QB Alex Smith
The Kansas City quarterback has been a touchstone for conflict whenever the subject of whether or not he’s a good QB comes up. One fact that can not be denied is that he has progressed during his career.
Alex Smith only started 7 games his first season in the league but in his second year when he started all 16 games for the 49ers, his completion percentage was 58.1. His completion percentage in his first year in Kansas City was 60.6 and this past season it rose to 65.3%.
In seven seasons in Frisco, Smith had a 59.3 completion percentage rate. In K.C., in three years, it’s been 63.7%.
Some Chiefs fans are calling for the team to draft a quarterback to replace Alex Smith this year. However, only one of the top 10 QBs available in this year’s draft has a completion percentage rate higher than Smith had in college (see below). If you add Smith’s escapability to that, I don’t see one quarterback prospect on this list who could come in and replace Smith immediately and be an improvement. In the long run, Carson Wentz and Vernon Adams seem to fit Andy Reid’s system and might be able to be an eventual replacement for Smith… if the Chiefs decide Aaron Murray or Tyler Bray are not “that guy.”
68.6% : Brandon Doughty
66.3% : Alex Smith (college)
65.9% : Kevin Hogan
64.9% : Vernon Adams
64.1% : Carson Wentz
62.9% : Paxton Lynch
62.8% : Dak Prescott
62.3% : Jared Goff
61.7% : Cardale Jones
57.5% : Connor Cook
56.1% : Christian Hackenberg
In Alex Smith’s first 7 seasons with San Francisco, he started an average of 10.7 games per year. In his 3 seasons in K.C he’s averaged 15.3 games per year. For the 49ers Smith averaged 9 interceptions per year and in K.C. he’s averaged only 6.66, even though he’s obviously started more games each year.
This may sound like an article in defense for Alex but over at Arrowhead Pride, MNchiefsfan, Seth Keysor, published an article on December 11th about Alex Smith stating he’s been playing his best football (in the previous three games). Keysor is a favorite writer of mine to read and in this piece he goes on to address how Alex Smith has progressed of late. He says that Alex Smith is indeed throwing the ball downfield more and goes on to explain,
"“I don’t know what’s gotten into Smith. But whatever it is, they need to make sure he keeps it up. Because, to build on what I said following the Chargers game, the Chiefs with Smith playing at the level he’s currently playing are a very, very, very dangerous team.”"
The point I’d like to make about Alex Smith is that he appears poised to take another step up in his progression this season, which means he’s plenty capable of leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a championship, this year. Maurice Jones-Drew agrees with me too, in fact, he said this week that he believes the Chiefs will win Super Bowl 51 this year and listed Alex Smith as the number one reason.
Next: Will Phillip Gaines be ready?