The Pre-Draft Crystal Ball

Alex Smith

Let's face it, the Kansas City Chiefs just got better overnight. Oh we'll have the detractors who will say that Alex Smith is not an upgrade from Matt Cassel but that dog won't hunt.

Alex Smith is a former first rounder for starters, was having his best season as quarterback prior to his November concussion and the rise of Colin Kaepernick and has been the victim of a succession of offensive coordinators in San Francisco.

Andy Reid is a quarterbacks coach at heart. He is a shrewd evaluator of talent and now has a preliminary roster that may very well contain the elements to challenge the Broncos for the top of the AFC West.

Reid's offensive system is keyed to having a mobile quarterback with the ability to fire the ball down the field ala West Coast-style. Smith is a guy who can do that.

The next question is why was the compensation so high. A second rounder this year and a conditional pick (possibly as high as a second rounder in '14) for a signal caller that was supplanted by a young gun?

The answer is pretty simple, really.

Smith is a veteran. A guy who knows how to play and how to win. I've heard the stories that Jim Harbaugh gave Smith his playbook and the following marching orders to teach it to the 49ers during the lockout. A coach and former quarterback like Harbaugh likely knows that Smith is not only a consummate pro but also has the ability to teach.

This is something the Chiefs need in their next signal caller. Whether you're feeling that that there may be something better available in the draft or somewhere else in free agency, that's not the case.

As a matter of fact, if the rumblings are correct about a deal for Nick Foles to come here from the Eagles, I think the QB position becomes a non-issue for 2013.

Let's go to the crystal ball for a few minutes.

By all measures, this years quarterback class has a relative dearth of talent. That's just how it is. Every one knows it but a few teams will take the plunge, drink the kool-aid and maybe find something no one else is seeing.

Here's what I see. There is one quarterback that the Chiefs should look at hard. Arkansas's Tyler Wilson. Looking at his body of work from last year though is not exactly inspiring. The Hogs had a rough go last season in a pretty tough SEC. I'm not looking at his production, per se. I'm looking at his physical ability and athleticism.

This kid is a prototype new age QB. He can throw and he can run. He's got great size for that type of role and is fearless in the face of a stout pass rush. Watching him on film and breaking down his mechanics and you can just see this kid will be a big-time NFL prospect.

John Dorsey is just the guy to manage this draft. I believe the first rounder the Chiefs will pull the trigger on is Luke Joeckel. Branden Albert served his purpose but is not the left tackle the Chiefs need moving into 2013. Joeckel by every countenance is. He will bring the top shelf talent that this team needs protecting the blind side for the next decade.

It appears to some that Dorsey and Reid are mortgaging the future on a retread. Let them think that. This is what I see. Reid has hired his field general for the next couple of years while he develops a guy. Albeit a pretty expensive placeholder but what do they have to lose?

One thing I've said before and I will continue to say is Clark Hunt is a savvy businessman. He prefers to hire people he believes will make his ventures successful. His vision to me is clear. He's hired the right management team to place his franchise in a position to be successful.

The product that is developing for the 2013 season will be what the Chiefs Nation has been missing for the last several years. The excitement that is starting to be generated could very well become a wildfire at any time.

I'm in no way viewing these developments through rose-colored glasses nor am I under any illusion that any of these changes will result in a playoff run. What I can see is that the Kansas City Chiefs have become a much better team by these moves.

Only time will tell but having been a long time observer of this team and a long term follower of all things KC and in my humble opinion...the barbecue will be sweeter, the tailgating will be even more fun and at the end of the day...Arrowhead will return to the class of the NFL.

Is Tyler Wilson the answer as Alex Smith's back up in 2013 and beyond?

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