Former GM on Chiefs' Alex Smith: 'Not as good as Rich Gannon, but like him'

Stephen Dunn Getty Images Sport

Former Bears GM Jerry Angelo ranks Alex Smith ahead of Jay Cutler and just behind Colin Kaepernick. Read on for Jerry Angelo's QB rankings from the 2013 season.

When Phil Emery left the Kansas City Chiefs front office, he was joining the Chicago Bears as GM, a job where he was replacing a man named Jerry Angelo, the now former Bears GM. Angelo is out of football at the moment and filling at least some of his time writing.

This list of Angelo's top 2013 quarterbacks is fascinating considering it's from a true football guy. The rating scale ranges from the league's elite talent (Peyton Manning) to the other talent (Branden Weeden).

Alex Smith did not make the top group, which included Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck. No surprise there as people aren't arguing he's elite.

He did make the second batch of players on Angelo's list, a group described as: "Played at a high level. Was one of the reasons - but not the reason - for his team's success... not elite." That group included Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith and Nick Foles.

If this is a list, Alex Smith comes in at No. 11 (and three out of the four quarterbacks behind him have a $100 million deal ... oy).

Even more interesting than Smith being on the second level of quarterback rankings is this description from Angelo in which he invokes the name of someone very familiar to KC Chiefs fans.

Has a high IQ in the classroom and on the field. He's mobile and tough. He's not as good as Rich Gannon, but like him. He consistently maximizes on the extent of his abilities.

Fair assessment? I gotta say, I sure do love hearing him compared to Rich Gannon. Since Gannon once won the league MVP, I'm not sure how far you can take that comparison, but I can see it. (Some people will just read the headline to this piece and jump straight to the comments to remind us that Gannon was once an MVP.)

What's interesting to me are those two attributes Angelo listed -- mobility and toughness. Those were two things that I learned about Alex Smith just this year. I had no idea he was as mobile as he is, a legitimate factor in some games. I also had no idea he was as tough as he was. Smith started every game this season (save the Week 17 rest game).

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