Kevin Kolb signed with the Bills. The Raiders traded for Matt Flynn. The Browns signed Jason Campbell. All this happened in the last few days. Is this a coincidence?
The Bills have pick #8. The Raiders have pick #3. Cleveland has pick #6. Is there something that would affect all 3 teams and make them go for veteran QBs?
One of the guys I follow on Twitter is Eric Stoner. He is a draftnik and does some of the great videos for DraftBreakdown.com. Eric has offered up a theory in recent days that the QB moves are a sign that people around the league must anticipate QB Geno Smith getting drafted by Jacksonville at #2.
There is good logic to this theory. The new GM is David Caldwell. He came over from Atlanta. He saw the Falcons have great run after hiring a defensive coach (Mike Smith) and then drafting the top Senior QB with a high pick (Matt Ryan). The Jags hired a defensive coach in Gus Bradley. Could they also turn around and take the top Senior QB with a high pick?
Eric is a Geno Smith fan so he may be seeing the conclusion he wants, but there is sound thinking in this theory. And Eric knows the NFL and the draft well. He’s a very knowledgeable guy. This isn’t just some random speculation from a casual fan.
Others have speculated that these moves are a sign that Geno won’t be taken high by anyone. Teams are hedging their bets and acquiring veteran QBs so that if they wait to the 2nd or 3rd round to find a QB, they won’t get burned if the right guy isn’t there. This theory also makes sense. It really depends on what you think of Geno Smith.
Jeff McLane today posted an article saying that the Eagles aren’t likely to take Smith. He doesn’t offer any hard proof, but gives some reasons for his conclusion. Geno Smith fans will be disappointed. Those who aren’t sold on Smith will buy in.
One thing needs to be made clear here. This isn’t about bashing Geno Smith. The guy is the top Senior QB. He has the potential to be a solid starting NFL QB. He’s got a good track record from college and is a gifted passer. There are no major character concerns. There are lots of reasons to like him. The main argument against Geno is value. I feel, and it seems many others agree, he simply isn’t worth a high pick. All QBs are risks. If I’m investing a high pick, I want to feel there is a good chance he can…can…become a star QB. Obviously there are no guarantees. I don’t feel confident that Geno is going to be an NFL star. Some of you disagree with that and that’s fine. This is all opinion. There are no conclusions in a guessing game. I admit up front that I could be wrong.
If the Jags do take Geno at #2, that could help the Eagles. It will push down another player for the team to choose from. If the Jags don’t take Geno, that could be mixed. The Eagles could lose out on a player they had targeted. Or…what if the Jags go for an OT and the Chiefs take an OT? Anyone wanting the #3 top OT (whether Fisher or Johnson) might be willing to deal up for him. That would be pretty cool.
If Geno does start to slide, I have no idea how far he will fall. Would some team see him as value in the middle of the round and take a flier? Could the Steelers go for him? The Vikings have a pair of 1st rounders. Are they truly sold on Christian Ponder? What about the Texans taking him as Matt Schaub’s replacement? At a certain point, a team would move up from the 2nd round for Smith. This could be any of the QB needy teams.
I don’t think the Eagles will go for Geno, but I don’t know who the team will go for. Because I don’t know exactly what Chip Kelly’s offensive vision is for the NFL, it is hard to say who he should go for. Matt Scott reminds me the most of his Oregon QBs, but those guys aren’t in the NFL. Zac Dysert fascinates me. He is a passer with underrated mobility and athleticism. I go back and forth on Ryan Nassib every time I see him play. That’s never a good sign.
Honestly, I’d be fine if Kelly didn’t take a QB until later on in the draft. I don’t truly believe in any of these players. Why force the pick? Could be that a guy of interest will slide down to the 5th round. Soon enough, we’ll find out what Chip thinks and that is the key. He’s trying to find a QB he can coach, develop, and have as his starter. Chip has my full trust.
Until his first mistake.