(So here it finally is, after getting delayed by the kickoff of Arrowhead Addict Radio. Yeah, OK, also by the NCAA Tourney. Love me some March Madness.)
As many of you heard during the debut of The Best Bros. Show, Zach and I have an ongoing debate over who the Chiefs should take with the number five pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. After much thought and deliberation, Zach says Jake Long if he’s there, I say Matt Ryan no matter who’s there. I say pass on Jake Long if Ryan or Sedrick Ellis are there, he thinks we pass on Ryan no matter what. Arrowhead Addict is at an impasse when it comes to which player we should select with the fifth pick in a mere five weeks.
Zach isn’t sold on Ryan as a franchise quarterback, while I feel he’s the best quarterback to come along since Eli Manning. Zach says you worry about protection along the offensive line first, and who’s throwing behind them second. I say why even worry about protection if your QB isn’t worth a damn. It’s his opinion that franchise left tackles are the player to build a franchise around. My opinion is that all rebuilding efforts must start with a quarterback. We could be given a gift that allows us to do this next month, but if we pass on Ryan it could end up being a curse.
Judging by the strong reaction to Long among Chiefs fans that I’ve witnessed, I’d say that most of you are with Zach on this one. That’s why I had to drop “The Blueprint 2″ on you.
Since the offseason began, and also since my last Blueprint, some things have come to light that have caused me to change my mind about this upcoming draft:
1. Free Agency – After seeing us sit the sidelines during free agency with a few minor exceptions, it is clear that we are in full-fledged rebuilding mode. Every legitimate rebuilding plan must start with a franchise quarterback. This plan has worked for the past two Superl Bowl winners–the Colts and Giants–and the rest of the AFC West has already caught on as well. Rebuilding from the NFL’s most important position down works.
2. 20 Years in the Making – I’ve heard Chiefs fans clamor and whine for a franchise QB for 20 years, and now that he’s here we’re pulling a return to sender. What gives? It’s time for Kansas City to finally have a star quarterback of its own.
3. Alfonso Boone, Tank Tyler and Turk McBride - After tossing this around, I’ve decided that we are better off at the defensive tackle position than the QB position. Additionally, we possibly have the talent to make the unit work. Now, if Ryan is gone I still go with Ellis, because none of our three guys are anywhere near his caliber, but we might be OK at DT after all. If Dorsey passes our exhaustive physical, then the same applies for him.
4. The Plethora of Top Tackles in This Draft Class – I honestly believe that we can get a guy damn near as good as Jake Long or Ryan Clady with the 36th pick. Tony Ugoh went 42nd last year, and I think there will be three or four Ugohs left for us to drive when round two rolls around. There’s about seven or eight really, really good offensive tackles in this draft. I’ve never seen a group this talented. You don’t really take advantage of the class and the way the talent is stocked in this draft if you go Long at five. It just doesn’t set us up as well for round two. The only possible exception is if Long slides to five and Joe Flacco slides to 36, and both those things would be serious, serious long shots. We can draft a corner, guard and receiver in the middle rounds, possibly, possibly, finding a starter or two.
5. Brodie Croyle vs. Matt Ryan – Croyle didn’t win a game last year and couldn’t stay on the field. All Ryan did at Boston College was win, and he was a tough SOB while doing it by all accounts. You see Ryan talk and you say there’s a guy that a team will rally around. You see Brodie Croyle talk and you want to flip him your keys and have him park your car (maybe it’s just how young he looks and the haircut?). While Croyle has been focused on hunting, Ryan was focused on hunting down the like of the Miami Hurricanes while leading B.C. to the BCS. Ryan is a winner, plain and simple. He’s got the size, the smarts, the leadership ability, he can make all the throws, etc. He’s taken a team with mediocre talent and made a winner out it, so he’s perfect for this gig. Kiper sees it. McShay sees it. Peter King sees it. Why don’t my fellow addicts? And can you really call a QB who can’t beat out Damon Huard a franchise guy?
6. The Chiefs’ Brass – Smokescreen, schmokescreen. When you send your head coach, general manager, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach all the way to Boston to scout a kid, you’re interested in him. Of course we’ve played our cards right up until now. Of course we’re saying we are just being diligent. We don’t want to crush Brodie Croyle, and we want Matt Ryan to fall to five. Herm Edwards and King Carl might like Long better, or even Dorsey or Ellis, but they are very interested in Ryan as well. He had a great Pro Day, and it’s looking like he just might fall to us. Now that I know we are actually interested, it’s totally changed my POV.
There’s my six-step blueprint for why we have to select Matt Ryan. Thoughts?