Ask any Kansas City Chiefs fan, and they likely can tell you the last time the Chiefs selected a quarterback in the first round.
Of course, it’s Todd Blackledge in 1983, the ill fated draft that saw two future Hall of Famers, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino follow the Blackledge selection. ESPN produced a really well done documentary on the 1983 draft, the information is well known.
Do you know who the quarterback was the last time this organization selected a quarterback in the second round? Why, don’t we all know it’s Matt Blundin, drafted out of Virginia with the 40th-overall selection….in 1992. That’s right, when the 2017 NFL Draft rolls around, that draft will mark 25 years since the Chiefs have used a selection in the top two rounds of the draft on a quarterback.
In fact, the Chiefs have only used one pick on a quarterback in the top four rounds of the NFL draft in the past 20 years, with that being Brodie Croyle, 85th-overall in the 2006 draft. While that statistic is embarrassing and is a topic that this writer believes doesn’t receive nearly the attention it should, hopefully, that trend will change. Just hopefully not this year.
The Kansas City Chiefs appear ready to roll and contend for the division, playoffs and perhaps beyond. That’s great, and we’ll take that every day of the week. The 2017 draft, at least at this point in the evaluation process, appears rather weak in the arm department. Only one name, DeShaun Watson from Clemson, appears to be a consensus first rounder, which as we all know, someone will trade up to take him first overall. Past him, names like Brad Kaaya of Miami and Chad Kelly of Ole Miss. Not exactly a great class. And, the Chiefs have Alex Smith.
Alex Smith, currently 32 years old, has three years left on his contract. So while the Chiefs may not have an immediate need at quarterback in 2016, or perhaps/hopefully in 2017, aging quarterbacks have a propensity to get injured and see their skills decline. I’m not saying it’s happening now, just pointing out, father time has cruel timing when it lets us know when we’re no longer able to perform a task.
This is why I bring this up. The 2018 draft will precede the last year of the Alex Smith contract and likely Alex Smith tenure in KC. And wouldn’t you know, from a distance, the 2018 draft appears to be deep with talented arms.
This past college football seasons, we saw a great quantity of college arms take the field as freshman. UCLA led the way with their golden boy, Josh Rosen. An early enrollee, Rosen appears to at least at this point, have the chops to be a top pick. Fellow PAC 12 signal caller Jake Browning at Washington was also an early enrollee out of high school, started 12 games during the 2015 season, and performed well.
Local school Missouri had their golden arm boy in Drew Lock perform well surrounded by tough competition and meager talent. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer performed very well at Notre Dame as a redshirt freshman, and assuming he wins the starting job this fall, could play his way into the 2017 draft as a redshirt sophmore.
Possible senior signal callers in the 2018 draft include some unknown names like Luke Falk at Washington State and Mitch Trubisky at North Carolina.
Certainly, this is looking far out into the future and much can change. At this point a few years ago, Christian Hackenberg was the presumptive top guy for the 2016 draft, and we all know that didn’t quite work out.
So there’s a bit of projection and an element of guessing here. However, as the past draft to a degree shows, teams had better start make preparations for when they’ll need to find a new quarterback, or they will be stuck in a position trading a slew of valued assets in order to make a move to get a quarterback. Hopefully the Chiefs are working on finding the future now, when they don’t have to, or they will be stuck in a position of making a move that hurts.
- Tom Brady has appeared in 10 AFC conference championship games in his career. That is staggering.
- Injuries could play a large part in the 2016 success of the Chiefs. Alex Smith has only missed one game in the previous three seasons, which is rare. Hopefully he can go 16 in 2016.