Quarterback Talk … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

From Mobile, Alabama

Everybody always wants to talk to the quarterbacks. Put six of the biggest names among college quarterbacks in the same place for a week, and there’s no doubt they will lead the scoreboard when it comes to interviews and autographs.

But then, these guys are used to being in the spotlight and having every part of their game and life under the microscope.

And there’s a chance – maybe even a good chance – that one of these six quarterbacks could be joining the Chiefs for the 2011 season.

GM Scott Pioli isn’t about to pull his cards away from his chest and divulge draft strategy. But the circumstantial evidence creates a scenario where Pioli almost has to grab a QB with one of his draft choices.

First, backup QB Brodie Croyle is without a contract for the coming season. There was little he showed in relief of starter Matt Cassel that screams for the Chiefs to bring him back. That will create an opening.

Second, the Chiefs are due to take a QB. The last time they used a draft choice on a passer was Croyle, taken in the third round and the 85th selection of the 2006 NFL Draft. That’s four drafts without a QB. In the last 13 NFL Drafts, the Chiefs have selected only two passers – Croyle and James Kilian (2005, 7th round-229 choice.)

Third, part of Pioli’s football DNA includes grabbing quarterbacks in the middle and late rounds. The Patriots have done so for years, and they’ve done it with great success. Bill Belichick took over the football operation in New England with Pioli as his right-hand man in personnel before the 2000 season. In 11 draft classes – eight of those with Pioli around – the Patriots drafted six quarterbacks, or an average of one every other season.

Those factors make the six QBs here for the 2011 Senior Bowl candidates for wearing the red and gold in the immediate future. They are: Andy Dalton, TCU; Colin Kaepernick, Nevada; Jake Locker, Washington; Greg McElroy, Alabama; Christian Ponder, Florida State; Ricky Stanzi, Iowa.

Only Locker is considered a first-round possibility, although he had a tough senior season that knocked down his grades a bit. The other five quarterbacks will all be selected in the third through seventh rounds.

Here are the career numbers of those six QBs in college. They are listed in alphabetical order:



















Andy Dalton 50 1,317 823 62.5 10,314 7.8 71 30
ColinKaepernick 51 1,271 740 58.2 10,098 7.9 82 24
Jake Locker 39 1,132 614 54.2 7,583 6.7 53 35
Greg McElroy 35 658 436 66.3 5,691 8.7 39 10
ChristianPonder 35 965 569 58.9 6,872 7.1 49 30
Ricky Stanzi 41 907 542 59.8 7,377 8.1 56 31

In one week, it’s impossible to produce a full scouting report on these quarterbacks, but there’s no doubt there throwing motions can be judged, as can their mobility and pocket presence:

DALTON (6-2, 213) – has been very inconsistent in his throwing; there are times he looks like the best QB in Mobile. At other times he’s struggling with his accuracy. No question about his arm strength as he’s thrown the ball well on deep patterns. It’s the underneath throws that cause him problems, especially when he’s in a rush to get the ball away quickly – that’s a leftover from playing in TCU’s spread offense. Dalton has the ability to get out of the pocket and throw on the run. Projected: fourth or fifth round.

KAEPERNICK (6-4½, 225) – will need work on his throwing motion, as he’s not very quick getting rid of the ball. He can move well out of the pocket, but pressure has his feet moving, even when he’s still in the pocket. Very athletic and has shown a good sense of the game. Projected: fifth or sixth round.

LOCKER (6-2¼, 228) – looks like the quarterback most ready to play; he’s fundamentally sound with a good, quick release. There’s an economy of movement when Locker is throwing the ball. He has also shown escapability when the pocket breaks down and he keeps his eyes down field. Projected: second round.

MCELROY (6-1¾, 222) – The guy displays impressive ball placement, gets the ball out on time and consistently is able to throw receivers open. However, when asked to drive the football outside the numbers, he just doesn’t have the arm strength to make all the throws. Projected: sixth or seventh round.

PONDER (6-2, 222) – joins Locker as the Senior Bowl passer that most looks like an NFL starting quarterback. He stands tall in the pocket and he showed on Tuesday that concerns about his arm strength are misplaced right now; he can wing it. Generally has good footwork and his feet remain silent until the last moment when it’s time to take off. Projected: third round.

