It was the lower-round move many Chiefs fans had been waiting for. As multiple quarterbacks flew off the board in earlier rounds, the Chiefs finally grabbed a prospect at the position for the first time in a few years in the fifth round of the NFL Draft with Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi. In addition, the Chiefs grabbed Oregon State linebacker Gabe Miller with their second fifth round selection.
The last time the Chiefs selected a quarterback in the draft was the third round of 2006, when they selected current back-up Brodie Croyle from Alabama. They’ve brought in free agents or traded for players, like current starter Matt Cassel, but developing a quarterback has never seemed important for Scott Pioli to this point with so many other holes on the roster. Now they have a product from a school tied closely with Pioli in Iowa’s Stanzi.
Scouts are mixed on Stanzi’s potential for success with suspect arm strength and decision making, yet he’s an accurate thrower who has a good pedigree at Iowa. It’s also hard to argue with this seasons results of 25 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions and a 64% completion percentage at a top Big Ten school.
As for their other choice, Miller put up 5 sacks and 8 tackles for loss last season amid 44 tackles in Pac-10 play, and he’s known for his quickness at end. Still, Scouts, Inc. call Miller a reach, even in the fifth round: “Miller is a reach here because he doesn’t have any elite physical tools, but he does have solid intangibles and was a team captain. Flashes the ability to get to the QB with effort.”