“Up until this point, you could only look at the team on paper, basically,” said Smith, acquired in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. “You see potential there, but from here on out it’s about us putting in the work and coming together, getting out here on the field, executing plays. That’s what it’s going to come down to.
“You have to treat every day like a sprint, work as hard as you can to get better each and every day and keep stacking days together.”
“Joeckel to me is the guy I would take,” said Gruden, now an analyst for ESPN. “I don’t know what Andy (Reid) is going to do but you’re talking about a left tackle who not only won the Outland Award Trophy as true junior. He played for two different head coaches, two different systems, helped (Ryan) Tannehill become a first-rounder, helped Johnny Manziel win the Heisman and did it against the best America has to offer in terms of competition. Reliable, athletic. Consistent.
“You look at the NFL right now and (Colin) Kaepernick and Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III and you see mobile, athletic quarterbacks who run the read-option,” Gruden said. “And you have Chip Kelly coming into the NFC. You’re looking at different types of systems now.
“…Ryan Nassib is a guy who is very versatile. He can run the option. He can run the pro-set. He can run the no-huddle. He learned under an NFL-style coach in Doug Marrone.”
Nassib isn’t projected in the first round, and certainly not at No. 1. But the Chiefs, who already have their top two quarterbacks set in Alex Smith and Chase Daniel, could be looking for a prospect to develop, one they could draft in the second round or beyond.
That’s where Nassib comes in.
“I’m a guy who made a living out of mid-round picks,” Gruden said, “so I’m biased.”
The concern in the Kansas City organization is not unfamiliar to many teams that have held the top overall pick. When a franchise has as many holes as Kansas City does, how much can one player help?
There’s an even bigger issue: it’s the bust ratio of the top overall pick. It’s astoundingly high, perhaps higher than generally known.
A look at the top overall picks since the 1970 merger shows a mixed bag, at best. There have obviously been Hall of Fame talents and all-time greats selected No. 1 but also busts who would only get to Canton via bus ticket.