Mike Glennon: A Possible “Plan B” For Chiefs QB


The Kansas City Chiefs need to draft a quarterback.

I know, earth shattering news, right?

No one disputes this fact. Brady Quinn looked good for one week, but against the Browns he went right back to the same Brady Quinn that has failed to impress since he was drafted. The general consensus (and I agree with it), is that the Chiefs should use their first round draft pick on a QB regardless of whether or not there is a QB available that the “experts” feel is worthy of being picked in that slot. Kansas City has gone SO long without drafting a first round franchise QB (the last being Todd Blackledge in 1983), that it seems KC MUST finally break their 30 year drought and take a shot on a quarterback that can lead the Chiefs in an era where teams without a great QB have little to no chance of winning Super Bowls.

While that all sounds well and good, the Chiefs have picked a poor year to execute that plan. There isn’t a single QB in this class that is seen as a sure thing and only one (Geno Smith of West Virginia) is currently viewed as worthy of a top 10 pick. Now, that can all change through the lead up to the draft. We’ve seen QBs like Christian Ponder and Ryan Tannehill shoot up the boards from 2-3 round picks to early first round picks in the month or two leading up to the draft.

But what if that doesn’t happen this year?

What if Geno Smith is the only QB that anyone thinks is worthy of an early first round pick and another team ends up drafting him before the Chiefs? Wins by Cleveland, Carolina, and Philadelphia this weekend have made it a three team battle for the first overall pick between KC, Jacksonville, and Oakland. Should either Jacksonville or Oakland end up with the first overall pick they would probably take a strong look at Smith. There’s even the possibility that the Chiefs draft first overall, but really don’t like what they see in Smith. The only other QBs seen as first round prospects are Matt Barkley of USC and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas. Both of these two have had disappointing senior seasons and have a lot to prove going into the draft. Perhaps one will emerge as an early first round possibility for KC. Time will tell, but today I want to offer up a possible 2nd round QB prospect that I think could end up being the real deal if KC simply can’t identify a QB with their first round pick that they believe in.

That QB is NC State’s Mike Glennon.

Nov 10, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon (8) rolls out as he looks to pass against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Glennon is a 5th year senior who is listed at 6-6 232 lbs. He has started the past two seasons after former Wolfpack starter Russel Wilson transferred to Wisconsin. Glennon has one of the better arms in the draft and while he is definitely a pocket passer, he moves well for a guy his size. The quarterback that Glennon is consistently compared to is Joe Flacco.

I have watched a lot of Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, and Mike Glennon this past month in anticipation of the Chiefs drafting a QB (Tyler Wilson is next on my list). The thought that I always end up with when trying to compare Glennon to Smith and Barkley is “What would things be like if these guys switched teams?”

I mean, let’s look at their offensive supporting casts. Here is a breakdown of each team’s run game and three primary receiving targets that these QBs have had to work with.

West Virginia:
431 rushes, 2131 yards, 4.9 YPA, and 21 TDs
Stedman Bailey – 106 receptions, 1501 yards, and 23 TDs
Tavon Austin – 110 receptions, 1259 yards, and 12 TDs
JD Woods – 56 receptions, 596 yards, and 4 TDs

370 rushes, 1860 yards, 5.0 YPA, and 12 TDs
Marqise Lee – 112 receptions, 1680 yards, and 14 TDs
Robert Woods – 73 receptions, 813 yards, and 11 TDs
Xavier Gamble – 27 receptions, 297 yards, and 5 TDs

NC State:
446 rushes, 1403 yards, 3.1 YPA, and 11 TDs
Quinton Payton – 48 receptions, 761 yards, and 2 TDs
Tobais Palmer – 46 receptions, 670 yards, and 6 TDs
Bryan Underwood – 43 receptions, 615 yards, and 10 TDs

You can see that Glennon simply doesn’t have the supporting cast of Smith and Barkley. Not only do they have more effective run games, but they are each throwing the ball to 2 NFL caliber WRs. Now, one can make the argument that Smith and Barkley are part of the reason their WRs look NFL caliber, but if you actually watch the games it isn’t hard to see that Glennon has no where near the talent to work with.

