If the Kansas City Chiefs are planning on drafting a QB in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, their pool of potential candidates just got a little bit smaller.
USC QB Matt Barkley announced yesterday that he has decided to stay in college for his senior season.
“This 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I plan to play a part in it,” Barkley said. “I have firmly decided to forgo the 2012 NFL draft and finish that.”
Barkley was widely regarded as one of the top three QBs believed to be entering this year’s draft. Stanford QB Andrew Luck is expected to be the first overall pick. Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and Barkley were expected to be potential top 10 picks as well.
More after the jump.
With Barkley out of the picture, there may not be a suitable first round QB available when the Chiefs pick. Kansas City defeated the Green Bay Packers last week, pushing their record to 6-8. Should they win their last two games, the Chiefs will push themselves closer to the 11-16 range of the draft. By then, both Luck and Griffin will likely be long gone.
The Chiefs’ QB situation continues to be unclear. There are still big questions surrounding Matt Cassel and his ability to beat the NFL’s elite defenses. Kyle Orton has now entered the picture as well. Orton has played only one game for the Chiefs but he looked good against the Packers. In fact, as far as wins over quality opponents go, the Orton-led victory over the Packers was more impressive than any of Cassel’s wins in KC.
Still, Orton has bounced around the league and has never been able to catch on as a long-term answer for any franchise. Has Orton’s journey so far just been a series of poor fits or is he just an inconsistent QB capable of playing well sometimes, but not all the time?
The Chiefs will have some big decisions to make this offseason. Should they try to re-sign Orton and have him fight it out with Matt Cassel for the starting job or should they pick just one or the other? While competition could help both QBs, there is a chance that having both Orton and Cassel on the same roster could cause a big distraction the Chiefs will want to avoid.
The wild card in all this is rookie QB Ricky Stanzi. It is likely both Orton and Cassel are better QBs right now than Stanzi, however, Stranzi presents an unknown upside. This season would have been a prime opportunity to get a look at Stanzi but thanks to Todd Haley’s love affair with Tyler Palko and the fact that the AFC West title is still within reach, we are unlikely to get a look at Stanzi this season.
It is a tough situation and one that if the Chiefs don’t get right, could set the organization back quite a bit.
What do you think, Addicts? Cassel? Orton? Cassel and Orton? Trade up for RGIII? Stanzi, RGIII and Orton? Stanzi, RGIII and Cassel?
What should the Chiefs do?