It's no secret the Kansas City defense has been lights out the last few weeks. They seem to have most of the pieces in place (especially with the emergence of Justin Houston) to be dominant in the future. Factor Eric Berry coming back next season and the horses may finally be out of the barn.
Looking forward, there's one massive, looming issue:Who's the quarterback of the future for the Chiefs?
I can't say with absolute conviction that Matt Cassel couldn't be the starting quarterback on a Super Bowl champion. However, I can muse that he will never be the reason his team reaches the promise land. Cassel is a great person by all accounts and tough as nails but the skill set just isn't there. He won't lose you a game, but he'll never win you one either.
Ask yourself the following question: Kansas City is in the playoffs next year (reasonably healthy) and facing Baltimore. The Ravens shut down Charles by stacking eight in the box and roll coverage towards Bowe. Do you have any faith Cassel will dissect them and get the win?
If you have to think about it, then the Chiefs need a new signal caller.
The upcoming draft has the potential to be quarterback laden. If the top four QB prospects come out (Luck, Jones, Barkley and Griffin III) this is a great opportunity for Kansas City to make a franchise altering move.
The Chiefs haven't drafted a QB in the first round since 1983. In a related note, they took Todd Blackledge which might explain why they've been terrified to go for broke again. That history needs to be thrown completely out the window.
Does Kansas City have other needs? Absolutely. It can use an inside linebacker to compliment Derrick Johnson and most certainly would like to have a right tackle to replace the swinging door known as Barry Richardson. However, if you replace those positions the team gets better but not elite. If you insert a really good to great quarterback, this team could win a Super Bowl.
There are no doubt many risks drafting a QB so high. The new rookie wage scale helps a lot but still the obstacles remain. Growing pains are almost certain to come with a young QB, just ask the Jets.
I still believe the time is now to draft one of these kids and go for the ring. The NFL passing rules are much different then they were 20 years ago. Rookie quarterbacks have shown that they can come in and light it up right away (Newton, Dalton, Flacco, Ryan, etc) and the Chiefs are built to deal with some growing pains.
The defense is excellent and if Jamaal Charles comes back at full strength the team can rely on an exceptional rushing attack. Not to mention the kid would have two huge targets in Bowe (provided he's re-signed) and Baldwin to go along with Breaston and Moeaki.
If I had my choice I'd like to see Kansas City draft Matt Barkley. Judging from the looks of records around the league the Chiefs will draft somewhere between slots 9-15. I don't know if Barkley will be there when they draft but Griffin III probably will. I'm not that high on Landry Jones because I question his decision-making ability, but he also might be available.
I would hate to see Kansas City draft a QB if they aren't completely sold on him, but if they are the time is right now. This team has immense talent and the nucleus is locked in for years. Hopefully the Chiefs brass doesn't wait until too much time has passed them by.