Chiefs Should “Just Say No” If Geno Doesn’t Throw

Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Before I begin, allow me to clarify my position: I’m convinced that Geno Smith should be the player the Kansas City Chiefs take with the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. I believe he can help turn this organization around and bring championship-caliber football back to this town. If John Dorsey selects any other player with the #1 pick I’ll be supremely disappointed. That said, there is one scenario where I’d co-sign that decision. If Geno Smith doesn’t throw at next week’s NFL Combine, I’ll completely understand it when the Chiefs draft another player with their top choice.

As crazy as that sounds, I mean every word of it. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have complicated Geno Smith’s path to the draft. Their success in 2012 has everyone convinced that Smith is an inferior quarterback prospect unworthy of the #1 overall pick. I’m not sure that I disagree with the notion that they were better prospects. I can be persuaded that they were both safer choices than Smith, but I also realize how being drafted just one year after the two of them has informed the dissenting opinions of the talking heads and draftniks.

People tend to forget that the word ”inferior” is a relative term. Luck and Griffin were better prospects, but that doesn’t change the fact that Geno Smith is a blue-chip talent. The problem is that he’s been compared to the two of them endlessly over the past six months. Their record-breaking rookie campaigns certainly didn’t help. If Smith were a quarterback in 2014′s class, I think we have a different discussion on our hands.

Geno’s situation is further compounded by a weak quarterback class surrounding him. The 2012 quarterback class produced five Week 1 starters, three of which lead their respective teams to the post-season. That class is already being heralded as one of the best of all-time.

With all of this in mind, how can Geno Smith become the consensus #1 pick over the next ten weeks? The answer is simple. The surest way to be taken #1 overall is to throw at the NFL Combine next week. There’s been some question about whether or not he will do that. Smith is currently training with former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke at the IMG Academy. There are a few problem areas in his game that he’s hoping to sort out before the draft. If there’s a knock on the kid, it’s his inconsistent mechanics.

Smith could stand to drive his throws more often. His leg drive can vary and that often causes his passes to “hump.” He also needs to work on having a more stable follow through. He can be sloppy at times and that has an effect on his ball placement. Poor follow through creates passes that sail. The difference between a completion in the collegiate ranks and the NFL is striking. If Smith can shore up his footwork and delivery, he’ll be able to achieve optimal results with an otherwise exceptional arm.  Fitting passes into a smaller window will require better and more consistent mechanics. Geno needs time to work out the kinks in his game, but hopefully he won’t abstain from an opportunity to throw next week.

I’ll be concerned if Geno Smith opts not to throw at the NFL Combine. There’s far too much discussion about how no quarterback in this class is worthy of the #1 pick. Geno can separate himself by having a strong performance. If he doesn’t, that will leave me with serious concerns about how confident he is in his own abilities. It’s not uncommon for top quarterback prospects not to throw in Indianapolis, but this is a unique situation. The position isn’t as settled as it was in 2012. The best way to silence the experts is to make the trip to Indianapolis and prove that he’s the top choice in this year’s class. Not just among the quarterbacks, but among all positional players coming out of college.

It’s been 30 years since the Chiefs last drafted a quarterback in the opening round. Do the Chiefs really want a quarterback who’ll wait until mid-March (WVU’s Pro Day) to make his case as this year’s top quarterback? The most important position on the field requires a level of confidence that borders on arrogance. Pro Days rarely hurt top quarterback prospects because they’re much more controlled and scripted. Smith can end the debate by stepping onto the field in Indianapolis, alongside the other quarterback prospects, and making his case with his arm. If he doesn’t, I’ll have no issue with the Chiefs drafting Star Lotulelei.

I know this is unlikely to sit well with some members of Chiefs Kingdom. As always, you’re welcome to disagree in the comment section below. For his sake (and ours), I hope he decides to throw next week so that we can move forward. I’m sick of hearing about how the organization will be reaching to take him with its top pick. Give ‘em Hell next week Geno! Do us all a favor and keep Alex Smith out of the red and yellow uni next season.

