Silver & Black Attack - Raiders interested in Geno Smith?

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Raiders interested in Geno Smith?

There is a rumor going around the NFL world that the Oakland Raiders are showing interest in drafting quarterback Geno Smith. Once I heard this rumor, my mind started running wild with questions and speculation.

Why draft Geno Smith with a young prospect already on roster?

Why draft a QB at all when that wasn't the problem?

Is this the Raiders’ way to draw interest for their first round draft pick so they can trade down?

So many questions and possibilities with this rumored interest.

My first thought when I heard this rumor, was "Why?" Why draft a quarterback when there is already a solid veteran and young prospect on the roster already? There are much greater areas of need on this depleted Raiders roster and drafting a quarterback just doesn't make much sense. Then I think, this orginazation doesn't see Carson Palmer or Terrelle Pryor as the answer. Maybe this new regime of management wants to get a new face for this franchise and the perfect position to do that is at QB.

Drafting Smith would probably lead to Palmer being cut and the Raiders saving a ton of money. This would also leave the Raiders with Pryor & Smith as their top two quarterbacks. That equals two quarterbacks who both have the ability to make plays with their feet. Although Smith has the ability & athleticism to make plays with his feet, he is much more of a pocket passer than Pryor and much more than people seem to expect him to be. He very rarely ran the ball while at West Virginia. However, if either starter goes down, having two quarterbacks with the ability to run the ball and keep the defense honest means the playbook would be altered very slightly, if at all.

This isn't the case for many of the other teams that have a "dual threat QB". The Redskins, Panthers, 49ers - all three have arguably the top dual threat QBs but should any of them go down, their backups cannot run the same offense as the starter. Should the Raiders draft Smith, that wouldn't be a concern.

The Raiders have much bigger issues than the quarterback position, making this rumor (if true) questionable. The offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, and secondary are extremely weak and amongst the bottom of the barrel in the league. There are a few bright spots here and there in each group, but there are bigger weaknesses in those groups. Those areas need to be adressed, and sooner rather than later.This particular draft is very, very deep in regards to the offensive & defensive lines and thin when it comes to the quarterback position. Maybe the management is thinking that they can take their QB early, and get the equal amount of talent on the lines later in the draft.

Another logical and very possible option is that the Raiders are attempting to drum up interest in their first round draft pick (third overall). There are teams out there that are in desperate need for a quarterback and could end up as trade partners. The Arizona Cardinals at 7 and Buffalo Bills at 8 are the two prime candidates to trade down with. The Cardinals arguably have the worst quarterback corps in the league and the Bills are not happy with Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's not the answer there and they should be willing to trade up. This would be the ideal scenario for the Raiders. Trade down, add another draft pick or two and draft the depth that is much needed.

At the end of the day, I am not 100% opposed to drafting Geno Smith with the third overall pick in the draft. Smith is a very accurate passer with great footwork and a smooth throwing motion. He has good pocket awareness and is very very smart with the ball. In 1,465 career passing attempts, he only has 21 career interceptions. I do not care what system the player is in, to throw the ball that much and to have a interception ratio that low, is highly impressive.

I will put my faith in General Manager Reggie McKenzie and will trust his decision making with what to do with Geno Smith and the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. 

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