In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select……
By John McCarty
Oct 24, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws the ball against the Oregon Ducks in the fourth quarter at Levi
In the 2016 NFL Draft, I anticipate (hope) the Kansas City Chiefs break their streak and address the quarterback position in the first round1. Based on the ball-throwers available and teams in need, I anticipate California’s Jared Goff being the ideal fit for the Chiefs with their first pick in 2016. I lay out the reasons why Kansas City will look quarterback in Round 1, and why Goff will be the guy.
If we look back at the history of both general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid, we discover both men appreciate quarterbacks with an opportunity to learn and develop for at least one season before being the starter. Dorsey, obviously, with Aaron Rodgers, and Reid with Kevin Kolb and Nick Foles. Alex Smith, based on his contract alone, is guaranteed to be with the Chiefs through the 2016 season. But after the 2016 season, moving on from Smith becomes a far more economical decision. Why not find a guy who can learn with the 2016 season, and contend for the starting spot in 2017?
For the past few seasons, us draft nerds have listened to experts telling us there were no quarterbacks, or few. Well, in 2016, I expect a different song to be sung. By my estimations and untrained eye, the 2016 NFL draft may be as deep and talented as we’ve seen since 2010. Also, more importantly, the draft appears deep in solid, upper-shelf quarterback prospects.
There could be as many as six quarterbacks taken in the first round next year. Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg and Michigan State’s Connor Cook are the early front-runners of the class, followed in no specific order by Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, the aforementioned Goff, TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Southern California’s Cody Kessler. Other names you could see sneak into either the first round or the second could include Kentucky’s Patrick Towles, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, and Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel.
Why Goff? First, I believe Hackenberg and Cook will be off the board, and I anticipate Jones as well. Also, while Jones’ talent is immense, I don’t view him as a great fit for the Chiefs based on what they do currently. Kansas City’s offense is based on timing and accuracy, which have not shown to be his greatest talents. Boykins and Kessler are both a shade over 6’1, while Goff stands at 6’4. Goff has good mobility in the pocket, and can scramble outside of the pocket. Has solid accuracy and touch on all levels of the down field passing game, and a good arm. He will enter his true junior year at Cal with extensive playing experience for the Golden Bears.
My comparison would be Ryan Tannehill, but with better feel for the position. His pocket play reminds me of the former Aggie and current Dolphin signal-caller. Tannehill may have been a better ‘athlete’ then Goff, but Goff displays better pocket awareness and touch with the football. Goff does need to add strength and weight, as he’s barely over 200 pounds, but that will come with age, maturity, and a NFL strength coach.
In summation, Goff, a true junior this fall, will be the perfect player to be the understudy to Smith for a season or two before taking over the reigns of the Chiefs offense. His accuracy will play well in the Chiefs passing attack, and has the arm strength to take the ball deep. Goff also has a good feel for the position. Give him a year or two, and you may have something.
Also, the Chiefs will finally end their embarrassing run of what will be at least 33 years of no quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Actually, what is really sad, is to see how many quarterbacks the Chiefs have taken in the top two rounds in the past 25 years. (The answer is one. Virginia’s Matt Blundin during the Joe Montana era).