As you may have heard – and aswas made apparent in the Chiefs’ 15-0 loss to Oakland on Sunday afternoon – Kansas City needs a quarterback.
Matt Cassel didn’t cut it. Brady Quinn isn’t cutting it. Ricky Stanzi isn’t even getting a chance to cut it. The Chiefs are desperate because not much can improve around Arrowhead Stadium until they find someone to take the snaps and lead them.
Quarterbacks are such a precious commodity, but the Chiefs haven’t exactly treated them as such. In the past five NFL drafts, 59 quarterbacks have been chosen. How many of those have the in-need Chiefs grabbed? Exactly one – Stanzi out of Iowa with a fifth-round choice in 2011.
Kansas City has spent its first-round draft picks the past five years on defensive lineman Dontari Poe (11th overall) in 2012; wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin (26) in 2011; safety Eric Berry (5) in 2010; defensive lineman Tyson Jackson (3) in 2009 and defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey (5) in 2008.
The return on those picks has been sketchy. Yes, Berry looks like he will develop into a defensive mainstay. BUT THE CHIEFS NEED A QUARTERBACK!!!! Defensive mainstays are fine, but until this team can score points it would need a brick wall defensively to win games.
It’s not like the Chiefs haven’t had opportunities to fill their quarterback void. No, they weren’t able to draft the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Matt Stafford or Matt Ryan, all first-rounders chosen before the Chiefs were on the clock in the past five drafts.
But Kansas City could have chosen Peyton Manning’s back-up, Brock Osweiler, who lasted until the second round in the 2012 draft. They could have had either Seattle starter Russell Wilson or Philadelphia starter Nick Foles, who weren’t chosen until the third round in 2012. And they could have plucked Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State. Instead, he went in the fourth round to the Washington Redskins and has been impressive the past two weeks while subbing for RG3.
How good would Russell Wilson look in a Chiefs uniform?
But Kansas City, like so many other NFL teams, thought Wilson was too small to play quarterback in the NFL. Instead of thinking outside of the box, the Chiefs made three picks before Wilson went off the board.
In 2011, the Chiefs could have passed up Baldwin, who has done virtually nothing as a receiver, and gone with quarterback Andy Dalton out of TCU, who wasn’t chosen until three picks into the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Dalton has made a huge difference for Cincinnati.
A quarterback by the name of Colin Kaepernick was also available to the Chiefs in the first round; he wasn’t chosen until the San Francisco 49ers made him a second-round choice in 2011. Former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who is Tom Brady’s lonely back-up in New England, went in the third round. Finally, the Chiefs did pick up Stanzi in the fifth round.
Although 13 quarterbacks were taken in the 2010 draft, seven are already out of the league and none are starters.
But instead of taking Jackson with their first-round pick in 2009, the Chiefs could have gone with either Mark Sanchez or Josh Freeman, a pair of first-round picks taken after Jackson and starting for their respective teams, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And finally, in 2008, Joe Flacco and Chad Henne, starters in Baltimore and Jacksonville, were on the board when the Chiefs took Dorsey with the fifth pick.
So, to recap, the Chiefs, whose recent drafts have hardly been spectacular, have bypassed Osweiler, Foles, Wilson, Cousins, Dalton, Kaepernick, Mallett, Sanchez, Freeman, Flacco and Henne, quarterbacks who to one degree or another could have helped the Chiefs in their position of most need.
Instead, Kansas City was fooled into thinking Cassel was its long-term answer at quarterback only to find out that he wasn’t thanks to a combination of deteriorating talent, coaching changes and negative atmosphere.
It’s difficult to feel bad for the Chiefs, given the ineptitude of their scouting department. I don’t know what Kansas City is going to do after this horrendous season ends, but the place to start is to take a look at the people responsible for evaluating talent. And that starts with general manager Scott Pioli, who has done nothing to distinguish himself after arriving from the New England Patriots’ front office with such high hopes.
Blame this season on Cassel or coach Romeo Crennel if you must, but the biggest problem in Kansas City involves personnel. It’s embarrassing for an NFL team to have zero options at quarterback, yet that’s exactly the situation that faces the Chiefs. And it didn’t have to be that way. Somebody has botched this thing up to almost immeasurable proportions.