FanPost

Off Season Thread: Division wide positional battles.

Every off season I like to draw parallels between moves the Chiefs made and moves made by the rest of the AFC West. It makes watching the rest of the AFC West a lot more interesting because it becomes more "our guy v. their guy." So things get a lot more personal.

For example, I had Justin Houston v. Von Miller, Matt Cassel v. Kyle Orton, etc. etc.

Most of the time I'll drop comparisons week to week to put our guys production in to perspective but this year I want to put it all in one place, especially considering how similarly our off season's have panned out thus far

Without further adieu.

Alex Smith and Matt Flynn

This is going to be the most fun to watch.

I think we have talked Alex Smith to death here on AP but I will link these awesome articles by juvatbull and MNchiefsfan. If you want to feel optimistic about Alex Smith stop reading at the end of the post. If you want to seriously doubt your feelings about him as a franchise QB go ahead and keep scrolling to the comment section of both. I'll let you decide for yourself what to think of that situation.

Then you have Matt Flynn.

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via sports.cbsimg.net

On the one hand you have a guy, who in his only start ever in his career was able to put up 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in a shootout where every drive was important. Flynn has shown nothing but potential in what little opportunity he has gotten. He has all the credentials as well. He played and flourished in a pro style offense in college and was metored under one of the best QB coaches in the league in Green Bay. The fact that the Raiders had to pony up a draft pick for him at least suggests that he was a desired commodity around the league.

On the other hand, you have the "Cassel factor." The fact that Flynn was surrounded by one of the best receiving cores of all time going against what was one of the worst secondaries to ever take the field makes it easy to dim the light on his time in the sun. Also taking in to account the fact that his own QB coach (Joe Philbin, current HC of the Miami Dolphins.) passed on him in free agency in favor of Matt Moore, (who in Flynn's defense is one of the best backup QB's in the NFL) combined with the fact that both Seattle and Oakland heavily invested in QB's the same off season that they acquired him, and you have reason for worry.

Flynn won't have an ideal coaching situation or the ideal supporting cast that he had in Oakland but what he does have is potential. The fact that he is sort of an unknown commodity that flashed exactly what he had to when he needed to playing at a position that can turn an entire team around makes him a bit scary.

Conclusions.

I think Alex Smith edges out Flynn here. Ultimately I think Flynn starts out the season for Oakland and loses his job to Pryor or Wilson (heh) at some point during the season, while Alex Smith at least starts in Kansas City for three seasons.

Speaking of Quarterbacks. Tyler Bray, Zac Dysert, and Tyler Wilson

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via sinfl.files.wordpress.com

This is a battle that we are going to be looking at either 3 years from now or not at all. There's a good chance that Tyler Wilson will be the only one on an NFL roster three years from now but we'll see how it turns out right?

Tyler Wilson, a former first round prospect saw himself fall all the way to the fourth round before finally getting his name called this past April. Wilson has the arm strength to make every throw, however he had been inconsistent in his time at Arkansas. A less than stellar Senior Bowl week pretty much kicked him out of the first round fairly early in the draft process. Still with all of the physical tools there, maybe he shows the NFL why he was once considered one of the better QB's in the draft.

Same with Flynn, Wilson doesn't have much going for him in Oakland by way of talent and coaching, however he does have time to develop, and with how things are trending in Oakland now, perhaps by the time Wilson is declared a starter Oakland will have the talent necessary to make him a solid QB.

Tyler Bray comes out of Tennessee as probably the best QB since Peyton Manning. However his behavior off the field and his decision making on it were enough to see him go undrafted. Bray certainly has the ability to become a Brett Favre type player with his arm talent, however he has just as much of a chance of becoming Jeff George and falling out of the league relatively early.

In Kansas City Bray finds an ideal situation to prove his doubters wrong. Andy Reid is considered to be one of the best QB mentors in the game, and because of Alex Smith, Bray has time to sit down, learn, and iron out his decision making flaws over time. But the questions remain. Are his problems fixable? Having shown very little signs of progression at Tennessee. Does he want it enough? The only person stopping Tyler Bray from becoming a pro bowl caliber QB in this situation is Tyler Bray. If he wants it enough he has every opportunity to achieve in Kansas City.

