Since 1983 when the Kansas City Chiefs passed up on Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Jim Kelly to draft Todd Blackledge seventh overall, the Chiefs have moved away from picking quarterbacks high in the draft. They have since adopted an “another team’s trash is our treasure” policy. The Chiefs’ favorite dumpster to dig through has been the San Francisco 49ers‘ as they have grabbed five former 49er QBs since 1988.
Steve DeBerg, Joe Montana, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith all have winning records with Kansas City, so the policy hasn’t been all bad. A lot of the wins compiled by these guys had more to do with great defense than great quarterback play, but regardless, there has been watchable football under their leadership.
Smith could very well be the best former 49er pickup for the Chiefs. Obviously Montana is the best quarterback of the bunch, but as far as best QB for Kansas City, Smith has the opportunity to take that title. Montana joined the Chiefs at the age of 37, and while he led them to the AFC Championship Game in 1993, he could only give the team two years.
At the age of 29, Smith still has several good years left, and he is off to an amazing start. While still building chemistry with a new coach, new system, new teammates, and with an inconsistent offensive line, Smith has been getting the job done masterfully. Under his watch the Chiefs have made history as the first team to go 5-0 after losing 14 games the season before.
It’s been a tremendous start, but if Smith wants to top Montana in Kansas City, making the playoffs won’t be enough, he has to win. The fans are starving as KC is coming up on the 20th anniversary of their last playoff victory when Montana led the team to a win over the Houston Oilers.
Winning a playoff game should not be a Halley’s Comet situation. Soon enough, the elderly will be telling stories to their grandchildren about how they remember the Chiefs’ last playoff win. If Smith can put a stop to that, he will definitely be Kansas City’s favorite 49er castaway.