Geno Smith came into the 2013 NFL Combine with the intention of proving he is the best quarterback in this draft. Through his on-field drills and interviews, he stood above the rest. Coming out of the weekend in Indianapolis, Smith looks like he could be the first quarterback drafted in late April.
In the physical drills, Smith led quarterbacks in the 40-yard dash and broad jump. He placed second in the vertical jump. In the on-field drills, he showed he could make all the throws.
“I saw everything [at the combine] that I saw on tape about Geno,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said, “and that is he flashed everything you want to see in a franchise quarterback on tape during the season. He has a big arm, good arm, he moves well, he can be accurate.”
Before this past weekend, many believed that the Kansas City Chiefs would select Smith with the first pick in the draft. However, reports emerged over the weekend that K.C. is in serious trade talks to attain Alex Smith from the 49ers via trade. If that trade happens, Andy Reid and company will likely use that pick to fill a different position of need.
**UPDATE ** Jay Glazier has confirmed that Alex Smith has been traded to the Chiefs. **
If that happens, where is the next potential landing spot for Geno Smith?
Before he left Indianapolis, Smith visited the set at the NFL Network and said that he met with 11 teams at the combine. Among those were Buffalo, Arizona, Oakland and Philadelphia. All have picks in the top 10. All have potential needs at quarterback.
Buffalo’s GM, Buddy Nix, stated that he wants to find a franchise quarterback as soon as possible. He said he would trade up if he had to to draft one. We have seen two mock drafts this week (including one from CBS’ Clark Judge) that suggests Smith could land with the Bills with the eighth pick.
Arizona could be thrilled if Smith fell to the seventh pick as CBS’ Pete Prisco suggests. The Cardinals used four different quarterbacks last season, all with similar results. Kevin Kolb was the best of the crop, but he underwhelmed in the six games he played before getting injured. If Smith is still there at #7, he could be too much for new head coach Bruce Arians to pass up.
Oakland’s starting quarterback was Carson Palmer. The former USC and Cincinnati Bengals’ QB will turn 34 this year. Terrelle Pryor is his backup and not a long-term solution. However, the Raiders have many holes to fill, particularly on the defensive side, and do not hold a second round pick. In a draft that is loaded with defensive prospects, would the Raiders draft a quarterback in the first round?
The Eagles are also an intriguing landing spot for Smith. They have Michael Vick, drafted Nick Foles last year and recently signed Dennis Dixon. With Chip Kelly at the helm, he’s going to want a mobile quarterback. The 4.59 that Smith ran at the combine isn’t too far from the 4.55 that Pat White who ran at his combine appearance in 2009. However, Smith doesn’t like to think of himself as a running quarterback. He is a pocket passer who uses his legs as a last resort but said he would be open to running more in the NFL.
“I think that’s something I’ve always been capable of,” Smith said of running as a quarterback. “I think I have the skill set that fits any offense. I can play within the pocket, but I’m athletic enough to run that style of offense.”