Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Romeo Crennel has said he’s comfortable with Matt Cassell at quarterback, given Cassell’s key role on the 2010 AFC West championship team. That’s logical enough. But no one would consider Kansas City to be set at quarterback. Today we’ll look at whether there are realistic options in the draft for getting an heir apparent if 2012 doesn’t go well for Cassell.
For the sake of this post, we’ll rule out any possibility of trading up to the #2 spot to take Robert Griffin III. There’s a sharp drop-off after the Andrew Luck/RG3 duo, meaning Kansas City would be almost certainly in position to select one in the first round and probably in the second. You can read about Nick Foles, the Arizona quarterback currently graded in a spot where he would be a possibility for the Chiefs in the second round. Here are four more possibilities…
Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M): The Aggie quarterback has the potential to be the most overvalued pick in the draft, especially if he goes in the first round as the third QB chosen. Tannehill’s strengths are limited. He throws the ball accurately in the short-to-mid range and between the hashes. He moves well outside the pocket and throws well on the run. That’s enough to make him a good college quarterback, but when there are concerns over your footwork in the pocket, your tendency to force throws into coverage and overall arm strength, that’s a reason not to take you in the first round. Or the second round.
Brock Osweiler (QB, Arizona State): Osweiler has a much higher upside. At 6’7”, he’ll be able to see over any defensive front. His arm strength is good and his release is tight and compact. While scouts want to see him improve his reading of blitzes, this is certainly something that can be developed. While Kansas City isn’t looking for a quarterback, I could see the logic of considering him the best player available if he was on the board at #11 or #12 (the Chiefs will pick in either spot, pending a coin flip with Seattle). And with Osweiler being a player for whom evaluations are ranging wildly, he could become the falling pick and slip out of the first round. If that happens, it’s certainly worth KC’s while to trade up in Round 2 and grab him.
Brandon Weeden (QB, Oklahoma State): He’s an old college senior at 28 years old, which is easily the biggest knock against him coming into the NFL. The fact he has to adjust from a spread offense doesn’t help, nor does the fact that his mechanics aren’t pro-caliber. Weeden showed a tendency to lock in on a single receiver—which is fine, when you’re in college and Justin Blackmon is your target. It’s not fine in the NFL. I can’t imagine a logical reason for Kansas City taking Weeden at any point in the draft.
Kirk Cousins (QB, Michigan State): I had the chance to see several of his college games and he’s very accurate and tough. Those are the attributes the scouts love. The problem Cousins faces is that he’s better before the snap than after. As in, the recognition and audibling are there, but when the heat comes, his skill level isn’t enough to make it happen consistently. The scouting report on Cousins reads like one on his way to a fine career in coaching. Less so as an NFL quarterback.
The bottom line? Osweiler is the only quarterback worth thinking about if you’re a Kansas City fan and the possibilities there depend on where he’s ultimately valued at by scouts when we get to April 26.