It makes no sense right? If you want a pocket passer, there's Carson Palmer, who just threw over 4k yards. He is experienced, he has a really strong arm and he has the team hooked with a horribly big salary that would bring a huge ammount of dead money if we were to cut him. Oh, I see. You say you don't like Palmer? Would you rather to have someone fresh, athletic and with the potential to be a double threat? Well, you might want to check out our very own Terrelle Pryor. He's fast, athletic, he has a bazooka in his arm and even if you think he still needs a lot of developement, he's been with the team for 2 years now and will be miles ahead of Geno.
Why on Earth would the Oakland Raiders waste a 1st round pick (the 3rd overall, no less) on Geno Smith when they are desperate for a star at DT, DE, MLB and CB/FS (I mean, Michael Huff is good, but he can't play both positions at the same time)???
Well, I used to think that way and still do, but after a couple of comments that wildly appeared since last week I'm having some second thoughts about the whole thing. I'm thinking of a scenario that might have the Raiders drafting Geno on the first round. That scenario includes:
1. Kansas and Jacksonville passes on Geno. We all know Kansas need a franchise QB. We all now they are a decent team with no QB and changing that might put them back on the map. Why would they pass on Geno? Could be a couple of reasons (not very good or convincing reasons, but weird things do happen). Andy Reid is a believer in WCO. He comes from a long, long tree of WCO coaches you can track as far as Bill Walsh. His QBs has always been good with their legs. McNabb, Kolb and Vick, they all were natural fits with the WCO. Geno is a pocket passer, he has a big arm and he's coming form a Spread offense and though his mobility isn't an issue, he isn't known for being a double threat. On the other hand, Kevin Kolb will likely be cut by the Cardinals. He's in the same situation Carson Palmer is with us and Andy Reid was always a true believer in Kolb's ability, not to mention, Kolb would be really cheap.
It's unclear how comfortable are the Jaguars with Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert. If they aren't (as most reasonable people would think) it would be a blunder not to draft Geno. Unless they have a lot of confidence in his QBs or they are planning to trade for a veteran franchise QB, Geno shouldn't fall any further. Even if unlikely, it's still possible that Geno would fall to the 3rd pick (Rodgers was drafted with the 24th overall).
2. Raiders cut Palmer or trade Pryor. This one isn't as unlikely as it seems. Palmer did have a decent year, and he does have a huge contract that would bring a ton of dead money into our salary-cap jail. But recent rumors have the Raiders either restructuring Palmer's contract or cutting him for good. So, if he choose to keep his contract just as it is, be cut and find a cheap job elsewhere, he could actually leave.
Now the hard part: talking about Pryor. I'm not starting one of those Pryor-lovers/Pryor-haters thread here. It's just he has been mentioned by Bleacher's Report as probably getting traded to Philadelphia. It's quite unlikely, but what if it happened?
Now, if any of the two is suddenly gone, Oakland's QB situation could get electric. Leinart is a free agent, he must realize by this time of his career his chances of being a superstar are near to 0 and that he will never get a huge contract. On the other hand the Raiders would be left with just 1 QB, and teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers who have no near to decent back up, might be interested in Leinart. Of course Oakland couldn't keep him for a veteran minimum. He would have the leverage here. The thing is, do you really want leinart for more than the veteran minimum when you have so many holes to plug and so little cap space?
If Palmer were cut, Raiders would go with Pryor as undisputed starter. The truth is, wether you love him or hate him, having a guy who has started (and lost) just one meaningless game (both teams were just trying to say good bye to their fans after a horrible season), I think it's gambling a lot. You would desperately need some depth to create competition and having another option in case Pryor gets hurt or just suck. Going with Geno and Pryor would still be a big bet. You would go with a rookie guy and an almost rookie guy to play the most demanding position in football. The great thing about it would be the great level of talent both have, so it makes the bet much safer.
If Pryor were traded it wouldn't feel so urgent to go for Geno (but it would be). People knows what they get with Palmer. He may put up some big numbers, he throws a lot of interceptions. The thing is his contract (restructured or not) is coming to an end. He's not getting younger and most probably a new QB will start for the Raiders at 2014. Though next year crop seems to be better than this year, there is no guarantee Oakland will be able to draft a franchise QB next year. If they don't suck all year long, it will be next to impossible to get a franchise QB. The thing is the team can't suck or the fans wont go to the O. Co. and their chances of getting a new stadium deal will decrease a lot. Getting Geno would be a smart move then.
3. No team offers a huge package of players and/or draft picks to make Reggie think giving his 3rd overall pick is the deal of a lifetime. It has to be a Corleone-like "deal you can't refuse". Something so big that you can still get a possible franchise QB and a lot of weapons to give him all the chances to have success.
It's a very unlikely scenario, but if it actually happened, Geno would make total sense.