On Mar. 19, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid caused a stir by mentioning that West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is still a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick. Unless the Chiefs trade the pick to someone who’s going to take Smith first overall, he’s not going to be taken that early.
Maybe that’s why Reid said it.
ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson agrees:
Did you expect Reid to tell the rest of the league that Smith is no longer an option? What good would that do?
If there is a team that loves Smith and wants to trade for him, the Chiefs might as well want that to think it has to go all the way up to the No. 1 pick to get Smith.
Everyone expects multiple names to be in play as the first name that Roger Goodell calls in April because two of college football’s most marquee guys are unable to enter the draft.
If South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s name was on the draft board, this probably wouldn’t be a discussion.
If Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was available, Kansas City probably wouldn’t have completed a pair of signal-caller transactions this offseason—which is why Smith is incredibly unlikely to be the pick.
Kansas City sacrificed a pseudo-first-round pick (No. 33 overall) to secure the services of Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. Smith’s combined $17.5 million cap hit over the next two seasons is more than a team can expect from any first-year player due to the rookie wage scale.
They’ve committed to quarterbacks who didn’t require such arrangements in Kansas City. If the Chiefs wanted to draft Smith No. 1 overall, one or both of those moves most likely would not have been made.
They probably just want to recuperate some draft value and create a market for a player that they’re not actually interested in acquiring. It’s sort of like what the St. Louis Rams did with the hype machine that was Robert Griffin III in 2012...but nobody’s that box-office in this draft class.
If Branden Albert is going to be traded, they’ll need another offensive tackle, anyway. The position is deep, even at the top with guys like Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, but Kansas City still has to be up there to pick one.
Whether somebody takes the bait for Geno is anyone’s guess, but it’s a rather safe bet that the Chiefs won’t take him off the board first—unless they’re doing it to make moves during the draft.