Zac Dysert Comes in to Denver as the most well known unknown QB from the draft. Many have already pegged him as the QB of the future in Denver, despite the presence of former second rounder Brock Osweiller on Denver's roster. It's not without reason either. Dysert comes in to the NFL with three years of starting experience playing out of Miami (OH). His claim to fame is having broken all of Ben Rothlisberger's records, while exhibiting all the physical tools necessary to be an effective QB.

Dysert was widely considered a steal in the 7th round and will have the benefit of sitting and learning behind one of the best to ever play the game. Dysert also has the favor of being on a relatively young offense. Should Peyton Manning retire in a few years, guys like Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will still be in peak condition as ready to go top flight targets.

Conclusions

Like I said before I think Wilson has the best chance of doing anything in this group. Osweiller is more than likely not losing sleep over a 7th round rookie who doesn't have the same tools that he does physically. Then in KC with Chase Daniel pretty much locked in to that backup spot, it's going to take a lot for Bray to stick on the roster. Wilson on the other hand is probably #2 on Oakland's depth chart right now and is one injury or horrible performance away from getting serious playing time. On a pure numbers basis it has to be Wilson.

Manti Te'o, Nico Johnson, and Sio Moore

The only team in the AFC West that didn't address the ILB position this past April was the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile the rest of the division looks poised to start rookies at that spot this upcoming season.

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via a.espncdn.com

Manti Te'o comes in an interesting situation. Being a victim of an unfortunate circumstance that was absolutely beaten to death by the media, paired with an uncharacteristically underwhelming performance in the BCS title game, all topped off with a less than stellar combine numbers, plummeted Te'o's stock from top 5 consideration all the way to the second round. Take away all of the clouds the media has cast around him, what's left is the fact that Te'o is one of the most productive linebackers to ever play college football. He played at a high level for four solid years at Notre Dame, whilst establishing himself as one of the best field general's in college football, offense or defense.

In San Diego Te'o has the virtue of playing behind a solid D line, and in front of one of the best Safties in the league. His situation isn't ideal but it should be enough for him to produce very early in his career.

Nico Johnson was the guy on the other side of the field during the national Championship. Johnson is a hard guy to peg. He was consistently solid as a starter for Alabama, but was never spectacular. You could argue that because Alabama had so many play makers on defense it was hard for him to stand out, but in the same vein you could also say he should have done a lot better because of all of the talent around him.

In Kansas City Johnson is fortunate to be playing in a scheme almost identical to the one he played in in Alabama so he'll have a jump on Moore and Te'o. It's a bit of a mystery though, he could be another Jovan Belcher and be just enough to start, but he could also become an all world thumper if the head start in scheme boosts his development.

Sio Moore was a guy that a lot of armchair GM's fell in love with. He's everything you want in a mid round prospect. He played in a less than stellar program at UConn but helped to elevate the entire defense with hyper productive seasons averaging around 90 tackles a season with around 20 backfield disruptions in each season and four interceptions and a handful of pass breakups to go with it.

Moore goes to an Oakland squad that just lost most of it's defense. Guys like him are going to be relied on heavily on day one so it's going to take a lot on his end to make it work. The D line he'll be playing behind isn't what it used to be losing Richard Seymour, Desmond Bryant, and Tommy Kelley in one season.

Conclusions

It's going to be hard for Te'o to not end up being the best here. Moore is in a tough situation while Johnson just isn't that impressive. I understand that Te'o did not show up against the best competition he faced in college but it;s hard to blame him. He had a lineman on him every play, and these aren't just college linemen these guys were all drafted and are expected to start immediately where they were drafted. I understand that he will have to deal with that in the Pros but I doubt that it is a play by play thing for him.

I've always said Te'o's playing style, as lame as it sounds, is very similar to Juniour Seau's. He's not all world as an athlete but he is able to get into the right spot when he needs to be there, I think Te'o is going to have a very long career because of this. Buckle up Chiefs fans.

So that's who I have for this season, who you got AP?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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