Much of the NFL Draft speculation centering around DeShaun Watson has the Clemson QB going in the Top 10 to one of the quarterback-needy teams: the Bears, Jets, 49ers or maybe to the Cleveland Browns 1st overall.
But here’s a curveball, from NFL.com – What about the Kansas City Chiefs? They hold the 27th pick in the 1st round, and their starter, Alex Smith, turns 33 in the offseason, and is on the downside of his career:
"These teams appear to be excellent fits for Watson’s skill set and I don’t think he would be forced to play right away based on their current roster makeup. I would pick Kansas City as the ideal spot for him to have a successful career. Andy Reid is outstanding at developing young quarterbacks and he would mold his scheme/play-calling around Watson’s greatest strengths."
In a perfect world, sure, a 2+ year starter who tore up Alabama twice in the National Championship would be available late in the 1st round. Watson could sit for a year, learn a new system, and then start in year two or three.
But we don’t live in a perfect world. I’d be a stunner of Watson fell out of the Top 10. Have you looked at who the four QB-neediest teams in the NFL trotted out this past season?
Chicago: Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley
New York Jets: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty
San Francisco: Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick
Cleveland: Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, Charlie Whitehurst
Would anyone be surprised if none of these 13 were starters next year? Maybe some bad team signs Cutler to a terrible contract and he struggles.
But why shouldn’t those four teams identify their future QB here, and then build around him?