If QB Geno Smith is on the board when the Philadelphia Eagles are on the clock at pick No. 4, Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman have a huge decision to make. However, their decision may be made for them prior to their pick…
Russe Lande over at National Football Post posted this little nugget in his latest mock draft:
3. Oakland Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia, Senior: While I believe selecting Geno Smith here would be a mistake, all the sources I speak with tell me that they are leaning this way. Smith is off the charts when it comes to character, work ethic and intangibles. Combined with his strong arm and athleticism, Smith has all the physical talent to develop into a top NFL QB, but he is a long way from a finished product.
That could very well be what the Raiders do, especially when you also consider that Carson Palmer has spurned the team’s request to reduce his salary for the 2013 season. Apparently, he may be on his way out Oakland as he would rather be a backup somewhere else for less money than take a pay-cut to stay where he is.
Oakland has been a largely unconventional team when it comes to the draft. They certainly aren’t afraid to trade away first-round picks and have used whatever first round picks they have had on players like Darrius Heyward-Bey or even a kicker (Sebastian Janikowski).
They haven’t picked in the first round since 2010 and appear to be a team that is always stuck in a rebuilding state. They also haven’t had any stability at the QB position in over a decade.
It’s possible they’re still traumatized by the JaMarcus Russell debacle, but can this franchise really pass on Geno Smith?
Furthermore, I trust Russe Lande’s “sources” if he’s actually hearing that they’re leaning that way. It’s still possible that Oakland trades for another QB, such as Matt Flynn, but this is a franchise that needs to stop settling for other teams’ castoffs.
If the Raiders pass on Smith and he’s there at No. 4, I still don’t really want the Eagles to take him. However, I would understand it if they did.
As for the prospect of taking an OT at No. 4, the Eagles seem to be trying to alleviate any pressure to do so by landing free agent Eric Winston.
The Eagles were one of the first teams to contact Winston after his release from Kansas City and according to Les Bowen, they have “recently checked back in with his agent.”
The fact that they’ve been rumored to be interested in Winston, as well as Sebastian Vollmer (before he re-signed in New England) and Andre Smith, tells me that they’d rather supplement the position with a free agent rather than a high draft pick.
And if that’s the case, that means they likely have their eye on someone other than Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel. If they don’t sign Winston (or Smith), they still might feel comfortable enough to wait until after the first round to address the OL given that the current OL is presumed to return to full strength.
If they do sign Winston, it would almost eliminate the chances of taking an OT at No. 4.
There is still plenty of time before the draft so things will change between now and then. But right now, I think chances are that the Eagles take someone for the front-7 on defense.