If Bennett is selected earlier than expect, here are other options.
The Kansas City Chiefs will be looking to defend their Super Bowl title next season, but need to have their eyes set on the 2023 NFL Draft now.
The NFL Draft takes place less than 6 weeks, the Chiefs have a list of positions to fill up including a mid-tier position included on the list, perhaps higher than some Chiefs fans realize, is a specific role that head coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Matt Nagy and general manager Brett Veach know that’s important: Who will be the primary backup behind Patrick Mahomes?
For the first time since becoming the starter in 2018, MVPat will have a new backup. As free agency has begun, the Chiefs have just two young quarterbacks on their depth chart behind Mahomes: Shane Buechele and Chris Oladokun. Neither player has taken a snap in a regular-season game. It was reported during the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, that the Chiefs were interested in adding a veteran at the position to compete with Buechele and Oladokun for the role during training camp and the preseason.
As it stands, the open market includes several quarterbacks who could be interested in working alongside Reid and Mahomes, including Matt Ryan, Teddy Bridgewater, Carson Wentz, and possibly bringing back Chase Daniel or Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles (if he’s cut by the Colts after the signing of Gardner Minshew). If the Chiefs don’t sign a veteran in free agency, the next step is to select a quarterback prospect in the draft with one of their late-round picks. Grabbing a signal caller like former Heisman Trophy finalist Stetson Bennett in the late rounds is one of those moves that show why the Chiefs are so good over the last few seasons.
However, there’s a distinct possibility that the two-time consecutive college football National Champion QB is off the board before pick No. 155 (5th round) or 217 (6th round) despite his off the field problems or size thanks to other QB-needy teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens where Bennett’s college OC, Todd Monken is the new OC replacing Greg Roman.
IT’S AMAZON. IT’S FEDEX. NO!!
IT’S THE MAILMAN STETSON BENNETT 🤯📫 pic.twitter.com/e1hA1FsDnh
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 11, 2022
With that in mind, check out these three QB options the Chiefs must consider if Bennett is off the board when the 5th or 6th round selections roll around.
Jake Haener, Fresno State Bulldogs:
It feels like every year a QB at the @seniorbowl sees his draft stock elevate. This year that was Jake Haener.
He showed consistent accuracy, mobility and creativity plus leadership.
He’s going to help an NFL team. https://t.co/F1E51yVnDu
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 5, 2023
The first option is the other obvious choice for Reid and Veach, and that’s none other than Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener aka the Brock Purdy of the 2023 Draft class. Although not a dual-threat option like Bennett, Haener is a QB that fits the Chiefs’ needs. According to Pro Football Focus, he arguably had the best week of any QB at the Senior Bowl, showing off consistent accuracy and displaying a good handle on his offense. Finished senior year in 10 games as he threw for 2900 yards on 355 attempts with a completion percentage of 71.3 for 20 TDs, while taking 26 sacks, and totaling a QB rating of 110.8. He’s won 23 out of his 32 career starts. Getting a High floor player like Haener in the right environment like the Chiefs to become a capable backup as insurance would be a smart move.
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) September 19, 2021
Jaren Hall, BYU Cougars:
.@BYUfootball QB Jaren Hall (@jarenhall3) is a natural smooth thrower like his predecessor @ZachWilson and does cool stuff moving around & extending plays. Thicker athletic build reminds us of Russell Wilson. Also played CF for BYU baseball team.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/obpo8AOzV7
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 3, 2022
While Jaren Hall may not have the same hype as Zach Wilson did entering the draft as a BYU (Andy Reid’s alma mater) QB, he does line up as a sneaky option for rebuilding NFL squads. Hall seemingly put it all together in his final college season as he logged 3,171 passing yards, 350 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns (6 interceptions). He has a standout ability to feel the pressure around him and escape to throw on the run with ease, which could come in handy given the level of talent that can be found along NFL defensive lines. Developmental backup in year one and setting behind Mahomes and fixing his mechanics could be beneficial for his potential in the long-term.
Jaren Hall with an absolute DIME 🎯 pic.twitter.com/gFbtZbgN40
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 30, 2022
Clayton Tune, Houston Cougars:
Clayton Tune DEEP to Tank Dell🚀🚀
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 10, 2022
Speaking of college experience, Clayton Tune spent five seasons with the Houston Cougars and only got better with every year that passed by. The 23-year-old finished the 2022 season with 4,074 yards and 40 touchdowns (10 interceptions) on a 67.3% completion percentage. He also added 544 yards on the ground to go along with 5 rushing scores. Tune has a quick release that helps him lead receivers into open spots on the field and an ability to scan the defense for gaps at a rapid pace. The foundation of a solid QB is there. He’s got the size of Derek Carr with the playing style of Josh Allen. By year three, Tune would be a solid backup to turn to if Mahomes ever did miss time.
CLAYTON TUNE FLIPS INTO THE END ZONE FOR THE WIN‼️
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 3, 2022
Follow Chiefs Fan 4 Life on Twitter @ChiefsFan4Lyfe. Check out the rest of my work, including why the Chiefs consider Stetson Bennett in the later-rounds, the draft preview of K-State wide receiver/return specialist Malik Knowles, and my December article on the 3 important off-season moves that included newly signed Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu.