The possibility of Alex Smith joining the Chiefs—via trade or free agency—is very real. But is he the answer to Kansas City's longstanding quarterback curse, or is he simply a convenient Band-Aid? The 49ers quarterback nearly led his team to the Super Bowl in the 2011 season. But his offense accompanied a top-tier defense—something Kansas City doesn't flaunt—through the Sunday tunnels.
Drafting Geno Smith affords Andy Reid the opportunity to build a young, vastly talented quarterback from the ground up—potentially laying a cornerstone for the franchise to build around in years to come.
But long-term implications aside, selecting Smith would still likely impact the 2013 season. Even if Alex Smith takes the first snap next fall, there's little hope in him starting every contest—he has only endured the full 16-game schedule twice in seven years. There's no doubt that Geno Smith can step in, answer the call and deliver wins as a rookie.
If West Virginia's record-breaker headlines the depth chart on opening day, history proves that Kansas City could still breach the playoff picture. Three rookie quarterbacks—Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell wilson—willed their respective teams into the postseason last year. And the Super Bowl featured a quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who entered the game with less experience than any of the aforementioned three.
By all accounts, Smith figures to be the first quarterback plucked from the board this April. The rookie also projects to be the most seamless fit into Reid's offensive scheme.
As previously mentioned, West Coast offenses typically emphasize short-to-intermediate routes through the air. And when comparing Smith to prospects Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon and Matt Barkley, statistics show that the West Virginia quarterback is the most accurate passer within that range.
In 2012, Smith completed 83.3 percent of passes within one to five yards, 78.1 percent of passes within six to 10 yards and 64 percent of throws from 11 to 20 yards—the highest percentage amongst his peers in all three categories (via SecondRoundStats.com).
Obviously, no fanbase will universally agree on any draft choice. Andy Reid's selection of Donovan McNabb (No. 2 overall) was greeted by a chorus of condescending boos, but McNabb propelled the Philadelphia Eagles to five NFC Championship Game appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl.
In 2008, John Harbaugh also began his tenure as the Baltimore Ravens head coach with skeptics second-guessing his pick of quarterback Joe Flacco—it's safe to say that gamble paid off.