Kevin C. Cox
Kansas City is in a strange position of having the top overall pick and a glaring need at quarterback, but there is not a single candidate demanding of the selection. What to do?
The Chiefs were a year too late and maybe a little too early. That is, right now it looks like they picked the wrong time to be terrible. Last season, teams were clamoring over Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in the draft and, this year, you might do better off hoping to find a Russell Wilson. While Geno Smith has often found himself mocked as the first quarterback taken in April, it is hardly a consensus.
Now the Chiefs, the team that only the Cardinals truly rival in lack of talent at the quarterback position, must decide if they are going to take a player that they need, or forget the notion that you "must" draft a quarterback and simply take the best player available. It's not an easy decision and Andy Reid is going to want to get off on the right foot in Kansas City.
Because most of the top talent in the draft is along the defensive line, and because the Chiefs have used a number of high picks on that area already in recent years, the debate is so far coming down to Smith or left tackle Luke Joeckel. There's still one problem with Joeckel though: Brandon Albert hasn't left yet. In one recent mock by Peter Shrager, four quarterbacks were taken in the first round, and none of them went to KC. Yet another vote for Joeckel in that one.
There will likely be other options for the QB position besides taking one with the first overall pick: Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, and Kevin Kolb are among those likely to be available, though a reunion between Vick and Reid doesn't seem likely. There is also a good chance that many quarterbacks will actually fall out of the first round altogether, leaving the Chiefs with 2 or 3 good options at the top of the 2nd round. Players like Ryan Nassib, E.J. Manuel, Tyler Wilson, or Matt Barkley might be available. Not even Smith is guaranteed a first round grade.
Reid selected Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick in Philadelphia, and it was not a popular choice. It did however, work out. If Reid takes Smith, it might not be a popular choice. Whether or not it works out remains to be seen, but there's a good chance it won't be without controversy.