Suddenly, Geno Smith is a top ten pick.
At least that is what the buzz seems to be indicating,in wake of Smith’s Pro Day.
As expected, Smith was accurate at his Pro Day, completing 60 of 64 passes, with two drops by receivers. The throws were scripted and any QB worth playing in the NFL should complete most of his passes in a scripted throwing session. No, it wasn’t the numbers that were impressive, it was Smith’s touch and mechanics that impressed the scouts in attendance.
NFL Network’s draft analyst, Mike Mayock, declared Smith a “top ten talent” following the Pro Day. Mayock said he liked that Smith was “ripping” the ball and that it appeared as though the West Virginia QB had cleaned up his footwork.
QB-need NFL teams are taking notice.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who hold the fourth pick in the NFL Draft, have already worked Smith out. There have been various other reports that claim the Jacksonville Jaguars (second pick) Oakland Raiders (third pick) and New York Jets (tenth pick) are all interested in drafting Smith.
There is no telling if the interest these teams are showing is real. It may just be that each team is trying to convince the teams behind them that may want Smith that they might take him as to help facilitate a potential trade. No team likes to show its cards before it actually make its pick so we have to take everything we hear this time of year with a grain of salt.
The Chiefs would seem to be totally out of the Geno Smith sweepstakes. After all, KC traded a couple of high draft picks for Alex Smith and just a couple of days ago, Andy Reid declared Smith the starting QB of the Kansas City Chiefs. The organization has not been shy about admitting that it sees A. Smith as the future at the position. There has even been talk that the Chiefs might approach Smith’s agent about extending the QBs contract.
Given the facts, it seems like you’d have a better chance of hitting the Power Ball than of the Chiefs selecting Geno Smith with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Trading up in the NFL Draft can be a strange dance. Take last year when the Cleveland Browns moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 to select Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Everyone knew the Colts were taking Andre Luck and that the football team from Washington is was taking RG3. That means that the Minnesota Vikings, who held the third pick, essentially had the first pick.
When the Browns moved up, some folks were questioning why they did it. After all, the Vikings had Adrian Peterson and despite the fact that he was coming off a serious knee injury, nobody really believed the Vikings would take Richardson.
But it likely wasn’t the Vikings the Browns were worried about. Minnesota probably convinced the Browns that one of the teams behind Cleveland was making an offer to move up for Richardson. There was no way for the Browns to know if that was true or not and rather than miss the chance to get their guy, Cleveland, who had some extra picks anyway as a result of the Julio Jones trade, made the deal.
If the Chiefs truly want to trade back, they must convince teams that there is a market for Geno Smith at No. 1. The fact that the Jaguars are showing some interest in Smith certainly helps KC’s cause.
The problem for the Chiefs is that trading up for the No. 1 pick can be expensive. The Jaguars might be able to swap picks with KC for just an extra third-round pick, because the Chiefs would only have to move back one slot. For those picking farther back, however, the price would be much more expensive, so much so that teams might be willing to roll the dice to see if Geno Smith would fall to them, or at least to a slot that would be less expensive to move up to.
One move the Chiefs have to consider if they can’t find a trade partner, is taking Smith at No. 1 and then offer him up to the highest bidder.
By taking Smith off the board, the Chiefs will force the hands of teams desperate for a QB. It would be a shrewd and somewhat risky move. There would be no guarantee the Chiefs would be able to trade Smith to one of the other teams in the top ten.
But I think the risk would be minimal. At least one QB has been taken in the top ten of the draft every single year since 2001. In fact, since 1990, there have been only four drafts (2000, 1997, 1996 & 1991) where no QBs were taken in the top ten.
Geno Smith will be taken somewhere in the top ten picks of this draft. Based off his physical tools alone, his speed and athleticism, arm strength and accuracy, some team is going to take a chance on him.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets all have major questions at the QB position. If you don’t think one of those teams is going to draft Smith if given the chance, well, I’ve got some snake oil and swamp land to sell you at a great price.
The Chiefs have done such a good job of filling their needs in free agency that they can take any payer at any position. The talent at the top of the draft is so even that KC could move virtually anywhere in the top ten and probably get just a quality a player as they could at No. 1.
If the rest of the NFL won’t play ball with the Chiefs on a trade, then Kansas City needs to select Geno Smith.
Whether they want him or not.