KCCD Editor: Jason Madson
This week we are going to look at 2 specific positions: Quarterback and Inside Linebacker. These are 2 of the bigger needs on the Chiefs and the 2013 NFL Draft should be loaded at each spot. Like last week I am headed to Columbia, MO to watch the Missouri Tigers. This week the opponent has a few more NFL prospects on the field than last week’s opponent, Vanderbilt. Alabama comes to town with their loaded roster, so expect more than 2 pages worth of notes in that post.
As previously mentioned, we are going to be concentrating on the QBs and ILBs this week, with the exception being the Mizzou/Bama game. Kansas City, besides Pro Bowler Derrick Johnson, isn’t really set at either position for now or in the future. We are going to set the wheels in motion this week. Check out these 13 games and prospects, with an Eye On The Chiefs Future! Let me know who you’re watching this week. We’ll have another open thread that I will be updating throughout the day. Have fun with this and enjoy the football.
Kansas State @ Iowa State (FX)
There won’t be much for QB play in this game, but 3 of the best linebackers in the country will be on display in this one.
Collin Klein is the QB of the KState Wildcats, and while his throwing motion has slightly improved, he’s not an NFL QB in my opinion. His ball floats and his accuracy isn’t what it needs to be to be a signal caller at the next level. He does bring that “Tebow Factor” to the table, without all the extra mess though.
Iowa State and Kansas State each have a linebacker(s) I’d love to call a Kansas City Chief.
Jake Knott and AJ Klein are pretty much joined at the hip when talking about Iowa State. These 2 are about as talented of a duo as there is in college football. Knott being the more athletic and Klein being the better technician. Either player could fill a role in the middle for the Chiefs. My only question is, do they come as a pair on draft day?
Kansas State doesn’t have a duo like the Cyclones, but they might have the better overall player. Arthur Brown has been making plays all over the field for KState and stays on the field thru injury. Watch Brown vs the run or pass, his level of play is always above average. He should see a lot of work against the Cyclones today.
Oklahoma vs Texas (ABC)
I have been waiting to see this matchup for months. The Texas Longhorns have some playmakers on defense to help slow down OU’s Landry Jones. Not that Landry has been setting the world on fire or anything, but he still has a ton of talent and it can click at any time.
Landry hasn’t been the same since Ryan Broyles tore his knee ligaments last November. It’s proving that Broyles was the key to the OU passing game and not Jones. That being said, Landry has the arm strength, size and toughness to develop into a QB at the next level. I wouldn’t select him early, but it’d be nice if he fell into our laps later in the draft.
Boomer Sooner has a linebacker by the name of Tom Wort. He’s #21 and looks smaller than most of the guys that will be mentioned here. That’s because he is listed at 6-0, but that might be a stretch. He plays with power and instincts that erase that disadvantage. Watch him flying all over the field with a reckless style this morning.
Duke @ Virginia Tech (ESPN3)
Duke is surprising a lot of people with their play this year. Winning more games already than many expected. Some of this success can be attributed to Quarterback Sean Renfree, who didn’t play last week due to an injured elbow. He is due to make his return this week. His ability to make NFL throws is a bit concerning, so watch this during the game.
Logan Thomas definitely has no issue making throws, he has a rocket. His issue is his footwork and decision making. These are 2 things that he can be coached up on after sitting behind a starter in the NFL. Last week took us back to Logan from 2011, when he thrashed the UNC defense with his arm and legs. This is why he is still among my top QBs, regardless of his slow start. Look for more of the same vs Duke.
Virginia Tech has 2 inside backer candidates I really like in Jack Tyler and Bruce Taylor. Taylor is the bigger name between the 2. He would be a better fit in the Chiefs 3-4 defense as well.
Alabama @ Mizzou (CBS)
David vs Goliath if you will. The number one team in the country travels to Columbia to take on injury riddled Mizzou who has yet to win an SEC game. Mizzou looked awful on offense after QB James Franklin went out with injury last week. Franklin is expected to miss at least 2 more games with an injured knee.
Mizzou will have to find success in the ground game with scatback Kendial Lawrence. Lawrence, when he’s given opportunites, has been a very capable fill in for Henry Josey. With the defense at Bama looking like that of an NFL team, he will more than likely struggle.
I am looking forward to seeing Dee Milliner line up with Mizzou’s deep WR corps. He is ranked by many as the top cornerback prospect in the draft.
Alabama features 2 of the best inside linebackers in the country in their 3-4 defense. Nico Johnson and CJ Mosley are as good as it gets when looking for defenders in Kansas City. Either one of these 2 stars can impact a game in many ways. They will be the stars of the show tomorrow if Mizzou can’t get their passing game going.
Mizzou has a pretty damn good inside linebacker as well in Will Ebner. He sat out last week vs Vandy and injuries have cut his time on the field in half throughout his career. When he is on the field, he makes plays. Involved in every tackle, good blitzer and hits like a ton of bricks. Definitely a guy to watch if he can stay on the field.
Bama’s junior QB AJ McCarron is a heady leader for the Crimson Tide. He rarely makes a mistake and is extremely accurate with his throws. He won’t wow you in any aspect, but can lead a team. My only concern is his high sack totals. He’s protected by a ridiculously talented offensive line and shouldn’t take many sacks. Watch to see if he holds on to the ball vs the talented Mizzou pass rush.
