As the Kansas City Chiefs approach the 2013 NFL draft, the team has to be thinking about taking a quarterback to revitalize the franchise, which means it has to be thinking about taking former West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith.
Kansas City is currently tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record in the NFL at 2-11, and will have a shot at the top prospects at every position once the draft rolls around.
Quarterback has to be the consensus pick for the organization in the first round. The Chiefs are quite possibly one of the more talented teams in the league—outside of the quarterback position. Both Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn have been horrendous all season and won't turn it around next season either.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the 2013 quarterback class isn't exceptional, especially when compared to last year's, which touted franchise-changers in Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.
The 2013 class does have one prospect who appears to have a shot at being a first-round pick and a successful quarterback in the NFL immediately, and it's not Matt Barkley of USC. Rather, that honor would go to Geno Smith.
Smith is a versatile quarterback with all the traits needed to be a franchise quarterback. He is huge at 6'3" and 215 pounds, but fast enough to extend plays with his feet in a similar manner to what Luck and Griffin have been able to do in the pocket.
The 22-year-old Mountaineer had a jaw-dropping year in 2012. He threw for 4,004 yards, 40 touchdowns and only six interceptions. His quarterback rating was an exceptional 164.6. Smith was also able to flash his athleticism with 155 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
His numbers included an amazing 656 yard, eight touchdown performance in a 70-63 victory over Baylor late in the season.
Smith is obviously a raw talent, but with the right coaching staff and surroundings his transition to the professional level could be a smooth one.
That's where Kansas City comes into the picture.
The Chiefs have an elite running back in Jamaal Charles and a crop of supporting skill players such as Tony Moeaki, who will give Smith plenty of options on every down. The offensive line is still spotty, but Smith's athleticism will allow him to compensate.
Recently, ESPN's Adam Schefter explained that Smith hasn't impressed scouts, and he believes Smith could fall out of the first round (h/t Arrowhead Pride).
Whether or not Smith has a chance to fall to the second round, the Chiefs cannot afford to take that gamble. He's a special prospect who could change the franchise, and he's arguably the best in his class.
It's unreasonable to place major expectations on Smith's shoulders when comparing him to Luck or Griffin, because prospects such as those are extremely rare. That doesn't mean Smith cannot have a meaningful impact in Kansas City considering his impressive skill set.
Consistency at the quarterback position is what the Chiefs need. An added wrinkle in the offense rather than typical pocket passers could help things as well, and will add some creativity to what has been a stale offense over the past few seasons.
Smith has the answers to the Chiefs' offensive woes, and needs to be the first player Kansas City selects in the 2013 NFL draft.