Saturday, April 30, 2011
Ricky Stanzi a great fit in Kansas City
By Bill Williamson
The Kansas City Chiefs are continuing the best draft in the AFC West, in my opinion.
Following up on a strong first three rounds, the Chiefs got perhaps one of the best players available on the third day in the form of Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi. He was taken in the fifth round with the No. 135 overall pick.
That is a great value choice. Stanzi was considered a likely early fourth-round choice. He was graded by most teams as a step below the seven quarterbacks who were taken in the first three rounds, mostly because he may need time to develop.
But a lot of teams think Stanzi will develop into a solid NFL starter. Stanzi was known for being a tough player in the Big Ten. He is accurate and his game could translate well to the NFL.
Kansas City coach Todd Haley and quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn should help Stanzi develop quickly.
I expect him to be the Chiefs’ backup quarterback immediately unless he is a total disaster in training camp and in the preseason. Current backup Brodie Croyle has been ineffective and he is a free agent. The Chiefs wanted an upgrade and Saturday they got one.
Stanzi could be groomed under Matt Cassel and could be ready to play in a few years whether it’s as Cassel’s replacement or as a valuable trade piece.
There’s no downside to this selection.