ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on NFL 32 has indicated that the Oakland Raiders are interested in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. As The Kansas City Chiefs will likely not be pursuing a top ranked quarterback in this year’s draft because of their pending trade for San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, Smith seems wide open to quarterback hungry teams.
Mortensen can’t back up that the team is interested in Smith, saying:
Word around the NFL is the Raiders have interest in Geno Smith with that third overall pick in the draft. Now I can’t get this confirmed by the team, but Geno Smith is a guy that everybody sees as a top-10 pick right now — not everybody — but he’s got a chance to go in the top ten. And if the Raiders do like him, you better take him at No. 3.
If it’s true, then the Raiders may have to out-position teams like the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, and Buffalo Bills. While there is widespread speculation that the Jacksonville Jaguars will be going with a pass rusher in Aril’s draft, some mocks have the Jags taking Smith at number two.
If the Raiders are serious about taking Smith, trading up one spot (or two, to the Chiefs’ number one selection) may be pertinent. If the Chiefs tip their hand that they intend to take left tackle Luke Joeckel, then the Jags may have the key to getting more picks in the draft: selection number two.
It’s all speculation and pie-in-the-sky at this point, but leverage may be building at the top of the 2013 NFL Draft. If anybody can confirm the Raiders, Bills, or Cardinals are seriously interested in Smith and if the Chiefs opt not to re-sign left tackle Branden Albert, then pick number two becomes considerably more valuable.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims