Chiefs, QB Trends, Kiper & McShay



The Kansas City Chiefs have never  had he first pick in the draft before. So, this is not only unfamiliar territory but there’s a bit of the “chicken-with-his-head-cut-off” atmosphere circling the Arrowhead teepees. Chief among the headless chickens has been Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPN.

Recently Kiper stated that the best QBs in the 2013 draft, “are not good enough to take with the first pick and so the Chiefs would be best served by trading back in the draft.”

However, look at the teams picking 2-10 and ask yourself.. .is a there a high likelihood that any of these teams will jump at a chance to draft the best QB in this draft? I have to say yes… to almost every single team.

Here they are:

2. Jaguars (Gabbert), 3. Raiders (Palmer, 33 yrs. old), 4. Eagles (Vick — 33 this year & a one yr. contract), 5. Lions (Stafford), 6. Browns (Weeden- 30 yr. old sophomore), 7. Cardinals (rivals Chiefs QB Apocalypse), 8. Bills (Fitzpatrick? Fitz-putrid!), 9. Jets (Sanchez = Epic Flail), 10. Titans (Locker or old man Hasselbeck, he’s 38 this year… this is no choice at all & Munchak knows it).

Obviously, Matt Stafford of the Lions is the exception. It’s curious though… that every other team drafting past the tenth pick.. doesn’t need a QB.

If almost every other team in the top ten needs a QB… then who are the Chiefs supposed to trade with?

If… the Chiefs trade back… and miss out on a top QB in this draft… what good is it to pick up extra picks in the draft to select players at other positions besides QB, even if those players turn out to be HOFers?

Todd McShay recently rated Geno Smith as a 90 on a scale of 1-100. The question is… is Geno Smith really so bad, compared to all the other top talents, and no way deserves to be considered a top ten pick?

Miami QB Ryan Tannehill was drafted 8th overall in the 2012 draft and so… is Smith worse than Tannehill? Tannehill, who played in the same exact system in his senior year of college, with a 134.2 QBR, as he did his rookie NFL season, with a 76.1 QBR? He supposed to be a better prospect than Geno Smith and his 153.5 QBR?

Tannehill was 42/21 TDs to INTs in his entire college tenure (2 seasons). Smith was 98/21… and 42/6 in his senior year… and Smith has four years experience.

So, the 8th pick in 2012 is a better prospect than Geno Smith?

Gill Brandt says there are no QBs he rates in the top 25.

That raises the question: how many years have there been no QBs taken in the top ten. Here’s the breakdown showing the  total number of QBs taken each year, for the  past 20 years.

In the years that no QB was chosen, the following QBs were taken later in the draft and considered misses by the teams not taking them early:

Jake Delhomme
Mark Bulger
Tom Brady

This may be the reason that teams began taking QBs early in the draft as evidenced by the 12 straight years in which a QB was taken with a top ten pick. This may also be the best indicator of exactly when the NFL passed into the modern age of passing.

Beyond that, it’s difficult to imagine that the following QBs, who were all taken with a top ten pick of the draft… would rate higher than Geno Smith does today.

Ryan Tannehill, Jake Locker, Mark Sanchez, JaMarcus Russell, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Byron Leftwich, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Tim Couch, Aliki Smith, Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Rick Mirer, and Trent Dilfer (may have made the Pro Bowl in 1997 but, his 55.5 career completion percentage is pedestrian at best and it wasn’t much better in college -59.1. His current analysis for ESPN is strong but, he wasn’t much of a player). Geno Smith’s career completion percentage is 67.4% (71.2 in 2012).

Call it the Luck & RGIII effect… or whatever you want to call it… but, it’s entirely possible that the standard with which the pundits are now using to gauge and rank QB prospects coming out of college is skewed to such an extreme degree that it can not be reached by Superman himself.

I’m always glad to hear Mel Kiper when this part of the football year rolls around… but, I don’t take him too seriously because I don’t recall many instances in which “Mel got that right.” Todd McShay seems to more accurately manage the player breakdown process but only by a small margin.

However, it’s obvious that neither McShay nor Kiper do enough background research to make accurate predictions about the Kansas City Chiefs. They do a good job of understanding star players and GM patterns and tendencies but, often don’t have a clue about what the whole team, or whole organization, is needing.

Using Kiper or McShay to predict top ten picks in the draft is like using a baby to predict stock market success.

Literally.

In an article from the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective written by Kevin Meers and Scott Sherman called, “Equally Inaccurate: An Analysis of Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay’s Draft Ranking” it’s pointed out that after following the statistical success of players in the league that they have ranked,

…you could take Kiper’s “Big Board” or McShay’s Top 25 and ask any random person to put them in any random order, and on average, that person’s rankings will be about as accurate as predicting future NFL success than any of ESPN’s two experts.”

After compiling data for several years on a draft picks progress in term of actually NFL career value (CAV) and then comparing that to the draft board of both Kiper and McShay… Meers and Sherman show they have been off by a dramatic number of draft spots (or ranking spots),

…the average errors… (show) that the gurus’ rankings are off by around 35 spots when compared to the player’s actual performance.  In other words, a player Kiper or McShay ranked as the 5th-best player in the draft is most likely to actually have been the 40th-best based on CAV (Career Approximate Value) to this point in their careers.

The Meers and Sherman report also focuses on who made the largest average error per prospect over a five year span: Kiper or McShay? The answer is they are eerily similar because their average error is 35 (spots) for Kiper and 35.1 spots for McShay. In other words, when a player matures and finds his real value and rank based on his actual play in the NFL, that players rank is on average is 35 (Kiper) or 35.1 (McShay) spots different than where they ranked them before the draft.

That kind of accuracy won’t inspire the confidence of the masses but, Kiper and McShay can be entertaining nevertheless.

What does that mean for the Chiefs and predicting who will be taken with the first pick in the draft? I predict, and with greater confidence than Kiper or McShay can claim, that Geno Smith will be taken in the top 34 picks in the draft. See what I did there.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.williams.71697 Kevin Williams

    Hell I’ll even go out on a limb and predict that he will go in the top 10…lol. If we pass on Geno it will be a mistake we end up regreting. He will be a top 10 QB in the NFL. I have no doubt about that. He is tall, strong, with a big arm, and some team will greatly benefeit from his accuracy, and mobility. If we do pass on Geno, Reid better pray that the Eagles or Raiders don’t get him and make him a star because that would be career suicide in Kansas City. He will never ever be able to live that down.

    • ladner morse

      OMG… if Geno becomes a Raider… I can’t think of a worse scenario.

      • KCMikeG

        I have had nightmares already where Gannon morphs into Geno and our defense runs circles in quicksand……..

        • ladner morse

          I loved Gannon and never understood why the Chiefs couldn’t see how good he was… I mean four Pro Bowls with the tRaiders was painful enough…. please Dorsey … draft Geno!

          • KCMikeG

            Amen. Probably could have won a Super Bowl in 1997 if Marty would have left him as the starter. Next to losing DT and Delaney worst thing ever was letting Gannon go to the faiders. Rich made us pay every time. One of the very few ex Chiefs players I respected when they played against us.

  • emanuelvioleta

    If the Chiefs don’t take Geno Smith with the first pick in this draft…i will personally walk up to John Dorsey and slap hem when i see hem.

    • ladner morse

      The question is… WHERE… will you slap him?

  • tm1946

    Geno might be as good as Tanneyhill. God damn it, we need a QB who can challenge Manning, future HOFer, MANNING. And you are serious about “might be as good as Tanneyhill”

    If Geno is the best of this draft but no one is saying he is the second coming, are they? Next year there will be 2-3 better QBs available.

    If Reid wants Geno, fine. But he is just barely above being another guy. Really want to tie Dorsey’s first draft to a guy who MIGHT BE AS GOOD AS TANNEYHILL????

    • JP Esler

      Man it’s nice to hear someone else say it..

    • shayaan

      it’s not “might be as good as tannehill”. it’s “is a better and more experienced prospect than tannehill”. tannehill converted to QB in college from WR and only played two years – geno has been playing QB since highschool.

      the grass is always greener on the other side. last year people were saying “don’t take tannehill, matt barkley will be available next year”, and look at how that turned out. also, even if there are one or two superior prospects next year, there’s no guarantee we will be in a position to draft those guys, or that the teams with the top picks will be willing to trade out. we’re in position to take a franchise-changing QB *this* year – it would be tragically foolish to take that opportunity for granted.

      • ladner morse

        Your “grass is always greener” comment is a really great point. In fact that whole process could go on for years and years. More than anything … the Chiefs need to break through by risking the taking of a QB in the first. They must go ahead and begin to invest there or they never will go down that path.

        • emanuelvioleta

          Right, and that is exactly what the Chiefs have been doing for the past 30 years now… NOT INVESTING OR RISKING IN A FIRST ROUND QB. I agree.. it’s time. And I see no reason why Geno Smith can’t be the number one QB for the Chiefs!!!!!!

        • ArrowFan

          We can’t hit a home run unless you swing for one.

