Mar 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (right), quarterback Alex Smith (center), and head coach Andy Reid pose for photos during the press conference at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith and the 2013 NFL Draft: How the QB Carousel Effects His Draft Stock

September 22, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) passes against the Maryland Terrapins during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The West Virginia Mountaineers won 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

NFL general managers at the top of the draft have been playing musical chairs with their quarterbacks in recent days.

We have witnessed the Seattle Seahawks shipping Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders, who in turned pawned off discontent Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals, who were more than happy to get rid of the albatross formerly known as Kevin Kolb to the Buffalo Bills.

Let us also not forget that the San Francisco 49ers sent Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles kept Michael Vick.

All of these moves by teams drafting in the top 10 picks of April’s NFL draft suggest that the league is underwhelmed by the quarterback crop this year, headlined by West Virginia University’s own Geno Smith. Some analysts have pointed out in recent days that the moves made at the top of the draft suggest that NFL teams are going to opt for other positions such as offensive and defensive line rather than taking a quarterback.

But when you look at the players acquired by these teams, you can’t help but think that these quarterbacks are short-term solutions.

If you are the Chiefs, are you really excited about Alex Smith? Yes, he had one and a half good seasons under Jim Harbaugh but was a nobody before that system. Andy Reid’s system is not Harbaugh’s system, so there are going to be a ton of questions about how he fits into Reid’s style of play.

What about the Oakland Raiders? Matt Flynn, for his entire career, has thrown 141 passes (completing 87) for 1,083 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions over 5 seasons. He showed flashes of greatness in Joe Philbin’s pass happy offense but Philbin decided to pass on Flynn when he had the chance to bring him to Miami. If Flynn really had the potential to be great don’t you believe Philbin would have made a greater push to acquire him?

Oct. 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive end (90) Chris Kelsay sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback (4) Kevin Kolb at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bills defeated the Cardinals 19-16 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals and Bills certainly can’t be happy about their current quarterback situations. Both are saddled with over-priced washouts. Palmer, who enjoyed his greatest success in Cincinnati, still has a solid arm, but seemed to be less than thrilled to be in a Raiders uniform. Not sure suiting up for an offensively depleted Cardinals squad is going to make him happier. And Kolb, who seems to always seems to be injured, is not going to fair much better for a Bills team that just let their most talented offensive lineman (Andy Levitre) walk in free agency.

As for the Eagles, Michael Vick is one of the most electrifying players in the NFL…. 5 years ago. Vick is clearly past his prime and his style of play has cost him his explosiveness. He was once the most elusive man on the field, but after so many hard hits and injuries, he is a shell of the player he once was. Chip Kelly certainly could use Vick to mentor the young quarterbacks on his roster, but Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon have done little to substantiate that they can carry an NFL franchise.

So it is clear that while these franchises have brought in new quarterbacks, they are far from solving their issues in the pocket. Drafting a quarterback like Geno Smith at the top of the draft is the logical choice.

Dec 23, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) signals for a first down during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 55-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, this is not the 1983 quarterback class featuring Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, and John Elway. But there is no reason to believe that, with proper grooming and time to learn, that quarterbacks like Geno Smith might not have similar career trajectories as Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees.

If you are in the front office of the Chiefs, Raiders, Eagles, Cardinals, and Bills, you have to be making a push to draft Geno Smith to be your grooming project for the next season or two. With the rookie wage scale in effect, you can snag Geno Smith for little more than you pay a decent back-up quarterback. If he doesn’t work out (which by all indications he is going to be a franchise quarterback), then you still have some hope that the misfit toy of a quarterback you brought in will work out.

