Many Chiefs fans watching the draft were angry the Cleveland Browns swooped in with a trade to snag quarterback Johnny Manziel one spot before Kansas City. No one knows for certain the Chiefs were going to use their first pick on Manziel, but I am happy we did not draft him. I also know I’m in the minority by not being on board the Manziel bandwagon. Humor me and let me tell you why.
Let’s just take a minute to look at successful quarterbacks in the league. The first three names most people toss out: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers. What do these guys have in common? A great arm. I’m not saying Manziel doesn’t throw. He had a 69.9% completion rate when he did throw the ball. However, he also rushed the ball 144 times in 13 games. Look at our Super Bowl XLVII quarterbacks stats for 2013 as a point of comparison. Manning attempted to run 32 times in 16 games. Russell Wilson attempted 96 runs in 16 games. Both of these men took their teams to the championship game and their attempted rushing doesn’t come close to Johnny Football.
Football is a different game at the collegiate level. Being able to run the ball is an asset in the NCAA. It is a different game. Just a couple years ago people couldn’t stop talking about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III being drafted at 1 and 2. Which of these guys have had more success for their teams? Which of these guys is more closely related to Manziel? Luck is a better quarterback in the league right now and he isn’t big on the running. He only attempted to run 63 times. The kid has an arm and he uses it instead.
To find success in the NFL a quarterback needs an arm. Don’t believe me? Let’s ask Terrelle Pryor. Or maybe Michael Vick. Or Geno Smith. How about Cam Newton because he was the top rushing quarterback in 2013? Now he did take his team to the playoffs and there was some serious buzz around the team, but Carolina Panthers’ division was not the power house people are used to and this could have been part of what helped push them into that wildcard spot. Has he done much else for his team since he was drafted in 2011? Maybe he can tip his hat to Matt Ryan on his success in 2013.
So let’s look at the newest Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray. He is coming back from an ACL injury which could cause some concerns, but Jamaal Charles came back from a torn ACL and we all know what he did last season. Murray only played in 11 games in 2013 but managed to maintain a 64.8% pass completion and rushed only 53 times. That’s the guy I’d pick to work with Alex Smith. Are you catching my theme? I want the guy that uses his arm.
Chiefs are looking for a quarterback that could grow with the team and work under Alex Smith. If Manziel would have been drafted he would be our starter or else money was wasted picking him up in the first round. Are fans sure they want to cast Smith aside? A man who gained more confidence each game and made improvements the entire season. The guy that helped take our beloved Chiefs to postseason play. I’d like to see what he can do in his second season.
I will pick a guy with an arm any day over a guy with speedy legs. We have running backs for that and I wouldn’t trade Jamaal Charles for Johnny Manziel. Maybe I’m wrong and Manziel will be successful in 2014. We will all know in just 11 weeks.