Until next time, Addicts!

Topics: Kasas City Chiefs

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  • shayaan
    • Stacy D. Smith

      Good deal.

      • Darkwolf1414

        HELL YEAH! I’m with you, Stacy, I want to see this kid throw! I have been worried that he wasn’t going to, at the combine. Sounds like he’s got people around him who can read what’s going on out there. Good read, Stacy.

    • Daniel Mayfield

      What is the date and time for the combine?

      • Stacy D. Smith

        February 20th-26th.

        • Daniel Mayfield

          Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/keegan.dawkins Keegan Dawkins

      hell yeah i would love geno smith as number 1 like why would u want a gutsie qb anyhow thats interception all day for wilson

  • http://twitter.com/SteveMiller31 Steve Miller

    It’s been beaten to death everywhere, but I firmly believe in John Dorsey’s BPA philosophy. Reaching for T Jax when the Chiefs needed DE help didn’t exactly pan out. Yes, KC needs a QB desperately, but I don’t think reaching for Geno is the way to go. Let’s wait and see how free agency goes. We may not need to take a QB No. 1 by then.

    • Norman Gunn

      I keep hearing about free agency. Who is out there worth paying for? Please don’t say Alex Smith. Matt Cassel’s and Alex Smith’s career stats are very similar..

      • Norman Gunn

        I am sorry, I will take that back. Matt Cassel’s career stats are better then any quarterback who will be available this off season who has played in more than 5 games.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Smith completed 70% of his passes this season. When has Cassel EVER done that? Mind you, I’m not even in the “Sign Alex Smith” camp.

          • Norman Gunn

            I am 100% draft Geno camp. It seems over the last few weeks that people are saying not to draft a QB and grab one up some magical way during the off season. I only brought up Cassel to statistically show that the available quarterbacks suck.. Suck worse than Cassel……

          • KCMikeG

            So TRUE!

          • Drewfish

            but he only played half the season… there’s no way he would have kept up 70% all year. Not to mention he had the offensive line and run game to allow him to have 70%. If he had our oline and unpredictable run game he wouldn’t have fared as good.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            He threw the ball as much as Kaepernick (218 attempts). Check the numbers, Smith was more efficient.

            Cassel couldn’t do that over half of a season.

          • KCMikeG

            Ten games with a SB caliber team. Look at his career and he is worse than Cassel.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Not true. Their numbers are almost identical. That still underscores your point though. Smith was a former #1. That’s the long view though. As of right now, Smith is progressing. Cassel is regressing. Today, I’d rather have Smith.

    • KCMikeG

      Geno is NOT a reach. He is the BPA. Plus our biggest need. He will silence doubters at the Combine.

  • 40yrsfan

    Nick Foles!

  • Chelsii.

    Such a refreshing view on the Chiefs draft. First time I’m hearing they should go QB. So inventive.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Did you read the article? Have you read many articles that say the Chiefs shouldn’t take Smith if he doesn’t throw?

      • Chelsii.

        Yes and no. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Danny W

    Barkley is going to throw, so I hope Geno Smith does as well. I can’t wait for the combine. I love the forty times.

  • tm1946

    If Geno’s agent tells him not to throw, he will not. He keeps his position in the draft standing there doing nothing. Can the Chiefs afford a guy who will not take a chance and show his skills?

  • Chiefswatch

    Gil Brandt tweeted he will do all workouts.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      All smiles.

  • Elvis Grbac

    I’m slowly getting off the Geno Smith Bandwagon. I could jump back on if they do something drastic before the draft, such as signing any of Bowe/Wallace/Welker. I just don’t see the point of drafting a young quarterback and ruining his confidence because he has no one to throw to. Otherwise, I believe they should just sign Alex Smith (or Carson Palmer if he is released, as some have mentioned) as a stop gap, to see if there is a better option in 2014. And/Or taking someone like Tyler Wilson in the second round, while using Smith as the teacher. Or in a perfect world, trading for Ryan Mallett

    And if that’s the case — and I am sure I will be in the minority here — I want Dee Milliner in the first round. This team needs another cornerback and I have heard some comparisons of Milliner to Charles Tillman.

