Too soon? Maybe, but the sad truth is nothing hints that the Kansas City Chiefs will recover from their steady slide to the bottom of the NFL. So the major debate begins. Should they gear their draft around Geno Smith or Matt Barkley?
Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn failures show Chiefs clear priority
Looking ahead to the NFL draft with eight games left to play is not a place any team likes to sit. Still, at 1-7 the reality is clear for Kansas City. They haven't led in a single game this season (their only win came in overtime against New Orleans). The team looks listless, leaderless and lacking any sort of urgency. All those problems start at the top with the coaches and most of all the quarterbacks. In a league tailor-made for the passing game, quarterbacks decide the difference between wins and losses. The Chiefs tried to make it work with Matt Cassel who led them to playoffs in 2010 but that year seems more and more like overachievement. Their other option, former first round pick Brady Quinn has looked just as bad. Granted the team doesn't have the best pass protection but experts will argue there is too much talent on the roster to look that bad. That point to an inescapable truth. Neither quarterback is good enough. That is why the draft next April is so important. Unless the Chiefs get a late run going, they most likely will contend for the top pick. The question becomes who do they take?
Barkley vs. Smith a battle of NCAA wins and stats
Much like this season with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the 2013 draft seems destined to come down to a two-quarterback race for the top pick. Again it's a case of the well-rounded product versus the high-ceiling. Matt Barkley of USC and Geno Smith of West Virginia are, by far, the top two passers in NCAA college football. Nearly every mock draft has them going in the first five picks with one or the other as the first overall. For Kansas City it comes down to what their front office sees. Their competition for the top pick is thin. Carolina (1-6) already has Cam Newton, New Orleans has Drew Brees and Cleveland drafted Brandon Weeden this year. The only real threat is Jacksonville but their first round pick from 2011, Blaine Gabbert has improved the past few weeks. So the argument comes down to which quarterback the Chiefs want. The stat line favors Smith, who has more passing yards (2417), touchdowns (26) and fewer interceptions (2) than Barkley (2266, 25, 8). On the flip side, Barkley plays better teams as quarterback of USC and still posts good numbers. Smith failed to pass 14 points in two straight games against Texas Tech and Kansas State. That said the arguments are balanced. Everything will depend on what the Chiefs want, especially since their GM Scott Pioli may get fired after the season.
Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn failed to reach the expectation of the Kansas City Chiefs. It now falls to see if Matt Barkley or Geno Smith gets the next shot.
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