End The Drought, Draft Geno Smith Now! PART I of III

End The Drought, Draft Geno Smith Now!  PART I

PART II will post Thursday at noon eastern 11 central, PART III, Friday, 10 eastern 9 central.


As time goes by, one thing has become perfectly apparent: there is not a clear cut number one pick in the 2013 NFL draft. However, this too, is also clear: the Kansas City Chiefs have not drafted a first round quarterback since they took Todd Blackledge with the 7th pick in the 1983 NFL draft. So, what’s the answer?

End the drought, draft Geno Smith now.

Sound irrational? Not really. Not at all.

In the Kansas City Chiefs space-time continuum there are several truths that have taken hold of the organization and one of those is: the Chiefs are one of the scant few (2) teams, who have not selected a QB of any kind (franchise or otherwise) in the first round of the draft for more than three decades.

The Drought Sequence

The chart below shows all of the QBs taken in the first round by their respective teams with the year they were taken posted in red.

68 QBs have been taken in the first round since the beginning of the 1983 NFL draft. The only team with a longer first round QB drought than the Chiefs? The New Orleans Saints. The Saints haven’t taken a QB in the round one since they choose Dave Wilson with the last pick in the first round of the 1981 draft (back when the supplemental draft came at the end of round one). However, I don’t believe the Saints are interested in a QB any time soon.

The modern day Chiefs haven’t employed a 1st round franchise caliber QB since Joe cool fashioned a Chiefs uni for 25 regular season games in the early 90’s. Yes, Trent Green was good but, not a franchise keeper who was around long enough to impact the organization for a decade or more like many top flight QBs.

This is also the reason that everyone, and I mean everyone, who talks Chiefs lore, mentions Len Dawson and only Len Dawson, when it comes to home grown QB cooking in Kansas City since the birth of the franchise in 1960 (I hope I’m not bursting any bubbles here but, the Chiefs didn’t draft Lenny, that would be the Steelers). So very many franchises have a long lineage of QBs to bring to the parade. The Chiefs have Len Dawson and a leftover bag of nuts.

The Fandalsim

This is not about Andy Reid. This is about Kansas City and the identity of our beloved mid-western values which we associate so closely with the team. Especially the mid-west value: not losing a sense of what is genuinely important. I hope Mr. Reid understands that the Hunt family owned tradition, which also bears the monogram of this fair city’s name, is dearly and genuinely important to us.

This is not about John Dorsey. It’s about about the history of this franchise and the immediate future of the team. The only way to resolve this conflict between the ghosts of GMs past and the ghosts of GMs future, is for the GM of the present to take the Best QB Available (BQBA). That would be Geno Smith.

Many fans are happy about the Andy Reid hire. However, if he can’t produce a new and formidable QB forthwith… he might as well be named Herman Edwards or Todd Haley.

John Dorsey might be in this for the long haul, the marathon, as he put it at his first Monday presser, but, unless Chiefs fans see a potential franchise QB in place, by August 1st, 2013, then the team might as well call in another 2-14 record for next season too because the KC Chiefs faithful have already seen, and heard, it all before. Consequently, the disappointment and discontent will carry over from previous years and previous GMs into next year and onto this GM. I hope John Dorsey gets that.

K.C. fans are not only enervated (the opposite of energized) by the national sports media’s endless droning on and on about this organization’s not taking a QB in the first round for three eternal decades but, the hyped up hopeless hoopla of having one abysmal QB after another trotted out onto the Arrowhead turf for yet another immortal drubbing. This paradigm (model, pattern) has worn perilously thin for a growing number of Chiefs fans who are considering giving up on the team. For the first time in my years of following and covering the Chiefs, I am hearing fans say, “I’m out… if they keep this up.”

The Coach’s Reproach

Past coaches and GMs were plenty aware of this too… and please notice, none of them are still around. On Thursday, January 17th, ex-Chiefs coach Herman Edwards had the following conversation in a WHB 810 interview,

“Edwards: I love Matt Ryan, I really do. We were maybe one pick away from (making) him a Chief… but, anyway, it’s another story. Interviewer: That was a coin toss year (08) wasn’t it? Edwards: (chuckles) Yea, yea, yea, boy.  Don’t even go there.”

It almost sounds as if Edwards thinks he’d still be coaching in KC… if that had happened.

Dick Vermeil was so aware of the Chiefs first-round-franchise-QB-abstinence that he traded away 1st, 2nd and 5th round picks in 2001 to get 31 year old QB Trent Green (I would like to take this moment for a public service announcement: Geno Smith is 22). Now, Green was a very good QB. His 5 ½ year career with the Chiefs was solid but… was it worth all the picks used to get him? He didn’t lead the Chiefs to even one playoff win. Chiefs fans haven’t seen a playoff win now for nearly 20 years.

Andy Reid and John Dorsey may like… even love… Kansas City and the legacy of this franchise. However, one must question whether or not they can ever fully comprehend the pain and suffering that devoted Chiefs admirers have endured for lo, these many years. For Chiefs-partial patrons every autumn Sunday has become a nightmarish Groundhog Day all over again replete with the evils of no first round QB and… and if not for the hope that a king would come in the first round on draft day… all would appear to be lost. Losing + losing ≠ winning.

We can only hope new leadership doesn’t expect fans to pledge their Chiefs allegiance without a King for the Kingdom. We are not pawns to be deployed upon the season ticket holder game board of life (however, here’s your Season Ticket Holder Signing Bonus). Don’t you hope that during this off season that the Chiefs will do something that has a bit more grandeur with the roster than offering micro-monetary incentives to increase fan attendance at Arrowhead?

The greatest incentive of all, of course, would be to end this drought by drafting top rated Geno Smith. It begs the question: why wouldn’t the Chiefs want to make the most influential decision they could make in the past thirty years when they have the opportunity to do just that? You would hope Dorsey and Reid would grasp the historical significance to this organization. If not, their stay here may be shorter than Mr. Pioli’s.

The Pioneers

In 2004, many analysts had Robert Gallery going before Eli Manning in the pre-draft days. There was tons of speculation about who the number one pick would be in 2005 when Alex Smith went first and Aaron Rodgers fell to #24. Everyone was shocked, including moi, when Super-Mario went ahead of Reggie-snake-in-the-Bush. Neither Cam Newton nor Sam Bradford was a lock to go number one at this same stage in the game so let’s not get our panties in a bunch just because of a few misguided analysts who haven’t seen the light about Geno yet.

Keep in mind that Andrew Luck was not the consensus best QB in last year’s draft. There were plenty of RGIII dissenters, including yours truly. Yes, Andrew and Robert were the obvious standouts among the 2012 class prospects and that’s the appropriate reason they should have gone where they went: 1 and 2.

In PART II tomorrow, you’ll find the 3 important factors in this movement to get GS drafted #1 by the Chiefs including an evaluation of Luke Joeckel, Jarvis Jones, and Star Lotulelei with the reason why Geno is a better choice than any of those prospects. See you then.


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