It would be foolish to not roll the dice on Geno Smith in the top 10 of the draft.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Buffalo Bills Geno Smith Kansas City Chiefs NFL Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles WVU Football

  • Tom Sparks

    Do not agree with your observation of Alex Smith. The last 3 years with the 49er’s he has been improving. In his first 3 years there Singltary had way too many OC & scheme changes. He almost got them to the NFC Championship, 2 years ago, after Haurbaugh got there and was performing well above average, before going down in late Nov.. So he was a big part of there success last season. Unfortunatly, (fortunatly for us, KC) Kapernick was an instant phnom, not unlike Tom Brady, when he got the chance to start, due to starting QB going down.
    In the end, Andy Reid is known as an intuative evaluater of QB talent and has said for years he as intrigued by Smith. I trust his opinion much more than yours, respectively!

    • Ken Durbin

      Andy Reid worked well with Donovan McNabb, but he was way off the mark with Kevin Kolb and Nick Foles. Of course, there is a reason Reid is in the league and I am not, but I question his evaluation of Alex Smith. Hopefully it pans out for them, but I would not at all be surprised if they bring in Geno Smith to groom while Alex Smith starts a couple seasons. Thanks for the feedback.

      • Tom Sparks

        Ken, thanks for the honest, respectful reply to my feedback! I really love to talk NFL Football & have been a Diehard Chiefs fan for over 50 years. Even though I don’t live near KC, I still used to attend home games at Arrowhead every year, until I succumbed to a failing Autoimmune System leading to Chronic Pain, 8 years ago. In fact, I was born the same year the Chiefs were, 1960.
        It’s funny, I wanted Geno Smith early on too!
        Since they picked up Smith & since Brandon Albert has been acting like a BIG BABY HUEY, I really believe we are going to have to go OT! And I don’t want Jokeckel, like so many others are predicting. I want to see them get Eric Fischer, from Central Michigan!
        I think he is more of a “freak” athletic wise and as well as having a great mean streak. He is not just a bulldozer either! He is gifted with speed and great foot mobility!
        But that’s just this old Warpaints humble opinion.

        • Tom Sparks

          Ken, one more comment. I do believe Andy Reid had just a little to do with the developement of a QB by the name of Favre, that took them to the promised land, while there.
          I also think the addition of John Dorsey speaks volumes, when coming to player evaluation. And I love the tag team of our new GM/HC hiring!
          We shall see, but I think that GM/HC combo is a marriage made in NFL heaven!
          But, I am just a human being that loves to watch real football!
          GO CHIEFS!

          • Ken Durbin

            Again, good point on the Andy Reid of old… I’m just not sure of his QB judgement as of late. But if he drafts Geno, maybe he still has the eye for talent.

          • Tom Sparks

            Ken, I just have to ask, are U a Mountaineer Alum or Fan?
            You’re not saying that if they choose Jokeckel or Fisher that these are not picks worthy of being chosen this high?
            You can’t be serious thing Geno is in the same category or league of Andrew Luck or RG III? I just don’t see the same value at all, but I’m glad you are hyping Geno up, maybe the Chiefs can trade down and still grab Fisher! LOL!

          • Ken Durbin

            Of course I’m a WVU fan, but I think that Geno Smith can bring the same value as Luck, RGIII, and Wilson. Of course there is value in the big OTs, but you are not going to build a franchise around an OT, and honestly, they won’t build one around Alex Smith. They could use Alex as a band-aid for the next few seasons, but I truly believe the wise choice is to groom a young QB starting this season, Geno or otherwise.

          • Tom Sparks

            Sorry Ken, but I can not agree. Your WV bias could be in the way, but I am always willing to agree to disagree, respectfully. I hate being PC.
            It does matter to have a Good O line to help build your franchise around. Who is going to protect that Franchise QB?
            You and Smithcastle would have a good conversation. He has a huge woody for Geno! LOL, just joshing!

    • Scott Mahurin

      Alex Smith has never started more than 10 games a season, passed for more than 3200 yards, or thrown more than 17 touchdowns. Rolling with him is a great unknown. I’ll buy in when I see it.

      • Tom Sparks

        Well, get ready to open those eyes, if we can solidify the OL!