"There isn't any doubt" Geno Smith will be a top-five pick

'There isn't any doubt' Geno Smith will be a top-5 pick

4/4/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - "There isn't any doubt" Geno Smith will be a top-five pickIt is no secret that this year's quarterback draft class is weaker than in years past, but that doesn't necessarily mean a quarterback-needy team won't reach for one early in the first round. According to Jason La Canfora, we will definitely see a team reach for a quarterback early. "Geno Smith will be a top five draft pick," La Canfora said. "There isn't any doubt about it."

Let's break down that top five as far as quarterbacks go. The Kansas City Chiefs (first overall) just traded for a starting quarterback in Alex Smith. They are also said to have narrowed down their options to Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and Dion Jordan. We can pretty much eliminate the Chiefs from the Geno Smith discussion.

At fourth overall, we have the Philadelphia Eagles, who have bigger problems than the quarterback position, particularly on defense. With Michael Vick on a one-year contract and Nick Foles remaining a question mark, we could see the Eagles select a quarterback at some point in the draft, but I don't think they will reach in the early first round over some of the more promising defensive players.

The Detroit Lions (fifth overall) have Matthew Stafford and have been having preliminary talks on a contract extension. Translation: they are not drafting Geno Smith.

Who do we have left in the top five? The Jacksonville Jaguars at second overall, and the Oakland Raiders at third.

The Jaguars certainly have issues at quarterback. Blaine Gabbert lost his job to Chad Henne last season, and Henne finished the year with a 72.2 quarterback rating. Gabbert - drafted 10th overall in 2011 by the previous Jaguars regime - does not have what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Henne, on the other hand, has proven time and time again that he is best suited for a backup role.

However, I'm not sure that any quarterback could succeed behind the offensive line that the Jaguars fielded last season. In addition, the line's best asset - Eugene Monroe - is entering the final year of his contract. I still think there is a decent chance that the Jaguars select Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, because Geno Smith won't be able to significantly improve the team if the offensive line is comprised of turnstiles.

The Raiders just traded for Matt Flynn, a career backup who has drawn hype as a potential starter, but his salary is not guaranteed past the 2013 season. The Raiders could draft Smith and let him compete with Flynn this year, then dump Flynn at no cost next offseason.

However, the Raiders are a year removed from fielding a top-ten offense, and they are returning to the power running scheme they ran that season (they ran a zone blocking scheme in 2012). The defense has ranked 20th or worse in points for nine out of the past ten seasons, and the Raiders just blew up their defensive line (lost three 2012 starters). I still like the Raiders drafting a game changing defender such as Sharrif Floyd or Star Lotulelei rather than Smith.

Could I see Geno Smith going in the top five? Absolutely. Can I get on board with La Canfora and say "there isn't any doubt about it"? I wouldn't go that far. A few of these teams definitely could use quarterbacks, but they have other holes that could be filled with higher quality players. However, teams frequently get overly aggressive and go after quarterbacks before they should, so seeing Smith go at the top of the first round certainly is not out of the question.
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4/26/13   |   chrishinton15

No doubt? At all?

4/25/13   |   jseeu

Taking Geno Smith in the top five will be one of the top five mistakes of the draft!!!