The Kansas City Chiefs own the top pick in this year’s NFL Draft and they probably have no clue as to what they want to do with it. Should they pick consensus future All-Pro in Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel and trade their franchised left tackle Brandon Albert? Is former number one overall pick Alex Smith the long term solution at quarterback? Should they trade the pick for more picks in what is considered a mediocre to weak draft class?
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO!
I am 100 percent certain that Matt Barkley should be the number one pick in the NFL Draft. He has been training to be an NFL quarterback since he was in grade school and has had incredible success at every level of play thus far.
Barkley went to Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. Let’s just say the resumes of some of the alumni from this school would blow your mind, not only sports, but entertainment, government, and even religious leadership. Mater Dei has a rich football history that boasts not one, but two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks. He was only the second player in the storied history of that football program to start at quarterback as a freshman. The only other freshman to start for MDHS was “Robo-QB” Todd Marinovich (who has an incredible story that was brilliantly documented by ESPN’s 30 for 30 series). Barkley started all four years in high school and broke Marinovich’s all-time school and county record for passing yards. Barkley is the only player to call his own plays since current Mater Dei head coach Bruce Rollinson took over in 1989. Barkley was a top recruit, committed to USC after his junior season, and was named Gatorade National Male High School Athlete of the Year in 2007. My point is that it’s safe to say that Matt Barkley has spent his formative years preparing for success in an environment that has a track record of breeding it.
The story doesn’t get much different when it comes to his career at USC. Again, Barkley started as a freshman, and with the help of some really good teammates, dominated CFB from the jump. Barkley was extremely impressive as a freshman, garnering praise from evaluators such as Mel Kiper Jr. who dubbed Barkley “the number one pick in the draft three years from now”. It’s still fresh in the minds of college football fans, so I don’t have to go over all of Barkley’s incredible numbers and accomplishments at USC. He stayed and started all four years and played brilliantly. There is enough tape on this kid to be able to see that he can make plays with the right talent around him.
The Kansas City Chiefs have some outstanding players on their roster. Dwayne Bowe is an elite receiver when motivated and former first round pick Jon Baldwin has potential to be a nice compliment. Jamaal Charles is a quality running back with big play capabilities, as is Dexter McCluster in a variety of roles. The Chiefs employ a Pro-Bowl player at each level of their defense with Eric Berry at safety, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston at linebacker, and Tamba Hali at defensive end. Dustin Colquitt made the Pro-Bowl as the best punter in the AFC, and believe me when I tell you that field position means a great deal in the NFL.
It’s incredible that the Chiefs won a mere two games last year with six Pro-Bowl players on the roster. This goes to show you what a franchise quarterback means to an NFL team’s success. The Chiefs traded for Alex Smith this offseason. I know better than most as to what Smith can and cannot do, for I’m a lifelong 49ers fan. I supported the decision to draft Smith number one overall in ’05 and I still do to this day. He is a fantastic football player, a very good NFL athlete, and a leader who takes care of the ball and makes quality football decisions. He’s a quiet guy who had all the respect in the world from his former teammates and coaches. He’s faced and conquered adversity that most NFL players would never dream that they would have to deal with. He’s got heart and he’s tough.
But he’s not the answer the Chiefs are looking for moving forward. The Chiefs should draft Matt Barkley number one overall and let him sit behind Smith for his rookie season. Smith is the perfect transitional quarterback for Andy Reid because of his experiences in San Francisco, and I can guarantee he will win more than two games next season. This will allow Barkley to completely heal and strengthen his throwing shoulder (which is his number one “red flag” according to evaluators) in preparation to take over for KC in his second season NFL season. I don’t know Matt Barkley personally, so maybe something about this kid’s personality doesn’t sit well with NFL brass, but from everything I’ve read about him and his brief history on this planet, to me, this is a no-brainer. Barkley is the truth and one screwed up season in college doesn’t take away from everything else that he’s done to this point. All signs points to greatness for Matt Barkley. Whoever lands him will have the most important position in sports locked up for years to come.