Lastly, watch Mizzou DT Sheldon Richardson vs Chance Warmack and Barrett Jones. These 3 interior linemen are going to battle all day and it could have a lot to do with the outcome of this game. We have seen Sheldon dominate most opponents this year. If he looks good vs this offensive line, he’s going to be drafted very, very high.
Stanford @ Notre Dame (NBC)
As far as inside linebackers go, this game will feature 2 of the very best. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Stanford’s Shane Skov are ranked one and two by a lot of outlets.
They are similar players in that they are both strong, tough and free flowing to the ball. It’s easy to see why these 2 are sitting at the top of the rankings.
Another player that could move inside in my opinion is Stanford LB Chase Thomas. He lines up all over the field, but his playing style makes me think inside backer. Take a look and see if you agree.
West Virginia @ Texas Tech (ABC/ESPN)
The reason why every one of us as Chiefs fans will watch this game…Geno Smith. He is the flavor of the month, and for good reason. He has the arm, the touch, mobility, smarts, anticipation, footwork, awareness, I could go on and on. Geno Smith, if the Chiefs are lucky enough, will be wearing a Chiefs uniform this time next year.
Texas Tech has a QB that I’m a fan of, but not to lead the Chiefs in the near future. Seth Doege can do a bit of it all, but nothing at a high level. This would be a guy that makes a roster as a member of a practice squad to start his career.
Miami (OH) @ Bowling Green (ESPN3)
Zac Dysert struggled with the Cincinatti pass rush last week throwing multiple bad interceptions. He has more talent than he showed last week and should right the ship against a lesser opponent in BG. The velocity on his throws is the thing to watch with Zac. He can zip it.
Boston College @ Florida State (ESPN2)
EJ Manuel has been up and down during his time at Florida State. Last week’s loss to NC State ended with 6 plays, 5 of which were on the ground. Why didn’t FSU HC Jimbo Fisher trust his star QB at the end?
The talent is there for Manuel, but something doesn’t always click with him. In a game the Seminoles should win easily, watch Manuel. See how he responds to the lack of trust to end last week’s game.
Florida @ Vanderbilt (ESPNU)
We saw a few positives out of Vandy QB Jordan Rodgers last week vs Mizzou. He’s definitely tough. He took shot after shot from the Mizzou from 7. He also dropped a few passes in that made me say wow. He isn’t his brother and never will be, but he can make the throws and move when he has to. His issue is getting his footwork down and throwing an accurate ball more times than not.
In the middle for the Gators will be one of my favorites, Jon Bostic. He is built like a brick house and moves well down hill. Will make plays in coverage as well. I’ve seen him turn and run with tight ends and running backs in coverage, slip a hand in to deflect the pass. Bostic would be a perfect addition next to Derrick Johnson in Kansas City’s defense.
Kentucky @ Arkansas (Fox Sports South)
Tyler Wilson is still among the top QB prospects available in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has had an up and down season, with coaching changes and injuries. That doesn’t take away from what he can do on the field.
He is very close to being a complete package and should have a great day vs the Wildcats. When watching this game, imagine Wilson throwing to the many Chiefs weapons in Arrowhead. Don’t start crying, as it has to become a reality next year.
USC @ Washington (FOX)
Matt Barkley was the top QB prospect in the land just one month ago by most draft experts. I won’t say a lot has changed, as I never had Barkley number one, but he is dropping.
His poor performance vs Stanford is one game to point to as when it started to change. All that this means is that some team further down in the draft will get Barkley. He goes to a better situation and gets to sit and learn without the pressure of being a top pick. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
I hope he stays at Washington for another year, but QB Keith Price is going to be a good one. He has the arm and legs to make some NFL team take a shot early in the draft. See how he performs while being chased by the USC pass rush tonight.
South Carolina @ LSU (ESPN)
Although I love many of the prospects on South Carolina, today it’s about 2 from the Bayou Bengals.
LSU QB Zach Mettenberger is among the most hyped juniors in the land. He has the size and all the attributes to be a very good QB, but the production just hasn’t been there on the field. Maybe it’s his lack of dependable playmakers around him or his injury filled offensive line, but he hasn’t been living up to the hype.
One thing I have noticed is with the increase in talent of opponents, his completion percentage has been decreasing each week. He has had some dropped balls by his receivers, but 44% is still 44%.
On the defensive side of the ball for LSU, LB Kevin Minter is getting better by the week. He has somewhat burst on the scene to begin the year and could vault himself into a high draft pick if the play continues.
Tennessee @ Mississippi State (ESPN2)
Here is a game you want to watch if you’re as hungry for a QB for the Chiefs as I am. The Vols and Bulldogs each have a junior QB that can light it up with their arms.
Tennessee’s Tyler Bray has a “gunslinger” mentality. As much as I hate using that phrase, it fits. He will let it rip and watch his stud WRs go up and get it. Does that sound like a recipe that Chiefs fans would love? YES! Bray throwing bombs to Bowe and Baldwin would open up the running game that much more.
On the other sideline, we have MSU QB Tyler Russell. He is more of a watch and see type of prospect. I am almost certain he will stay at MSU for his senior year, but he has skills as well. My favorite is ball security. He takes care of the football. Imagine if Matt Cassel had done this to begin the year…We’d be sitting at 3-2 more than likely.
Russell also wins games. The Bulldogs are sitting at 5-0 for the first time in a very long time.