If I may, I have some unsolicited advice for the Kansas City Chiefs: don’t take a quarterback with the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. It’s just not worth it. No quarterback in this year’s draft class deserves to be the top overall pick, and I promise you, when you pick again with the 34th overall pick, there will be a quarterback available for you that will do just fine.
The quarterback the Chiefs are eyeing as the top pick in the draft is Geno Smith of West Virginia. Smith is appealing because of his 71% completion percentage and over 4,200 yards this past season that went along with 42 touchdowns and six interceptions, but if he had been available in last year’s draft, Smith would have been the fourth quarterback picked at best, and would have been lucky to be among the top-20 picks.
Smith’s astronomical stats are a bit of fool’s gold, as most of his yards were racked up against porous Big-12 defenses and his high completion percentage was exaggerated by a lot of bubble screens and glorified hand-offs. He also had the advantage of having two the best wide receivers in this year’s draft, Tavon Austin and Steadman Bailey, doing a lot of the work for him. Smith could end up being a quality NFL quarterback, but such status is far from a guarantee, and he’s likely to never live up to the stature of being the top overall pick in the draft.
If the Chiefs were to wait until the second round to take a quarterback, there would still be plenty of good options available. Matt Barkley of USC, who was considered to be the top overall player available heading into the 2012 season, could still be available, and would give the Chiefs a talented quarterback and a good value pick, as Barkley has plenty of playing experience and a good understanding of pro-style offenses. Even if Barkley isn’t available, at least one out of the trio of Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, Mike Glennon of N.C. State, and Ryan Nassib of Syracuse should still be on the board at the start of the second round.
There are varying opinions on these quarterbacks, but all three would be worthy of the 34th-overall pick, and all three would give Kansas City a better option at quarterback than the Matt Cassell-Brady Quinn tandem they put on the field last season.
It’s clear that quarterback is the biggest need for the Chiefs, and it’s easy to see why they would be in a hurry to fill that need with the top overall pick in the draft. But the Chiefs need to exercise some patience, and not reach for a quarterback just because they the first pick in the draft. Good things come to those that wait, and if Kansas City can wait until the second round, there will still be a good quarterback available for them to take.