Aaron Murray, Tyler Bray and Kevin Hogan combined to pass for 265 touchdowns and almost 30,000 yards in college. But two of the quarterbacks were selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of recent drafts and one didn’t get picked at all. None has so much as taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game.
So what do the Chiefs have in their collection of backup quarterbacks? Do they have players with genuine potential, quarterbacks who can help the Chiefs win some games in 2016, if necessary, and eventually replace Alex Smith as the starter? Or just good collegians who can’t make the successful transition to the NFL?
The Chiefs aren’t sure, which is why they’ve got three such players competing for roster spots behind Smith. Heading into the draft, they already had Bray, signed as an undrafted rookie from Tennessee in 2013, and Murray, their fifth-round draft pick from Georgia the following year. Both have been buried on the depth chart behind Smith and Chase Daniel, who in March moved on in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Chiefs added Hogan from Stanford in the fifth round this year. Hogan was a four-year starter at Stanford after succeeding Andrew Luck. He will join the Chiefs with plenty of college experience.
“I think the guy’s won a lot of games for them,’’ said Trey Koziol, the Chiefs’ West Coast scout. “He’s a very, very bright kid. He’s coming from a pro‐style offense. He’s 36‐10 as a career starter for them. He’s won three Pac‐12 championships. He’s the only quarterback, I think, in Stanford history who’s been to three Rose Bowl games, too.
“If you look at his body of work as a whole, it’s really impressive. The guy has figured out a way to win games in a pro‐style offense. I thought that was very impressive.”
Andy Reid joined the Chiefs in 2013 with a well-deserved reputation of being a coach who could develop quarterbacks. Most of the passers who played for Reid with the Eagles were better players in Philadelphia than they were before or after they played for Reid.
The results of Reid’s work in that regard in Kansas City haven’t been as visible. Smith has started all but two games in the past three seasons, has been largely the same player he was his past couple of seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs aren’t sure what they have in their younger quarterbacks because they haven’t had a chance to play.
Reid will get his chance to work with Hogan for the first time soon.
“Kevin is 6‐foot‐4, 218 pounds, and he’s got great mobility and feet in the pocket,’’ Reid said. “He’s got a better‐than-average arm. He works a quick release within his arm strength. You can go back and compare quarterbacks’ arm strengths. I’m not going to tell you he’s the top of the line, and I’m not going to tell you he’s the bottom of the line. But he has great anticipation and within this offense, that works. You won’t find anybody who works smarter, harder, all those intangible things. He’s got them all, and I think he’s done a pretty good job at Stanford. I think that speaks for itself. They won a lot of football games.”