    • KCMikeG

      If Albert is healthy and we franchise him to make sure and we are completely crazy and don’t draft Geno then I would agree with you on Millner. After QB the CB position is our biggest need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647645645 Jordan Clark

      I like Dee a lot. But Tyler Wilson will not fall to the second round. If he does, Ill be shocked. I would take him over Geno anyway.

      • Elvis Grbac

        I’m not real convinced about that. A lot of the mocks I have seen have Smith, Barkley and Glennon going before Wilson. I would go Smith, Wilson, Nassib, Glennon and Barkley in the second round, in that order. One of those guys will be there. I am convinced in that.
        In the third round, I would go with the best available WR — be it in the draft or using that pick to trade for a WR.

      • Kyle ferguson

        Hell yes! If you look at Tyler Wilson you can’t help but fall in love with the guy big arm and maybe one of the gutsiest players to play the position… He did throw a lot of picks last year but he’s a gun slinger so he’s going to try and fit it in small windows. Some times it will work other times it will make him look bad, but to me the biggest criticism off Matt last year was he played scared, if I can make any promises about any qb in this draft it’s that Tyler Wilson will not play scared. With that said if you don’t go qb take dee or the guard from bama throw him on that left side and let jc get loose

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Tyler Wilson will be one hell of a consolation prize if we don’t take Geno #1. I won’t cry in my beer if Wilson’s our 2013 starter.

    • Jason Ray Brawn

      I agree with you i think Dee in the first and Wilson in the second if Geno doesent throw or if he throws bad. And i think a trade for Mallet would be a good move.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      He’ll have some weapons offensively. Not drafting a quarterback because we won’t have the league’s best wide receiver corps is a mistake. Finding a franchise quarterback is much tougher than finding quality receivers.

      • Elvis Grbac

        Who is to say you are going to even be drafting a franchise quarterback with Geno Smith? He struggled against the better teams in the Big 12 and the Big 12 isn’t exactly the best football conference.

        I don’t think they need the league’s best receiving corps, but without Bowe, they have no receivers. Moeaki is fine, but without any receivers he will never be open.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          He struggled against the Big 12?
          vs. Baylor, 8 TD’s 0 INT’s
          vs. Texas, 4 TD’s 0 INT’s
          vs. TCU, 3 TD’s 1 INT
          vs. OSU, 2 TD’s 0 INT
          vs. OU, 4 TD’s 2 INT’s
          vs. KU, 3 TD’s 1 INT

          There was only one game where he threw more picks than TD’s (KSU). I’ll throw the Texas Tech game in as well. TWO bad games against the Big 12.

          • Elvis Grbac

            TDs and INTs isn’t the only thing to be looking at. How about Completions? His 2012 comp% is inflated because he threw nearly 90% against bad teams like James Madison, Marshall, Baylor and Kansas. Against good teams? Against Oklahoma — whom was really the best team in the big 12 — he reached 57%. What if he had faced an even better team such as Alabama or just about any other SEC team? I just don’t think Smith is as accurate as some claim. Tyler Wilson’s numbers are not as impressive as Smith’s, but he had respectable numbers against much better defenses.

            Maybe the Chiefs should just roll the dice that Aaron Murray has a good year next year and is available when they draft in the first round.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Okay, have it your way (SAME games)…
            vs. Baylor, 88.2%
            vs. Texas, 71.4%
            vs. TCU, 59.3%
            vs. OSU, 66.7%
            vs. OU, 57.1%
            vs. KU, 95.8%

            Mind you, I previously threw you the KSU game as a bad outing, but if we’re going to zero in on his completion rate, he completed 65.6% of his passes in that game.

            Struggled against the Big 12 eh?

            It’d be quicker and easier for you to say you just don’t like him.

