Dec 29, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Syracuse Orange at the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

QB Geno Smith Impresses Gus Bradley, Smokescreen?


December 29, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) drops back to pass against the Syracuse Orange during the third quarter of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars need a quarterback.  It’s no secret that West Virginia’s Geno Smith is a top quarterback prospect.  It’s also no secret that the Jaguars have a million different holes on their roster.

Any way you slice it, Geno Smith will help the Jaguars in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Head coach Gus Bradley went to West Virginia’s Pro Day to look at Smith and then took a long amount of time to talk to Smith.  By all accounts, Bradley liked what he saw and heard from Smith while in West Virginia.  Smith threw an impressive 60/64 at his Pro Day but impressed more with his competitiveness and his leadership.

Despite all of that, we still don’t know if Smith is the guy the Jags want at number two overall, and that’s a good thing.  It sounds like Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell are getting ready to pare their list down:

We’ll get it pared down to 10 guys and we’ll take a hard look at them,” Bradley said. “The evaluation is never-ending. We’re going to watch the tape, meet with people, talk to the players and make sure it’s the right pick for us.

Is that right pick Smith?  We don’t know and, frankly, it doesn’t matter.

By sending Bradley and Caldwell to talk to Smith and see him workout, the Jaguars began playing the game of the NFL Draft.  The more the Jaguars show interest in Smith, the more Smith’s value rises.  Whether the interest is genuine or not (and I think it is) doesn’t really matter because the team is displaying a willingness to put resources toward making Smith their top pick in the draft.  This could result in the Jaguars getting a better understanding of their potential pick or it could result in garnering more draft picks from another team that may covet Smith at #2 overall.

NFL Draft trading is a tricky thing.  Sometimes the value to move up is only another pick as well as your pick in the same round.  Sometimes you have to trade pretty much your entire draft for the guy you want.  If the market for Smith continues to rise due to teams showing an obvious interest in the quarterback, I would expect the market for Smith at #2 overall to be somewhere in the middle.

There is no guarantee Smith lasts until #2 either.  The Kansas City Chiefs are likely open to a trade to continue bolstering their strong offseason push.  If a team leapfrogs the Jaguars for Smith, then the Jags will have to look at one of their other 10 guys and take them, thereby filling a need elsewhere on the roster.

At a minimum the Jaguars will be able to address another need if Smith doesn’t fall to them, at best they get their next franchise quarterback.  Somewhere in the middle is the ability to trade the #2 pick for more picks to fill more holes.  Geno Smith is a strong prospect and because of this the Jaguars are even more set up for success.  Whether the interest in Smith is just a smokescreen or not doesn’t really matter because, ultimately, the Jaguars will be able to address serious roster problems no matter what.

- Luke N. Sims

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Tags: Geno Smith Gus Bradley Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Draft 2013