          • ladner morse

            Don’t you mean… we can’t complete a touchdown pass if we don’t have someone who can throw it?

            :)

    • emanuelvioleta

      I don’t think Morse was comparing Geno Smith to Ryan Tannehill to say they are in the same ballbark… it looks more like he easily has shown how much better than Tannehill that GEno Smith is. Everythig I’v seen and read on Geno Smith would tell me that he’s head and shoulders above Tannehill.

    • Danny W

      Peyton Manning is going to hit 37 this year, he has four neck surges and is one hit away from hanging them up. I’d say if he’s lucky he gets two more full seasons. Yah he’s good but Geno Smith may be just as good in a few years. If not well then we draft again next year anyways.

  • emanuelvioleta

    Wow…so,you are sayng that only three time in the past 20 season…no QB was taken in the top ten.That’s crazy .It really is hard to imagine the Chiefs not talking Geno at el numbero uno…but,i quess GMs of lesser talent have done worse.

  • Sergeant King

    Video- Criticizing Silly Chiefs talk as well as the Tag Team Champions knows as the Draft Guru’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mdSq9EAPU4

    • ladner morse

      Cool video Thanks for sharing.

  • emanuelvioleta

    I guess if Kiper or Mc.Shay were coaches in the NFL…with their track record…they have been fired after their first seasons.

    • ladner morse

      Not if they were coaching for the Browns.

    • emanuelvioleta

      LOL.

  • emanuelvioleta

    SO,i take it you don’t really “trust” Mc Shy or Kiper…i get that.So…who’s opinion do you like or respect? Is there anyone in the national media who you think does a decent job of ranking the prospects oe analyzing them?

    • ladner morse

      Mike Mayock has the best frame of reference and approach to
      the draft prospects I’ve seen. He doesn’t;
      come out early saying one way or the other who he thinks is going to be drafted
      where or when or by who. He only makes his suggestions and then waits til right
      before the draft to make his mock. I like his overall approach and demeanor.

      • shayaan

        agreed. even though he doesn’t have geno rated that highly, he acknowledges that there’s an element of uncertainty still. kiper has flat out said there’s no way a QB goes #1 to the chiefs. arrogant moron.

        • emanuelvioleta

          Yes… and won’t Kiper look like the idiot that he is… when Geno Smith his taken #1 overall by the Chiefs!

          • ArrowFan

            He will just try and say how stupid we for the pick.

          • ladner morse

            Yes… but that makes me wonder why no one holds this accountable ON AIR. I mean why isn’t there a show that goes back 3 years and looks at who all the pundits predicted and shows how those prospects really turned out. Something like that could be hilarious. AND… It could also tell us who’s worth their salt.

      • http://gplus.to/Tarkus Tarkus

        Mayock also is smart enough to know that QBs will fall in the first round, regardless of how weak the class is projected to be. Kiper puts out these ridiculous mocks that have no QB being taken in the first round. Preposterous.

      • KCMikeG

        Mayock, Davis and Burmeister are good.

        • ladner morse

          Michael… Yes, Davis is another one I trust. He and Mayock cover college games together and I appreciate their insights into players from a first hand knowledge basis.

  • shayaan

    well said from start to finish.. this is a lot of the same stuff i’ve been saying to people across the internet for a few weeks now. mcshay saying he rated tannehill a 94 last year, and rates geno a 90 this year, said it all to me. there’s not really any logical explanation for tannehill being rated higher other than a skewed perspective due to the strength of last year’s class. much less experience playing the position, less consistent mechanics, footwork, and accuracy, smaller numbers and same win/loss record against similar competition. both have strong arms and plenty of upside – geno is just less of a project. if anything their scores should be switched.

    • emanuelvioleta

      Hey…great breakdown!

  • Outback Chief

    If in some bizarre world Geno isn’t picked by pick 10 he won’t last long , beacause after the Packers took Rodgers with the 24th pick and embarrassed 23 other teams they won’t chance it again. Somebody will draft him and add him to their stable of QB’s if only to get draft picks for him later.

    • ladner morse

      If Dorsey and Reid allow that to happen… I can’t see how it won’t remain as a stain on their careers and reputations… AND they won’t be around long.. just a prediction.

      • emanuelvioleta

        Aren’t you over-reacting to this. If the Chiefs don’t take Geno… don’t you think Dorsey and Reid will have some other BETTER plan? You seem a little obsessed with Geno Smith. I like him too… but you.. you are overboard.

