff, like Andy Reid and Doug Pederson, he could shake out a lot of the negatives about his game. Multiple coaches who have worked with Geno Smith in the past have talked of Geno's work ethic admirably.
Lastly, Geno's confidence and demeanor do not fall short of expectations. He's confident in his arm and has made some tough throws at times that some quarterbacks would hold off on. His college coach talked about Geno's demeanor here by saying:
"I've worried about it at times, as far as ‘Is he worrying too much about it, is he too hard on himself?'" said Holgorsen. "He's a competitive kid. But he's also got a really good demeanor as far as being able to shake things off. Just a fantastic demeanor when it comes to shaking stuff off and playing the next play."
His former high school coach from 2010 went on to say:
"His demeanor never changed," said his coach, Damon Cogdell, who once suspended Smith for being late to practice, and pushed him to become a leader. "I could chew him out and bark at him, and some kids they would go in a shell. He never did, just stayed up, firm and high."
Cons: Earlier I noted that Geno's arm strength isn't the best. He does make up for some of it with his ability to provide the necessary touch and timing on a lot of his passes, but he doesn't have the ability to just, "stick the ball in there" and fit the ball into the tightest of man coverage. I'm sure that once geno works out privately with NFL teams, the teams coaches will be sure to test what type of arm Geno has.
Geno Smith's go-to wide receivers at West Virginia were Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. But when defense took away Geno's two primary receivers, sometimes he seemed to be stuck. He locked onto one receiver too much and needs to get better at going through all of his progressions.
Geno's footwork out of the pistol, like I said earlier, is a little sloppy. He doesn't cross his feet when he drops back and will need to improve with where he holds the football, also. There were a few times this past season where Geno was stripped in the pocket because he held the ball too low on his body. He holds the ball at a place where it's easy for defenders to swipe it out of his hands. This is a correctable flaw, and I expect Geno to have it fixed by the time he gets on the field in August.
Overall: With all of the talk of every single option the Chiefs have at Quarterback while sitting with he #1 pick, I still think that Geno Smith is that guy that they need to take. Is he the average #1 Quarterback like the RGIII's, Andrew Luck's, and Cam Newton's? No. But can he develop into one of those guys? Yes. He has the work ethic, and has the skills that you need and want in a franchise quarterback, he just needs to polish them. I think that if he can get drafted by the Chiefs and get coached up for a season by Andy Reid and Doug Pederson, he can develop into a pretty good Quarterback. With a good offensive line and a great running game in Kansas City, he'd be in the right hands.
Geno Smith vs Oklahoma (2012) (via Adrian Ahufinger)
Geno Smith is my guy. But I hope that this post gave you more knowledge on each Quarterback, and that you can make your own opinion on who you want at the helm of the Kansas City Chiefs franchise, if you haven't already. The Chiefs have a lot of decisions to make this off season that will still be affecting them at least 10 years from now. Will they trade for a veteran like Alex Smith? Will Brandon Albert get re-signed, or will they try to get Jake Long in free-agency? What about the next Jake Long named Luke Joekel? Will he be the Chiefs pick? All of that is another topic for another post on another day.
I know this post will receive a lot of differing opinions and a lot of criticism, and I want to hear what everybody else thinks about this Quarterbacks class. Vote in the Poll for who YOU want as the Chiefs QB and I'm sure it'll be talked about in the comment section.
But most importantly............ GO CHIEFS!