Okay, so first off I apologize to those of you who think this isn't long enough to be a FanPost. I'm sorry, but I just don't think a post has to be 2000 words to be well written and make it's points. While I appreciate all the fans and time that it takes to make these posts, it's also a time commitment to read them. I value your time, so my goal is to express my thoughts in as short a post as possible. As Pascal (and others) famously wrote to a friend, "I apologize I didn't have the time to write a shorter letter." Who knows, maybe this will wind up being ridiculously long. This is my first Fan Post.
It's not news to anyone that Quarterback has been the hot button issue for Chiefs fans since the beginning of time (or the beginning of the post Len-Dawson era anyway). We've had some good QBs over the years, but I think everyone can agree we have never had our own "franchise" QB. Even Lenny was picked up after he was cast off from the Browns.
Going in to the off-season, I was excited at the prospect of finally be able to draft the best QB available. As we all know the best QB is usually drafted first overall, and this is the first time we have had the first overall pick. And then we traded for Alex Smith. My immediate reaction was, "Not again! I am sick of getting other teams leftovers. I am sick of getting a proven commodity over taking the draft risk with the potential of getting a superstar QB." Then I calmed down (after a few days) and begin to look at it logically.
Alex Smith is not your normal cast-off. Most cast-offs are not first overall picks. Most cast-offs did not take their team to playoff appearances the previous two years (Alex would have certainly had the 49ers in the playoffs if he hadn't lost his job to Kap). Alex is a good QB. He's a good leader. He's mobile with good pocket awareness. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He's accurate. In short, he does a lot of things right.
What Alex Smith is not is a superstar. He's not the type of guy that can carry a team on his back. He will never "light up" the scoreboard. He will never throw for 4500 yards and 40 TDs. He's not a top 5 QB, and he never will be. There are no absolutes in life, but when I speak I speak in strong likelihoods. A lot of people didn't think Tom Brady would be a Top 5 QB, and look at him now. But then again Tom is a once in a generation type QB, and there are countless 6th round busts for one Tom Terrific.
"Uh, what happened to that concise and pointed post you promised us?", is what you are asking yourself right now. I'm wondering that myself. On to the point!
Let's look at what I consider the 10 best QBs in the NFL right now and what round they were drafted in. We can nitpick one guy should be there, one guy shouldn't. But for the most part we can all agree these are the best QBs.
In no particular order:
Tom Brady (6th round)
Peyton Manning (1st round)
Joe Flacco (1st Round)
Eli Manning (1st Round)
Andrew Luck (1st round)
Aaron Rodgers (1st round)
Drew Brees (2nd round)
Robert Griffin III (1st round)
Ben Roethlisberger (1st round)
Matt Ryan (1st round)
Hmm. I think I'm noticing a pattern here. Besides Brady, the freak anomaly which I already discussed above, all of the best QBs were taken in the first round. Drew Brees was taken in the second round, but it's worth noting that it was the first pick of that round. I also think the scouts agreed Brees had first round talent but were scared by his size.
Two QBs that you could make an argument for being in the top 10 are Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. These guys were both drafted in the third and second round respectively. However, I believe Russell suffered the same fate as Drew Brees, a first round talent that just isn't tall. I don't think scouts will be discriminating QBs based on height so much anymore. Kaepernick is also similar to Brees in that he was picked at the top of the second round (4th pick in 2nd round). He was obviously under-evaluated.
My point is quite simple, as can be seen in my chart above: If you are going to take a QB, take one in the 1st round! Taking a QB outside of the first round is basically like throwing the pick away.
Does that mean that taking a QB in the first round is a lock? Of course not. Drafting is essentially educated gambling, especially QB. Does that mean we should take a QB with our first overall pick? Not at all. What it simply means is that IF we decide to take a QB in this draft, or any, we should be taking them in the first round.
Now with that said, I WANT the Chiefs to take a QB in the first round this draft. If that means trading back in the first to take the best QB, great. If that means using the first pick to get him, great. Just get the best QB in the draft. We don't get that chance very often, so let's take advantage of it.
"But what about Alex Smith?", you ask. Well, as I made clear above, I like Alex. I think he can be a winner. But why risk it? Why not stack the deck in your favor? Why try and get "cute" with the most important position in team sports? You can never have too many good QBs. Here are four possible outcomes if you draft the best QB this year (with assumption that it's Geno for convenience sake).
1) Alex Smith is never able to duplicate what he did in San Francisco and busts with us. But Geno turns out to be a star. - We have our Franchise QB in Geno!
2) Geno busts but Alex shows the past two years were no fluke. He plays as good for us as he did in SF, if not better. - We have a good QB for the next six plus seasons!
3) They both bust. - We know we did absolutely everything we could to address the QB position and try again in the next draft.
4) Alex plays lights out but Geno shows tons of promise too. Or even better steps in for Alex during and injury and looks fantastic. - We have our Franchise QB and the added bonus of trading the other one for a high draft pick.
I just don't see why getting Alex Smith should preclude us from getting the best QB in the draft. Let's stack the deck in our favor. Let's try and put ourselves in the awesome position that San Francisco was this off-season. Let's be the team with two good QBs, trading away one of them for a 1st or 2nd rounder. I'm tired of being the tradee.
Whatever the Chiefs do, they shouldn't be arrogant to think they can find a great QB outside of the first round. If the Chiefs take a QB, they need to take one in the first round.
Thank you Chiefs fans, the best fans in the world (cheap crowd pop), for taking the time to read this post. I apologize for not taking the time to write a shorter one.