The Kansas City Chiefs are in contract extension talks with veteran quarterback Alex Smith. Ian Rapoport reported that talks between the two sides “aren’t progressing well” fueling speculation that the Chiefs could draft a potential franchise quarterback as early as round one in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Smith is in a contract year, which could have KC covering all their bases, or they could simply be leaking some buzz to gain the upper hand in contract negotiations. Regardless, it’s NFL Draft Rumor season with just a few days until the NFL’s biggest even kicks off.
If the Chiefs do decide to draft a successor at the 23rd overall spot, it’s likely one of the four passers below will be their guy:
Derek Carr (Fresno State)
Carr probably holds the lead here, as Chris Mortensen has called Carr “a name you hear affiliated” with Kansas City. While the Chiefs could just be playing the leverage game, they might even consider Carr, regardless of what happens with Smith. Carr has immense upside and natural talent, offering solid size, elite arm strength and above average athleticism. He’s talented enough to go all in on as the franchise passer sans Smith, but is still raw enough that the Chiefs could draft him to learn behind Smith for 1-2 years, as well. If KC goes quarterback in round one and Carr is still on the board, he’ll likely be their choice.
Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
Bridgewater is probably going to be the close second, provided he’s also on the board. With a poor Pro Day and numerous talking heads not high on his size or physical ability, Bridgewater could take a mighty tumble from the top of the draft to as late as the bottom of round two. The Chiefs could rescue him at the 23 spot if Carr is gone. There is no real evidence that he’s high on their board, but he’s mobile and can make all the throws.
Zach Mettenberger (LSU)
Mettenberger isn’t Andy Reid’s classic mobile quarterback, but he certainly has the arm to help stretch the field – something Reid loves to do. He could potentially be perfect for Reid’s pass-happy system and at the worst would allow the Chiefs to really open up their offense. He lacks mobility and is coming off of a torn ACL, but he has all the prototypical tools scouts look for – specifically size and arm strength.
Think the Chiefs are looking at another passer in round one or at another position altogether? Let us hear it in the comments below!
*Photo Credit – Huskers Illustrated