Picture Taken by: David Eulitt, The Kansas City Star
If you told me prior to the NFL Draft, that Patrick Mahomes III would be a top 10 pick, I would’ve said, “get the hell out, and never come back.” As we all now know, I was very wrong. The Chiefs traded up in the draft, and as we all thought,Clemson QB and National Champion, DeShaun Watson was going to be picked…some guy that many of us didn’t know about until a fews weeks, maybe days, hell maybe seconds before the draft, was picked ahead of DeShaun Watson. Who is he? Patrick Mahomes III. A QB with a big arm, 11,252 passing yards, 93 touchdowns, and a 63.5 completion percentage while at Texas Tech. He has been labeled as a “project QB”, which seems to be common these past few seasons, especially in the AFC West (Last year Denver traded up to take Paxton Lynch in the first, also called a project qb).
This was a very big surprise, especially seeing the other talent that could be argued, would have been an immediate impact this season was still on the board. But the Chiefs organization got their man, and now have to live with it. But living with that pick, is a more than decent QB named Alex Smith. The same guy who has led the chiefs to back to back playoff appearances and has been good for the Chiefs.
Recent reports have came out that Alex Smith isn’t too pleased, and possibly feels, that Chiefs are committed to him, “Through this year.” That comment may seem like nothing at first, but dig a bit deeper and you may find why the Chiefs could look to bring in some young blood at the Quarterback position. Alex smith only threw 15 touchdowns this season, to go along with 8 interceptions. Look back a year prior, and…about the same..though better. In the 2015-16 season, Smith threw 20 TDs and 7 picks. Which is mediocre, but take in his years of experience, and you’ll probably agree that he is a safe quarterback that knows he doesn’t need to be flashy, for his team to succeed.
But is that going to get you to the AFC Championship game? Probably not, especially with New England often appearing in the game, you’ll either have to get past them to get there, or beat them to move on. A safe QB isn’t going to get you beyond NE, especially this year adding some key pieces on defense (Kony Ealy, Stephon Gilmore, resigning Hightower, and more). Smith, who is 33, may be able to get you there a few times, but most likely not, seeing as he is also in the best defensive division in the AFC, the AFC West.
Perhaps Mahomes III is the spark and risk taker the Chiefs will need in 2 seasons to make some more offensive noise, and cause them to be known as a team with the ability to explode, compared to conservative, timeout taking with he game on the line (still can’t believe Andy Reid took that time out) team. Smith may be worried, but at the same time he should look at the positive, the Chiefs no longer have Chase Daniels around, so even if the Chiefs made Mahomes the starter next year, he has a job that can reopen after a few bad games by a young QB. At this point in his career Smith needs to realize he probably can’t make the Chiefs a contender, but he can aide them in becoming one down the road. Smith can turn the project, Mahomes, into the winner of the science fair of the NFL, into a successful QB by teaching him how to develop his clear talent into an NFL acceptable level.
Smith shouldn’t be worried, he forsake has another year, and a decent team to help him remain as the sheriff of Kansas City Chiefs. If he wants to be worried, then he probably isn’t suited for the position and deserves to be moved on from. But, I’m willing to bet he comes out this season with a chip on his shoulder, and could possibly try to impress an team needing a QB in the coming years.