According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Oakland could be a sleeper team to draft this year's consensus top rookie passer:
The Raiders could be pouncing on West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the third overall selection.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that there are rumors of the team’s interest in Smith, who by virtue of the fact that he was the fastest quarterback in Indy makes him an obvious candidate to play for the Raiders.
If the Raiders take him, Carson Palmer likely would be cut. And if Terrelle Pryor remains as the backup, the Raiders would become the first team to go two deep with mobile quarterbacks
This is quite intriguing.
Therefore, let's check out how Smith would impact the Silver and Black.
Smith enjoyed a strong college career with 98 touchdown passes to just 21 picks. Factor in a completion percentage of 67.4 percent, and it's evident that he has strong and reliable decision-making skill for a potential NFL quarterback.
With a strong arm, impressive accuracy and mobility, Smith possesses the overall skill set and talent to quickly develop. There's also some talent for him to build around in Oakland.
For one, the rushing attack of Darren McFadden would immediately take pressure off the rookie. Defenses will likely stack the box and force Oakland to throw, but the presence of McFadden does set up play-action.
Secondly, there is the versatility of Marcel Reece. He collected 767 total yards in 2012, averaged 4.6 yards per rush and caught 52 passes. Include the fast receiver set of Rod Streater, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore, and Smith will be able to spread the field nicely.
Each of these three receivers is capable of accumulating yards after the catch, which will help with Smith's development in reading coverage. Brandon Myers is also one of pro football's more reliable tight ends.
The guy can make plays between zones, against man coverage and he's a sound run-blocker.
In short, Smith's impact on Oakland would be to simply limit mistakes and take advantage of the running game. Deep throws would need to occur, but thwarting defenses at the intermediate level is where most of the damage could be done.
The Raiders would then improve their No. 26 ranking in scoring offense to challenge the explosive movement in pro football.
Unfortunately, taking Smith at No. 3 would prevent Oakland from addressing its drastic need for defense. Along with an aging defensive line, the Raiders gave up 27.7 points per game and weren't consistent when defending the red zone.
The Raiders have to improve defensively to become AFC playoff contenders, but drafting Geno Smith would definitely help the offense improve and would provide a potential franchise quarterback for many years.
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