With that in mind, look at how these QBs’ numbers stack up.

Geno Smith:
350/490 (71.4%) for 4,004 yards (8.17 YPA) with 40 TDs and 6 INTs

Matt Barkley:
246/387 (63.6%) for 3,273 yards (8.46 YPA) with 36 TDs and 15 INTs

Mike Glennon:
295/511 (57.7%) for 3,648 yards (7.14 YPA) with 30 TDs and 14 INTs

With no context, Glennon appears to be a clear 3rd place out of these 3 QBs. Even with context, Geno Smith (based on numbers, which don’t mean everything) looks like the hands down winner. Better WRs would definitely of benefited Glennon, but they probably wouldn’t have raised his completion percentage by over 13%. Smith’s combination of arm strength and accuracy make him the top prospect in my opinion. However, what if he is off the board? Is Matt Barkley really any better than Mike Glennon?

With 2 NFL caliber WRs, including what many believe to be the best WR in college football (Marqise Lee) Barkley only completed 6% more of his passes. Not only do Barkley’s WRs do a better job of getting open and creating separation, the NC State WRs struggled with drops all season long. Go watch some of the youtube videos of Glennon’s games this season and you’ll see multiple passes that are right where they should be that his guys just dropped. Glennon plays in a NFL style offense similar to the one Barkley runs at USC and they both have experience taking snaps under center. Plus, Glennon has a much stronger arm so if he had Barkley’s elite WRs he should have been able to hit them on more deep plays. PLUS, Glennon threw one less INT despite throwing 124 more passes, showing that his decision making is solid as well.

After watching multiple games of each guy and putting their numbers in context, I can say that if you gave me a choice of which QB I would rather KC draft in the first round if Smith is off the board and my only two options are Barkley and Glennon, I would take Glennon. The fact that as of today, he would be available in the 2nd round makes for an intriguing “Plan B” should the Chiefs miss out on Geno Smith.

Now don’t get me wrong, Glennon isn’t perfect. Multiple scouts have stated that he needs work with his footwork and his accuracy isn’t near at Geno’s level, but in a year where the QB talent is supposed to be poor, if you could get a Joe Flacco in the 2nd round, you’d be doing okay. For what it’s worth, here are Glennon’s combined numbers for his two seasons starting for NC State compared to Flacco’s combined numbers for his two seasons starting for Delaware.

578-964 (60.0%) for 6,702 yards (7.0 YPA) with 61 TDs and 26 INTs

595-938 (63.4%) for 7,046 yards (7.5 YPA) with 41 TDs and 15 INTs

A lot can happen between now and the draft. Maybe the Chiefs will lock up the number one pick and decide Geno Smith is their guy. Maybe Tyler Wilson proves himself to be worthy of a top ten pick. Maybe Glennon wows everyone leading up to the draft and is this year’s Ryan Tannehill.

While we wait to see how that all plays out I encourage some of you that are interested to go to youtube and watch some of Glennon’s games. (Side note: there are numerous people that break down games and put together youtube clips of every snap a draft prospect was involved in during a particular game and condense it into one 5-15 minute video. It makes watching some of these prospects much easier to do.) When watching Glennon I came away impressed. Here are the links to the four games of Glennon’s that I have found so far:

37-44 Loss at Miami – Glennon: 24-42 for 440 yards, 4 TDs and 2 INTs

17-16 Win vs Florida State – Glennon: 30-55 for 259 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT

35-43 Loss at North Carolina – Glennon: 29-52 for 467 yards, 5 TDs and 2 INTs

48-62 Loss at Clemson – Glennon: 29-53 for 493 yards, 5 TDs and 1 INT

If youtube isn’t your thing, then you can still check Glennon out in live action on December 31st in the Motor City Bowl against Vanderbilt.

I know we all want that franchise saving 1st overall draft pick QB to ride in on a white horse and “save our chiefs”, but if that dream doesn’t pan out, I offer you NC State’s Mike Glennon as a possible “Plan B” for the Chiefs QB in 2013.

Thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!