Matt Conner of Arrowhead Pride posted a two part thought process that annually, every Chiefs fan should engage in: how did those guys in the Super Bowl get there, and how can we replicate that? It’s a great pair of posts.
The money shot comes in Part One where he breaks down the Colts:
If there’s anything we’ve learned in this 2009 season, it’s the same things we’ve come to learn in the several years up until now: you rise and fall with the quality level of your QB. Of the final four teams, three were quarterbacked by Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Drew Brees. The other featured a dynamic rookie coming into his own, but that team only made it on the back of the NFL’s top defense armed with the NFL’s top defensive mastermind in Rex Ryan. In other words, if you don’t have a top-notch NFL QB, then you better have the best defense (and even then it didn’t work).
And while he seems to posit that the Chiefs are heading on the right track, I believe that the most logical conclusion you can draw from them is that the Chiefs should use that #5 overall pick on Notre Dame’s QB Jimmy Clausen if he’s still on the board (he won’t be), or even consider using it on Oklahoma’s QB Sam Bradford (50/50 chance).
Why? Because the old NFL Draft addage goes: you don’t pass on a franchise quarterback unless you already have one.
And when it comes to Matt Cassel, my friends, the jury is out.
This year’s Super Bowl does make a convincing argument, doesn’t it? You cannot get there without elite talent at QB. So naturally, that should be the position at which you should be the most certain. Spending the #5 overall on QB seems logical if you’re as uncertain about Cassel’s progression as I am.
The timing of this realization (if you’d consider it such) is intriguing. Our new offensive coordinator just joined us after coaching up the best young QB in this Draft. If there’s anybody in this league that can utilize Jimmy Clausen, it’d be former Notre Dame coach and current Chiefs OC Charlie Weis.
Clausen has the capability of being rather special. He comes from a pro offense with good receivers and otherwise questionable talent around him. He has had to make NFL quality throws for his entire career there. And after performing so well at the most widely-televised program in college football, we’d know he’d be prepared for the big stage of Arrowhead Stadium.
Bradford I’m less confident on. Coming off a major injury is one thing, but he stood largely behind the best offensive line in college football his Heisman year, and the couple games that year that he did feel pressure were by most standards very poor games. He would need a considerable amount of grooming compared to Clausen, although I won’t deny that the upside is there.
So you tell me, Addicts: if you are Scott Pioli, and Weis came into your office and said “I can make this kid a stud,” do you turn down Clausen with the 5th overall if he’s still there?