Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

KC Chiefs Fascination With Geno Smith: Just A Smokescreen?

Earlier today, Mr. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and NFL.com, reported that the Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly “fascinated” with West Virginia QB, Geno Smith. According to Rapoport, KC’s scouts look at Smith and are reminded of the first QB Chiefs head coach Andy Reid drafted when he was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Donovan McNabb.

As you can imagine, the news sent a bit of a shockwave through the Chiefs Kingdom. Some outlets, like Pro Football Talk and Arrowhead Pride, basically called the news a bunch of BS.

Take Joel Thorman over at AP:

My hunch tells me that last line in the report above is complete BS. Just not true. Everything — EVERYTHING — has pointed to Alex Smith as the quarterback of the future. What sources or Chiefs scouts say doesn’t matter. All that matters is what the Chiefs do. And what they’ve done is give up two draft picks for Alex Smith. Remember that press conference where John Dorsey said they’re confident Smith would be in KC for years to come? Was he just making that up? Was that not true? I have a hard time believing he made that trade and doesn’t believe Smith is here for the long-term.

And Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk:

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Chiefs scouts are “fascinated” by Geno Smith, and they’re comparing him to a young Donovan McNabb.

If that’s true, then the Chiefs blew it by trading for Alex Smith. The more likely reality is that the Chiefs are now puffing, in the hopes of getting someone to make a Redskins-style move by a few spots to get the guy the Chiefs already decided they don’t want long — but currently are pretending that they do.

Even well-respected, Chiefs blogger, Patrick Allen of the terrific FanSided Chiefs site, Arrowhead Addict, has his doubts:

The Chiefs hold the No. 1 pick and it has been reported that they are interested in trading back. One way to increase the value of the pick is to make teams think that the Chiefs are seriously considering selecting Smith. That could force one of the QB-desperate teams behind KC, like Buffalo for instance, to panic and put together a big package to swap spots with KC.

The quotes about McNabb are especially interesting. Everyone knows Andy Reid selected McNabb in his first draft with the Eagles so putting it out there that the Chiefs see a lot of McNabb in Smith could cause just enough doubt to get the Chiefs the trade they are looking for.

It would be a bold and perhaps foolish exercise for the Chiefs to give up, potentially two second-round picks for Alex Smith, only to draft his eventual replacement with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. If KC really were to take Geno Smith, how long would they realistically sit him behind Alex? One year? Two?

Alex Smith’s contract wouldn’t be that hard to get out of but the Chiefs would still have a hard time getting those second-round picks back. It just seems like the Chiefs would be giving up too much for Alex Smith, if the man they really wanted was Geno Smith.

I reached out to the man who brought us all this news, Ian Rapoport, to get a feeling for what he thinks is really going on here. Rapoport said he doesn’t think this is necessarily a smokescreen and he feels KC’s interest in Geno Smith is genuine.

“My sense is they are very open,” said Raport via Twitter. “They really like Geno Smith. But like him more than (Luke) Joeckel, (Dee) Milliner, etc? Too early.”

It is interesting that Ian says that it is too early but because most folks assume that teams already pretty much have their minds made up and their draft boards set.

But according to Rapoport’s report from this morning, KC doesn’t have their draft board set. Yet.

Coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey have been methodical and thorough in their search. After the final two visits for the top spot, they’ll settle in and set their board. While the league-wide assumption is that they will take Joeckel, the Chiefs are at least exploring every option before making a pick.

The visits Rapoport is talking about in the quote are that of Geno Smith and Alabama CB, Dee Milliner.

Later in his report, Rapport explains that despite trading a high pick for Alex Smith, if KC believes Geno Smith is the top player on they’re board, they’ll take him.

Though they did trade for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, the Chiefs wouldn’t think twice about having Geno Smith on the bench behind Alex Smith for a short amount of time if he were determined to be the top overall player.

If we are to believe Rapoport’s report, and what he told me on Twitter this afternoon, the Andy Reid and John Dorsey haven’t made up their minds about anything yet.

Which would mean if Geno Smith can convince them that he is the best player on their board in his private workout, the Chiefs could very well select him.

Yes, it is lying season in the NFL. Yes, the Chiefs stand to benefit frm not only feigning interest in Geno Smith, but also by boosting his draft stock by talking about how wonderful he is.

Still, we would be lying if we said we knew absolutely what the Chiefs were planning. Reid and Dorsey have surprised us a number of times this offseason, so while Geno Smith to the Chiefs is probably very unlikely, I recommend staying on your toes.

Just in case.

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Tags: Geno Smith Kansas City Chiefs

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