27 Feb 2013
Hopefully this isn't another "Chip Kelly to the Browns!" thing. Jay Glazer is reporting that the 49ers and Chiefs have a done deal for Alex Smith, although it can't be announced for two weeks. Tim Kawakami on Twitter says that the 49ers will get a second-rounder this year and a similar pick in 2014. So the 49ers have 15 draft picks now for 2013. That should be interesting.
Smith has obviously been better than Matt Cassel over the last two seasons, but not over his entire career. Smith with Jim Harbaugh as the head coach looks a lot like Matt Cassel with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels as his coaches. There are two things that do clearly differentiate Smith from Cassel. First, Smith is not thought of as a deep thrower but he has a pretty good record on deep passes. In 2011, he ranked ninth in DVOA on passes over 16+ yards through the air. In 2012, he ranked 14th. Cassel was 36th in 2011 and 20th in 2012. In addition, Smith has an absurdly good record against big blitzes, even when he was poor otherwise. For some reason, he was slightly worse against big blitzes in his breakout 2011 season, but if we look at 2009-2012 combined, we find Smith with 5.9 net yards per play against 3-5 pass rushers but 7.6 net yards per play against 6+ pass rushers. For 2012, those numbers are 5.7 and 11.2, respectively.
108 comments, Last at 15 Mar 2013, 5:43am by Mr Shush
Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.