        • Danny W

          Blind faith in guys like Pioli have cost a lot of fans who do that soar egos. This stuff isn’t that hard. You take the best position available at your biggest need and right now thats the quarterback position. The nice thing about the new CBA is that your not set back for years if you miss on a quarterback. Many no brainers seemingly escaped the Pioli era, I think many of us fans just want the no brainers to be just that.

          • emanuelvioleta

            Yea.. it does seem like a no brainer.. taking Geno number one… to me anyway… but, I have to beleive in Dorsey and Reid becasue I know Reid has an excellent history of nurturing QBs.

          • ladner morse

            Reid’s success with QB’s is another reason I think the Chiefs should take Geno…. Reid ups his chances of succeeding.

          • ladner morse

            Danny… couldn’t agree more. There are so many examples of Pioli not taking — the better player — which also set this organization back by years. It’s hard to believe that nearly all of KCs stars came from the Herm Edwards era… but, it’s true.Houston and Berry will continue to be excellent but — only two star player in four years is the real Pioli legacy that will be remembered.

            And… it should be pointed out… might sound redundant but… Pioli also left the QB bread box completely empty.

      • Danny W

        Crazy uncle Mel with his creepy haircut and glasses.

    • Guest

      [ Aren't you over-reacting to this. If teh Chiefs don't take Geno... don't you think Dorsey and Reid will ahve some other BETTER plan? You see ma little obsessed with Geno Smith. I like him too... but you.. you are overboard.

      • ohshutup22

        options are limited. you want people to say “qb at 1″ instead? we dont want alex smith or matt flynn. period

  • http://gplus.to/Tarkus Tarkus

    Great article, even though you think Jeff Fisher is still coaching in Tennessee. ;)

    One thing that can’t be overlooked is that now the financial risk isn’t there for taking QBs high. In the past you always paid a premium for QBs, especially when they were drafted high. If one busted, you were screwed for years. Andrew Luck got a 4/$22M contract. If he turned into the worst QB ever (i.e. JaMarcus Russell), he wouldn’t kill the Colts financially.

    • ladner morse

      Tarkus, nice catch. I appreciate it. Fixed.

    • emanuelvioleta

      You make another good point about why the Chiefs should go ahead and take a QB with the first pick in the draft… because it won’t break the Chiefs financially if they do.

      • http://gplus.to/Tarkus Tarkus

        Yeah, people talk about saving money by having Joeckel replace Albert. Well, they’d save a lot of money by having Geno replace Cassel (or any decent veteran they might acquire). This meme that it’s such a huge risk is backwards thinking. The bigger risk is passing on someone who becomes a star elsewhere, maybe in your own division.

      • ladner morse

        Eman… Isn’t the worst financial decision of all… the one in which you miss on a player who becomes a star for someone else???

        Especially at QB?

        If Luke Joeckel becomes a star somewhere else but we still have Albert… who cares???

        If Geno Smith becomes a star somewhere else but we still have Cassel… the Chiefs will forever be the poster boys for Stupid… as the NFL world looks back on the 2013 draft.

  • emanuelvioleta

    Morse, do you really think that any average every day fan could rank the players and do as well as Kiper or McShay have done? If that’s true, then how do they stay employed at espn. Doesn’t espn know about this study too? Or, is there just no other way to go about the prediction process so they randonly select a couple of Joe’s like K & Mac and make them come up with something… anything?

    • ladner morse

      I think you pretty much nailed the nail on the head. I’m sure that ESPN could come up with better ways to handle this process besides handing it off to these two Hatfield and McCoy family feud members but, I think that’s all part of their charm. If ESPN can’t be accurate… and I think the mothership knows how impossible being accurate is.. so, at least they have Kiper and McShay to provide us with some comical, if not concocted, little controversies… even though McShay continues to look uncomfortable having to be the yang to Kiper’s yen.

  • Danny W

    Nice read.
    I like how Kiper and McShay are marginalized thoroughly like they should be. It shouldn’t take someone from Harvard for to deem naysayers to their shot’s in the dark non credible though. I really used to think they were experts until the last four years or so and then it’s like they have no idea. I can’t stand watching either of them.

  • ArrowFan

    Mel Crapper and Todd McGay. Plus or minus 35 picks that is a whole round!

    • ladner morse

      A whole round. Wow… didn’t think of like that… good point. lol

  • Danny W

    Hey Ladner
    I heard the colts are going to cut Freeney and Collie. What do you think about either of those being Chiefs?

    • ladner morse

      Collie could be a fit but not Freeney. Colts going to a 34 is the reason they’re dumping him… and oh yea… they’re saving abundle of dough in the process.

