Ricky Stanzi Has Room To Grow

The common belief is it takes at least three years before you can properly judge a draft class.  That never stops all of us from analyzing each pick and for the second straight season Scott Pioli and the Kansas City Chiefs are receiving high marks.  Specifically, Steve Muench from Scouts Inc feels the Chiefs got a steal in fifth-round pick QB Ricky Stanzi, who he thinks has room to grow.

“Stanzi is 6-foot-4, 223 pounds.  When I saw him at the Senior Bowl, I immediately thought he was underdeveloped physically, I think there is a lot of room on his frame to get stronger.  That will help his arm strength.  I think he can get more zip on his ball.  I don’t think this kid has reached his peak.”

Muench knows Stanzi had a reputation at Iowa in 2010 of fading late in games.  But Stanzi said he thought that might have been a product of not playing with a great supporting cast and he noted that Stanzi’s numbers improved the past two years.  He said Stanzi had 16 red-zone touchdown passes and no interceptions in 2010.

“I really like him,” Muench said.  “I think the Chiefs got a really good player.  I liked him better than some of the quarterbacks who were taken much higher than he was.”

Immediately following his selection, I said that Stanzi was a better prospect than Christian Ponder to a chorus of jeers slightly louder than the ones we normally get around here.

Every time I watched Ponder play, I was waiting for him to make a silly decision and more often than not he complied.  While Stanzi had a bit of that syndrome as a junior when he threw 15 picks, he lowered that number to just six last season even though he attempted a career-high 345 passes.

Much like current starter Matt Cassel, Stanzi will never be confused for Mike Vick but can get a first down with his legs when he needs to.  It will be interesting to see how quickly the rookie catches on while working with Todd Haley and new quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn along with what — if anything — his progress means for the immediate future of Cassel in Kansas City.

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