Alex Smith To Chiefs: What Does This Mean For Matt Barkley?
Despite the talks of the Chiefs pondering using the number one overall pick on Geno Smith, they opted for the safer option; QB Alex Smith from the 49ers.
Alex Smith suffered a concussion around midseason and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick, who went on to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Kaepernick's play left the veteran Smith expendable in San Fran, and the Niners jumped at the opportunity to receive a second pick (33rd pick overall) for their now-back up quarterback.
This is not a solid class of quarterbacks in the 2013 draft, so the Chiefs made the obvious move here to acquire Smith. I don't think any of the quarterbacks available are worth a 33rd pick nor are they as good as Alex Smith. Matt Barkley was a preseason top pick, but his draft status plummeted as USC flopped under his watch. One has to wonder if he was injured enough to miss the final games of the season, or if he was just scared of dropping further in the upcoming draft. His refusal to participate in the combine points in that direction, even though he claims to still be ailing.
So where will he end up? Teams that have an obvious need at QB are the Jets, Jaguars, Cardinals, Bills, and Raiders. I have to think that the Jets and Raiders are done with the USC prospects for a while, and the Jets have their hands tied financially with Sanchez. Fitzpatrick just received a big extension, but his play down the stretch of seasons cost his head coach his job in Buffalo. With the Chiefs taking Smith in a trade, that just leaves Arizona and Jacksonville. The Jags have a whole new front office from the owner on down to the head coach, so I don't see a solid commitment to Blaine Gabbert, and they already said they have no interest in Tim Tebow (Which I think is a huge mistake for the sake of selling tickets). New Head Coach Bruce Arians said the Cardinals are "very interested" in Matt Barkley and could see themselves using their first round pick on the QB.
With a solid QB, the Cardinals could have challenged for a wild card spot last year, but with no leadership and a lack of running game, they faltered and fell out of contention quickly. If they want to compete with the Seahawks and 49ers, they need a franchise QB who can get Larry Fitzgerald involved in the offense. Is Barkely that guy? Personally, I don't think so, but Arians is a better judge of QB's than I am, so I will take his word for it!