    • Daniel Mayfield

      Wilson would be good. But we don’t need WRs like that. We get a good QB and we’ll see Baldwin play more. Resign Bowe. There’s 2 deep, strong threats. With new staffs, we might see Breaston on the field. Wylie finally started to get into some plays(they say he’s a young like a young Welker). So receivers-Bowe, Baldwin, Dexter, Breaston, and Wylie. Then the TEs Moeakie and Boss. 2 guys that are good at catching and blocking. And you can’t forget) Charles. If they keep Hillis(which I don’t think they will) and he gets more chances then he’ll be good too.

      Point is, we’ve got the talented players….just not the right QB to help them prove it. We haven’t had that QB since Trent Green went down. Now is the best time for us to get the best QB avaliable, rookie or FA.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647645645 Jordan Clark

        I like where youre going with Baldwin. Ive been saying for the past 2 years, if someone could hit him in stride for a change (same with Bowe)he could be a 1000 yard reciever. Theres no need to throw jump balls in the middle of the field looking for a 20 yard game. Tyler Wilson would vamp our recieving core 10 fold!

        • Stacy D. Smith

          It’s not just the QB, Baldwin is having trouble getting acclimated to the NFL game. He’s a big body receiver, but he simply doesn’t play like one. I’ve never seen a guy that size get sealed off so easily. I also think he’s been misused. They’ve been calling his number on vertical routes and I don’t think that’s the best way to use him (yet). For now, we need to recognize him as a possession receiver and find ways to use him underneath. Get him into the seam. Take him off of the line too, because he sucks at getting off the jam. A better QB will help, but he won’t cure all that ails Baldwin.

    • micah stephenson

      Geno Smith will go #1 to the chiefs and Tyler Wilson will go #2 to the Jags.

    • http://www.facebook.com/keegan.dawkins Keegan Dawkins

      i dont think tyler is worthy of a number one draft selection we should just have are cake and eat it too get a shut down cb and ej manuels too me wilson got showed up by manuels in the senior bowl

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647645645 Jordan Clark

        Not worthy of a first overall? I would agree with you there. But I think he is our best bet. As much as I would LOVE to have Dee, there are a few shutdown corners possibly becoming available in FA this year too. I would take my chance with Wilson at #1, he is a solid QB with unparalleled leadership abilities. Thats what we want in a franchise QB, he will have time to become outstanding, we need someone who can take charge of the huddle and take some of the responsibility off Charles’ back. Im very skeptical when it comes to EJ, hes a decent player, I just dont think he is the man the Chiefs want at the head of the table.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647645645 Jordan Clark

    I hope he does, only for the exact opposite reason. I am hoping that he will be exposed at the Combine and that we can silence all the Geno Bandwagoners for the rest of the offseason. He is surely talented, but he is NOT the best QB, definitely not the top overall prospect.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      If he throws, you might wanna skip the first night of the draft.

      • smh22

        there is no “if”. hes throwing.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          I know, I was just saying.

    • smh22

      yes. lets root against the top rated qb when the chiefs need a qb because of “geno bandwagoners”
      smh.

    • smh22

      yet every scout has him as the best qb prospect right now
      every mock has him as the best qb prospect that isnt trying to just get attention to itself.
      get real man, you dont like him, but thats you. an nfl general manager told multiple writers that he would take geno first overall. you wouldn’t.

    • micah stephenson

      I havnt seen 1 single draft or player rankings where Geno is not only the top QB but a top ten player period anywhere! Do you think its possible that mayby your boy crush on Tyler Wilson is blinding you to the fact that Geno is better?

  • Jim Harper

    Great post Stacy. You are rapidly becoming my favorite writer here, and I completely support your position. There are many of us in support of Geno for our franchise QB with a bright future. But a franchise QB does NOT back down from anything or anybody! Geno needs to show up at the combine and prove our faith in him. This pick is too important to not get it right! Let me repeat. THIS PICK IS TOO IMPORTANT TO NOT GET IT RIGHT! We have never before had such an opportunity in front of us.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Thanks Jim. Very kind of you, sir. If Geno’s the knight in shining armor I believe him to be, he’ll throw.

  • micah stephenson

    Geno Smiths agent said he will b fully active at the combine including throwing.

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