Posted January 03, 2013

Could Andy Reid-led Chiefs employ Redskins’ draft strategy?

Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Coaches
Matt Cassel had twice as many interceptions as touchdowns in 2012, with a 66.7 rating. (Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI)

Matt Cassel had twice as many interceptions as touchdowns in 2012, with a 66.7 rating. (Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI)

The Redskins were widely lampooned (including, cards on the table, by yours truly) after using multiple picks on the quarterback position in the 2012 draft — Washington used the No. 2 pick on Robert Griffin III, then spent a fourth-rounder on Kirk Cousins.

The move paid off huge, as Cousins delivered a pair of key wins in relief after Griffin suffered a knee injury.

And now, with Andy Reid reportedly on the verge of taking over in Kansas City, the Chiefs should consider employing a similar strategy this April.

The obvious: Kansas City is in desperate need of quarterback help. Matt Cassel’s days are numbered, even if the team has to eat some of the remaining $16.5 million on his contract; Brady Quinn is an unrestricted free agent, following a disappointing 2012; and neither Ricky Stanzi nor Alex Tanney appears to be a Pro Bowler in the rough.

That glaring hole at QB looks problematic heading into a draft thin on prospects at the position. It also clashes with Reid’s reputation as a quarterback guru — he helped along Brett Favre’s career in Green Bay, revived Michael Vick’s career, then reportedly told the Cardinals he could “fix” Kevin Kolb.

Of course, Reid also rolled the dice back in 1999, after being named head coach of the Eagles, by picking Donovan McNabb over Ricky Williams in the draft. McNabb went on to win more than 90 games for the Eagles, while guiding them to a Super Bowl appearance along the way.

Job No. 1 for Reid should he take the Chiefs job, then, will be to solve the quarterback conundrum.

Maybe he convinces Vick to follow him to Kansas City or makes a play for guys like Kirk Cousins, Matt Flynn or Alex Smith. The smarter money is on Reid using the first overall pick in 2013 to take a quarterback that’s all his own.

Geno Smith would be the odds-on favorite for that project — he had been penciled in by many as the Chiefs’ choice come April, even before the Reid-to-KC rumors began. He does not, however, have scouts abuzz the way that Andrew Luck or RGIII did last year at this time.

So, unless the Chiefs keep Cassel as a very expensive stopgap/backup or Reid feels he can turn Stanzi into something, the need will be there for the Chiefs to have a second option behind whoever they draft early.

And this is, for better or worse, a draft class that might be heavy on mid-round quarterback prospects. Georgia’s Aaron Murray potentially could be around late on Day 2/early on Day 3, should he turn pro. The same goes for Tennessee’s Tyler Bray or four-year players such as Florida State’s E.J. Manuel, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones or Miami (Ohio)’s Zac Dysert.

One of the best-kept secrets surrounding the Chiefs right now is that they are much more talented than their 2-14 record indicates — enough so that their glaring holes could be fewer than people expect come the draft.

Jamaal Charles gives Kansas City an elite threat out of the backfield, and the offensive line could be in decent shape if it stays healthy. On defense, meanwhile, Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe form a threatening duo up front, with Tamba Hali, emerging star Justin Houston and Eric Berry behind them.

If the Chiefs uncover a productive quarterback (plus a couple more pieces here and there, like a receiver to help replace Dwayne Bowe), their turnaround might not take all that long.

The biggest leap forward has to come at the game’s most important position. Following the Redskins’ success in 2012, the Chiefs — with Reid at the helm — might double-down in the draft to ensure that happens.

10 comments
RollaChief
RollaChief

Nothing much else to write about at deadline time, Chris?  I know "connect the dots without any actual dots" is a favorite pastime among the deadline-heavy sports reporting crowd, but you know very well you're grasping at air.  We have NOTHING to go on, and won't until April.  This column is unworthy of you, and I'll bet you know it.  Your speculation, such as it is, could have at least been better researched.  Have you done any looking at scouting reports for any of the quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class?  Considered Reid's WCO system?  Or did you just Google "NFL 2013 Mock Draft" and saw Geno Smith listed at the top?  Better journalism, please.

SiliconSlick
SiliconSlick

I am sorry, But I think He needed to step away for a year or 2 because so much bad news the last few years for him and his Family,  His Son's Death Was Tragic, His Son's Arrest a Few Years Earlier, He Looked Tired On The Sidelines This Past Year, I think For This reason, It Will Be A Long Couple Years In KC And Believe There Next Coach Will Be The One To count On, To Turn Things Around.

Rock2
Rock2

I think the "writer" forgot that Matt Barkley will be in the draft. Not saying he's the best QB prospect, but he will be chosen among the top 3 QB's. Not sure why the writer listed everybody but Barkley...

nyhoukcdal
nyhoukcdal

 @SiliconSlick Agreed that Reid looked tired.  He seemed to lose the team a bit as well.  His personal demons may not be fully dealt with.  He probably needs a break.  But this is how it is in Chief-land.  They hire a possibly flawed coach (again).  With glaring need at QB, they "earn" the 1st pick in a draft w/o a 1st pick-worthy QB.  They will be perceived as desperate to trade the pick if they try, and thus will never get full value in return.  The fans will cancel season tickets en mass if they bring in yet another retread veteran QB (though personally I'd take a chance on Alex Smith as a 1-2 yr stopgap if he's available for a 3rd rounder) and yet drafting a Jones, Manuel, or Barkley will do nothing to excite the locals.  Good luck AR.

tketcher
tketcher

 @Rock2 Thanks Rock2, Don't think another USC QB would be what we are looking for in KC. 

Matt Cassel has set the franchise back at least 4 years already. 

bingelistening
bingelistening

 @nfinitwordsfoto no, it doesn't.

 

The so-called Redskins draft strategy that is alluded to was trading three first-round picks (plus a second-rounder) to move up and get a guy they believed was a surefire franchise quarterback. All this article suggests is that maybe, possibly the Chiefs use the pick they currently have to draft Geno Smith. "Draft a quarterback" isn't really a strategy, and it certainly isn't fair to boil what the Redskins down to that simplistic definition.

 

Basically, this article noted what we all already know -- that the Chiefs need a quarterback -- and then made note of some of their potential options. This has nothing to do with the Redskins or what they decided to do last season.

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

 @nyhoukcdal  @SiliconSlick The best suggestion I would make is to move down if possible. The Niners had the exact same scenario, with 2 so/so QB prospects to pick from when they desperately needed a QB. The Niners could have pick Rodgers and would have ruined him the same way they ruined Smith with the way the organization was being run at the time. I'm not sure if there is another player another team is dying for, but getting additional picks to move down makes much more sense if you can get a mid-round QB.

tketcher
tketcher

 @stabmasterarson21  @Rock2  I second that and having watched Geno play personally (OU vs WVA)  he is no answer either. I hope Andy solidifies our O-Line with Jockel and gets Matt Flynn at least to see what he can do for us.