- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Earlier Tuesday, I had a Twitter discussion with several readers about the idea of the Oakland Raiders taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft.
There have been a lot of rumors that the Raiders could be interested in Smith. It provided a lively Twitter talk, so I thought we should bring it over to the blog.
At this point, just under three months before the draft, I don’t like the idea. I think it would be a mistake for Oakland to take Smith.
Oakland has major needs on defense. There are several high-quality defensive prospects in the draft. The Raiders should be able to get an impact defensive player with the third overall pick. Thus far, Smith hasn’t proven he is a top-of-the-draft prospect.
Also, the Raiders don’t have a pressing need at quarterback. Carson Palmer, who Oakland gave up a first-round pick for last year and who the team still owes the Bengals a second-round pick this year for, is 33 years old, and the Raiders can get by another year with him. Plus, 2011 third-round supplemental pick Terrelle Pryor still has a chance to develop.
I just don’t see why Oakland should bypass other needs for help at a position where it is not immediately needed. Unlike the 2013 draft quarterback class, the next couple of quarterback classes are shaping up nicely. Oakland can wait to take to a quarterback, all the while giving Pryor more time to develop.
There is no way to know if the Raiders are truly interested in Smith. Maybe word is leaking to drum up interest in the No. 3 pick. Oakland, which doesn’t have picks in the second and fifth rounds, could use some extra picks. Maybe the Raiders think Smith is terrible, but they want to get the Chiefs, who need a quarterback, to panic and take Smith with the No. 1 pick.
This is draft season. Everything is possible. But unless Smith becomes a sure thing in the next three months, I’m not a big fan of the idea of the Raiders taking him.
5dEric D. Williams