KCCD Editor: Jason Madson
West Virginia vs Syracuse
Tomorrow ends the Chiefs disaster of a season. The wheels are hopefully in full motion for changes in the Front Office, Coaching Staff and even a few spots on the roster. Today we could be getting a glimpse of the future in this bowl game. The Pinstripe Bowl is loaded with talented prospects. Read on to check my thoughts on every player that could be wearing a Chiefs uniform in 2013.
Most of us will be tuning into this game to get one last look at West Virginia QB, Geno Smith. Geno should go out with a bang against an average (or worse) pass defense. Just look at his accurate passes, short-mid range passes are money for Geno. Would like to see him throwing deep more, but with weapons like Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and JD Woods, he takes what is there.
Chiefs QBs Cassel and Quinn struggle to take anything the defense gives them, usually giving away more than anything. It would be refreshing to get a QB behind center in Kansas City that can throw a WR open or hit them in stride. The Chiefs haven’t had this since Trent Green or a brief stretch with Kyle Orton last year.
Some experts claim that there is no sure thing atop this draft. I disagree. Geno Smith should be the name called with the Chiefs first pick.
Kansas City’s need for QBs has me thinking another arm could be taken a few rounds later. My guy in this spot is opposite Geno Smith today in Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib. Nassib is a slightly different QB than Geno. He relies on his awareness in the pocket and good ball fakes/pumps to work receivers open. He isn’t afraid to stand tall in the pocket, look down the barrel and deliver.
Nassib is tough and intelligent. A great backup QB that can come in a spell the starter in a pinch. The Chiefs selecting 2 QBs in this draft is necessary and resembles what the Redskins did in the 2012 draft with RG3 and Kirk Cousins.
The Quarterbacks aren’t the only prospects in this game though. Here is a quick rundown of the remaining players to watch for each team.
WRs Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and JD Woods. This trio complements each other perfectly. Austin is your jack of all trades, master of speed guy. Saw him outrun 2 dbs at Iowa State that had the angle by 20 yards. Incredible in the open field or even between the tackles. Look for Austin to touch the ball in a variety of ways.
Stedman Bailey is a more traditional WR that uses speed and excellent route running to get open. He is undersized, but will be a contributor at the next level. One thing I love about Bailey is his willingness to make blocks and tackles on kickoff return and kick coverage. Shows a willingness to do whatever is needed to help team win.
JD Woods is a sure handed WR that gets open with ease. I’m sure it has something to do with the other weapons on this offense, but he doesn’t drop many when they are thrown his way.
RB Shawne Alston is a horse of a back. Big bodied and nimble in the open field. The West Virginia offense really struggled when he was out with injury. A healthy Alston allows Tavon Austin to move back to WR and gets the WVU play-action game going. Geno Smith excels with play-action passing.
The WVU defense doesn’t feature many prospects, but pass rushing specialist Josh Francis is one of them. He is an all out speed rusher that can drop into coverage in a pinch. He could see the field in the Chiefs nickel package or as a pass rusher off the edge. He is extremely undersized, but should see the field.
WRs Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales each had big years for the Orange. Saw first hand what Lemon can do when I watched him go for 244 yards vs Mizzou and the game winning TD. He worked from the slot that game and should have a future there in the NFL. He doesn’t have the speed to get open, but the routes he runs work for him. He is usually bigger than the DB that covers him too.
OT Justin Pugh is a monster pass protector. He shutdown every pass rusher that Mizzou threw at him and the Tigers have some NFL talent at DE. He extends his arms and kicks as well as any tackle in this draft. His run blocking could use some added strength, but it will surely improve at the next level. Could be a target for the Chiefs if Branden Albert isn’t re-signed or franchised.
My favorite of the non-QB Orange is SS Shamarko Thomas. This guy hits with reckless abandon, trying to destroy whoever has the ball. He is a true leader on the field and sidelines. He struggles in coverage, but makes up for it with some jawbreaking hits. Watch him today and compare his hitting to the pillow fights that the current Chiefs secondary is involved with every week.
Out of the list of prospects that were just listed, I could come up with a nice 7 round mock draft for the Chiefs. I won’t waste your time with that, but this game is loaded with talent. Check it out today and get back to me on who you like/don’t like from this game.