      • Danny W

        I think we could maybe use Freeney as a Wallace Gilberry type DE on third downs if he came cheap.

  • jimfromkcj

    The big reason that I don’t support Geno for the #1 pick is that most of the posters who I see going crazy over him are the same guys who just 4 short years ago were just as ga ga about Cassel, Haley, Pioli and the Patriot way. I never bought into it for a minute and I am not buying a seat on the Geno bandwagon now. Do I think one or more of the QB’s in this draft will turn out to be an NFL starter? I am sure that they will, but is that all we want? Cassel is an NFL starter, albeit a pretty poor one. So if all we want is a starter then draft Geno, but it is a terrible chance we take by doing so. If he busts are you going to be man enough to admit your mistake or are we going to go through 3 or 4 years thinking he might pan out, and in the meantime failing to take a QB who might be another Brady or Flacco. Of course I think the window of opportunity is closing on a lot of our skill players anyway.

    • ladner morse

      I have never been a huge Cassel supporter and believe me, I wanted to be because I grew up outside of LA and still follow the Trojans. I can point you to pieces I wrote about Cassel showing his inconsistent propensities if you like.

      Just two months ago I was not on this “Geno Bandwagon” as you call it. However, the more I study the QB prospects this year, the more it becomes obvious that Geno Smith has as good a chance as any QB prospect coming out in the past 5 years, to be a star in the NFL.

      You don’t believe in Geno Smith and I can understand anyone not feeling confident about any prospect but, saying that “its a terrible chance to take” by drafting him is being short sighted. You say.. why select some one who “might be” another Brady or Flacco… but how in the world do you ever find out if they can be that guy, unless you that risk of drafting the best QB available so you can find out.

      I don’t hear anyone here guaranteeing Geno Smith will be an excellent QB in the NFL… but, until the Chiefs break their pattern of not taking the best QBs they can in the first round.. .they’ll likely never even have a the chance of making it over the top… which means gaining a birth in the Super Bowl.

    • Danny W

      Yah I’ll man up and say I was wrong. I was an optimist of sorts about Scott Pioli’s regime, then he drafted Tyson Jackson number three overall and he was projected into the second round or the very bottom of first (where he should have been) and right then I was a huge skeptic. I was a little excited about Matt Cassel, but at the time we were fielding Tyler Palko as our starter. Change is good when your team is bad. I’m routing for the best possible change right now and that to me is Geno Smith. If he busts, then I’ll say man I sure hated being wrong about Geno but at least we tried to draft a guy. Hopefully we don’t draft number 1 overall ever again, but the one time we do I want them to risk it on the biggest need the team has and the most important. Insert Geno Smith. Flawed logic? I don’t see how personally.
      The question is if we draft him and he pans out to be one of the best are you going to man up and say you were wrong and buy me lunch?

  • Chelsii.

    If KC was guaranted multiple HOFers by trading back that’s a no brainer. Lets not go crazy everyone. Sadly though there is no guarantee that they would be getting HOF talent.

    • ladner morse

      Exactly, and since we’re playing the “WHAT IF” game… what if Geno Smith becomes a HOFer?

      • Chelsii.

        I’m not playing the what if game the article is. Still 2+ HOF > one HOF. Just think the comment section around here has gotten a little out of hand with the Mayan Apolocypse that will occur if Geno is not taken.

  • TAZMOSIS

    Laddy,
    Great article and introspective. I agree that Kiper and McShay are entertaining, but that’s as far as it goes. I have looked at their picks for years, and as you say, they are just as bad as a fifth grader. Hell, they could do better with a dart board. But one fan said it right. If they don’t get this QB thing right, and the Raiders end up with Geno Smith, they have the luxury of taking their time with him to get him up to speed as the starter. If he becomes the guy that many of us other than the two ESPN draft gurus think that he will become, then Reid and Dorsey will have failed miserably. And as Chiefs fans, we will never let them live it down. That is unless the choices they make put this team back in the playoff hunt.

    • ladner morse

      I said this before but bears repeating… if the Raiders end up with Geno Smith it would be the worst of all possible scenarios… simply because of what you’ve mentioned… they will give him time to develop. Then when he exceeds all expectations Dorsey and Reid are going to be held to a standard of ridicule not seen in KC before.

  • Andy

    Thanks for the writing, Great article, but a “fill in the gap” article none the less. (not an insult) I for one am not worried about our QB situation. We have a honest to goodness, professional head coach now who has a pretty good track record with QB’s. He will get who he wants soon enough. I hate this “draft a Qb” stuff that is going around. We have the number 1 pick. We should be talking about names, not positions to draft.