The most logical landing spot appears to be the team with the No. 3 overall pick, the Oakland Raiders.
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report’s NFL Draft Lead Writer, first mentioned Oakland’s interest in Smith last month.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is now reporting that there are rumors of the team’s interest, per Rotoworld.com.
West Virginia’s most accurate and prolific passer in school history put up video game type of numbers throughout his collegiate career and completed 369 of 518 passes (71 percent) for 4,265 yards with 42 TDs to six INTs in 2012.
Smith certainly isn’t in the same class as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, he does possess the physical tools, leadership and work ethic to emerge as a Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco-level NFL starter, according to NFL’s Future.
If Oakland selects Smith—which would make sense as he would fit what Reggie McKenzie and company are looking for at the position, then there’s a good chance that Carson Palmer, 33, would be on the open market or back on the couch. Terrelle Pryor would then likely become the backup, though there could be an “open competition” this offseason.
ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio points out that this would make Oakland “the first team to go two deep with mobile quarterbacks—which would allow them to run the same offense with either guy.”
Florio and I see eye-to-eye on many things, but this isn’t one of them. Smith did run the best 40-time (4.59) of all of the quarterbacks at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, so he certainly is no JaMarcus Russell, but he’s first and foremost a pocket passer.
While this very well could be a smokescreen aimed at persuading teams like the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills to trade up to the third spot, one thing is clear—the lack of available quarterbacks on the open market and in the draft will prompt QB-needy teams to do desperate things over the next two months.
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!