With the NFL Combine scheduled near the end of the month, Kansas City Chiefs fans will be watching the quarterback prospects up close. Will John Dorsey invest in a first round quarterback? Will the Chiefs wait until later? It's impossible to know for sure, so we asked Dan Kadar, SB Nation's own draft expert, to answer some questions about the players we should be watching when the Combine arrives.
Of the top-rated quarterbacks at this stage in the pre-draft process, who do you believe is the most likely to fall late into the first round and possibly out of it?
My answer isn't based on how I have them rated, but I'd say Deshaun Watson of Clemson if he happens to measure shorter than expected at the scouting combine. Some teams just don't want a quarterback who is prone to running, and his accuracy can be spotty at times.
Would you say any others are likely to fall to where the Chiefs are sitting in the first or do you think Watson is likely the only candidate of the oft-mentioned top options (Trubisky, Kizer, Mahomes)?
Considering the amount of teams in the top 12 that need quarterbacks, right now I see it as being unlikely. The position gets overdrafted in general, and this is a year where so many teams need them that there will be a demand.
You mentioned Watson's height. Is that going to be the most examined aspect of Watson's draft stock coming into the Combine? Are there other things as well?
His height will be the easiest excuse to drop him. He's listed at 6'3 by Clemson, but if he measures in the 6'1 range, I think that's when you'll see more negative opinions about him percolate. One of the issues with Watson is the system at Clemson that he's coming out of. It's really different compared to what most NFL teams do. It also doesn't help that his accuracy, particularly over the middle, leaves something to be desired. His interception total - 32 in the last two seasons - is bad. A lot of that stuff can get overlooked because when he's on, you see a stellar athlete with a good arm who won a lot of games in college.
Is there a quarterback who could leap into the first round with the right week at the NFL Combine? Someone like a Brad Kaaya or Davis Webb, for example?
I don't see either of those guys vaulting quite that high. I think the player to watch is Mahomes. After the top three guys, he slots right in there. Considering the needs, I could see a desperate team making a move back into the first round to target Mahomes. What will be interesting is if a team targets the pick in front of Kansas City to make that move.
As KC fans watch the QB position, not only up top but maybe for later gems, who is someone to watch at the Combine? Do you have a favorite hidden gem?
His career at Ole Miss was at times a complete disaster on the field, but I've always had a soft spot for Chad Kelly. There's a lot going against him, including injury and stuff he brought upon himself, but when he's locked in there is a lot of talent there. I think he'll get a chance, and then it's up to him to capitalize on it.