Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Will Geno Smith fall to Bills or Jets?
By James Walker
The San Francisco 49ers dropped a huge domino Wednesday when they agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second-round pick and future pick in 2014. This takes the Chiefs, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, out of the quarterback market for April's NFL draft.
Kansas City was one of the teams often linked to West Virginia's Geno Smith. Now that is no longer the case, it opens the door for the top-rated quarterback prospect to fall down the draft board.
Could Smith fall to the Buffalo Bills at No. 8 or New York Jets at No. 9? Both AFC East teams are desperate for quarterbacks and would be intrigued with a chance to draft the West Virginia product.
No team in the top five has a strong need for a quarterback. The Chiefs, Jaguars, Raiders, Eagles and Lions all have starting options.
Once the draft gets to the sixth pick, that's when things get tricky. The Cleveland Browns could be in the market for a quarterback. Yes, Cleveland drafted Brandon Weeden in the first round last year. But Weeden, who turns 30 in October, had an uneven rookie season and was the pick of a previous regime. The Browns are under new leadership and may want to choose their own franchise quarterback.
The Arizona Cardinals are desperate for someone who can throw the football. Kevin Kolb was a often-injured disaster and the Cardinals need anyone who can get receiver Larry Fitzgerald the football.
If Smith makes it past Cleveland and Arizona, he could land in the AFC East. The Bills, at No. 8, need a long-term solution to replace the inconsistent Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets hold the No. 9 pick and will add competition to embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez.
I'm not convinced any quarterback in this year's draft is worthy of a top-10 pick. But if Smith falls to the bottom of the top 10, the Bills and Jets should at least consider the possibility.