STANZI (6-4, 221) – struggles at times with throwing accurately when he’s forced to put air under the ball. Thus, his longer passes tend to sail on him. Anything underneath he’s one of the better looking throwers, as he’s accurate. Projected: seventh round.


  • BRONCOS – named Richard Smith as linebackers coach and Ron Milus as secondary coach.
  • BROWNS – named Chris Tabor special teams coordinator.
  • CHARGERS – signed reserve/futures contract with OLB Carl Ihenacho.
  • EAGLES – fired linebackers coach Bill Suhey.
  • FALCONS – signed reserve/futures contract with LB Robert James.
  • JETS – signed reserve/futures contracts with LB Cody Brown, LB Brashton Satele, C Robby Felix, WR Logan Payne, DL Matt Kroul, QB Drew Willy, RB Carlos Brown, RB Chris Jennings, OL Marlon Davis, DL Lorenzo Washington, DL Carlton Powell, LB Joey LaRocque, LB Brian Toal, DB Will Billingsley, DB Ellis Lankster, DB Richard Taylor, P T.J. Conley and G Dennis Landolt.

7 Responses to “Quarterback Talk … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 26, 2011  - napahank says:

    Why should we “waste” a draft pick on a 3rd-6th round QB? It seems a much better option to let other teams pick up these QB’s and then pluck the best proven and tested backup QB who is stuck behind a great starter (ala Cassell) if you want to finish developing a QB.

    Let other teams spend the picks. How many Brady-type draft picks of QB’s have there been compared to a 3rd-6th round RB or WR success story? Instead these project picks sit on the bench behind your starter with no immediate and unknown future contribution.

    Sign a veteran as a backup and then when your starter is within a few years of major decline go for a high quality pick (ala Aaron Rogers).

  • January 26, 2011  - RW says:

    The Chiefs have to be the most inept QB drafting team in the NFL so that leaves three schools of thought:

    1) Pick off another team’s developmental QB

    2) The Chiefs are way overdue to pluck a winner, so swing away

    3) If a franchise type QB like a Mallett or Newton can be had in some way with a trade-up, what then? Again, I say, swing away because Cassel is too inconsistent to take the current team to the ‘bowl.

    Put my money on the third option.

  • January 26, 2011  - el cid says:

    There have been time when the Chiefs could not id a QB with the help of a seeing eye dog, in the past. I think those days are over with Pioli. Not a fan, bet he seems to know what he is doing with QB position.

    Cassel did cost us a 2nd round pick, but you knew that already. So unless you can find one in Canada or off the street, it will cost something in the draft. Every time I think of a big name college QB, Leaf pops in my mind. So for me I leave that in Pioli’s hands.

  • January 27, 2011  - Michael says:

    I think with the right team around him Cassel can take KC to the bowl. Still, I think they should always look for a young quarterback to develop. But not in round one; not this year. I really like Colin Kaepernick out of Nevada. Right now, he’s looking like a 3rd or 4th round pick. He’s showing well so far at the Senior Bowl, though, and if he has a great combine it will go up-maybe to a 2nd or 3rd. After that, I like Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi, who may be rated a little above Kaepernick. For me, it would take too much ammo in draft picks and/or players, not to mention money to sign the guy, to go after guys like Gabbert, Locker, Newton, or Mallet. Also, I don’t think any of them are as impressive as Ryan, Stafford, Sanchez or Flacko were when they came out. I have to admit Newton is interesting, and if I were going to go after one, he probably would be it. But, no. If you really want to throw a ton of chips on the table and go after a highly ranked QB coming out of college, the thing to do is wait until 2012 and go for Andrew Luck. Wow-he’s the prototype.

  • January 28, 2011  - Michael says:

    I guess Kaepernick is really, really doing well for himself at the Senior bowl practices. People are already saying he’s probably moved into the first round. And they haven’t even played the game yet! Too bad, I wanted him to stay under the radar so the Chiefs might have a chance to get him.

  • January 29, 2011  - Russell says:

    I agree Pioli is OLD SCHOOL(Belichick), and even though he may have whiffed on TJAX, at QB he is going to play careful and smart. Matt C can carry this team next year and the year after that–SHOULD, the running game, good passing targets, defense. IF IF that special kind of QB just lights up SP, then he pulls the trigger. He is smart enough to know he cannot afford to whiff on a QB. GOOD and really GOOD
    GMs just don’t…….

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