2013 NFL Draft: Raiders interest in Geno Smith could open trade market for Jaguars

USA TODAY Sports

If the Jaguars are looking to trade themselves out of the second pick of the draft, Geno Smith might be their ticket to do so.

No team trades up to take a player early unless they feel that a team stands between them and the player they hope to select. With a supposedly deep 2013 NFL Draft class that lacks an elite tier like the 2012 NFL Draft had with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the ability of the Jaguars to find a trade partner for the second overall selection has seemed slim, but may have an opening following the Alex Smith trade.

Coupled with the news of a trade that will reportedly send San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a second round pick and a future pick, came a report that the Oakland Raiders are interested in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, from ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

With two months to go until draft day, it's tough to gage how that interest will be perceived by the rest of the league by the end of April, but if there is a belief throughout the league that the Raiders are interested in Smith, it could make the Jaguars a very viable trade partner.

Assuming of course that the Chiefs pass on Smith with the top pick now that they have a quarterback, whom they've reportedly made "a clear commitment" to, the Jaguars could be in prime position to swap with a team that is looking to leap frog the interested Raiders.

In the top part of the draft with little or no locks at positions of need for the Raiders, drafting a player who they see as the quarterback of the future isn't the worst idea. -Levi Damien, Silver and Black Pride

Of course, if Geno Smith is worth the second overall selection to another team, along with value lost through trade, it would seem logical that he would be worth the second overall selection pick to the Jaguars, as well, who wouldn't have to give up anything through trade to make the pick.

That's not to say that the Jaguars should follow a mentality that allows another team's scouting to overrule their own. It's simply to say that without access to the draft board ourselves, it's most logical to use the value assigned to a player by another team as a reference point for his value overall.

With the Chiefs apparently set at quarterback and pass rusher, the ball would appear to be fully in the court of Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell. If he deems that Smith is worth the second pick of the draft, not much would appear to be in between him and taking the West Virginia passer. If he doesn't, he could select another player or...he could try and shop the pick to a team interested in hopping the Raiders to take Smith.

The only logical scenario that would not leave Caldwell with those three potential options is if the Chiefs managed to pull off a trade with a team looking to jump both the Raiders and the potentially-interested Jaguars.

2013 NFL Draft Top 10: QB/Trade situations

Pick Team Quarterback Situation Trade Situation
1 Kansas City Chiefs Following a trade for Alex Smith, the Chiefs are expected to release Matt Cassel. They will still have Ricky Stanzi on roster, though, and are said to have made "a clear commitment to Alex Smith. Interest in Geno Smith would be surprising. Nowhere to go but trade down. While left tackle could be a need if Branden Albert reaches free agency, if he doesn't, a trade down will make a lot of sense for a team without many needs.
2 Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars have Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne on roster; although neither have inspired much hope. Publicly, the Jaguars have backed Gabbert and it would appear as though he is the favorite to start Week 1, but interest in Geno Smith wouldn't be surprise for a new regime. The Jaguars are far from a team ready to plug in a couple players and go win a Super Bowl. Dropping back, adding picks and still getting a top talent is a scenario that makes a lot of sense.
3 Oakland Raiders Carson Palmer wasn't horrible for the Raiders, statistically; but he definitely wasn't good enough and at 33 years old, he's not going to get any better. There's Terrelle Pryor on roster as well, but he hasn't inspired a ton of confidence either so interest in Smith isn't all that suprising If the Raiders are absolutely set on taking Geno, they might have no option but to sit at #3. You can rule out a trade with their divisional rival-Chiefs. A swap with the Jaguars could make sense if they get trade paranoid.
4 Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles re-structured their contract with Michael Vick that included a $3.5 million signing bonus, which basically means he'll be the team's starter. They also have second-year QB Nick Foles who showed some good signs during his rookie year. A trade up would be surprising for the Eagles and one for a quarterback would be down-right shocking.
5 Detroit Lions "Matthew Stafford is our quarterback, and we hope is our quarterback for a long time," Lions President Tom Lewand told Anwar Richardson of MLive.com. The Lions are supposedly very interested in Dee Milliner. Perhaps a trade ahead of the similarly cornerback needy Eagles would make sense.
6 Cleveland Browns The Browns drafted Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and he really wasn't very good. He could improve, but he's 29, and the 5-11 season in 2012 led to a whole new front office in 2013. Interest in Geno would not be shocking from the Browns. However, they're without a second round pick due to the 2012 Supplementary Draft so their ammunition may be limited and willingness to sell all for a QB, as well.
7 Arizona Cardinals The Cardinals quarterback situation isn't good, but might not be as bad as it's perceived. Kevin Kolb saved the day in Week 1 and led the Cardinals to a 4-0 start there after. It wasn't until a rib injury in Week 6 ended his season that the tail-spin began for the team. USC's Matt Barkley has reportedly been the QB catching the eye of the Cardinals, but a trade up for Geno Smith wouldn't be jaw-dropping for a team that hasn't drafted a QB with a winning record since Jake Plummer in 1997.
8 Buffalo Bills Yeah....it's safe to say at this point that the seven-year, $62 million contract given to Ryan Fitzpatrick in October 2011 may have been premature. With Tarvaris Jackson set to compete with Fitzpatrick in training camp, an upgrade at QB seems almost dire. Ryan Nassib's name has been used in association with the Bills, but that's mostly due to the fact that Syracuse's Mike Pettine was hired by the Bills. An attempt to trade up for Geno wouldn't be surprising.
9 New York Jets If you've ever turned on ESPN, you've probably heard ever detail about the Jets quarterback situation. Mark Sanchez is bad. Tim Tebow is bad. The Jets are bad. A trade up from the ninth pick could be expensive, but the team needs a quarterback and they need one pretty bad.
10 Tennessee Titans Jake Locker completed 56.4 percent of his passes and threw more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (10), but the team appears as though they're comfortable with giving the 2011 1st round pick some more time. A trade up for a quarterback would be pretty surprising for the Titans and would never happen with their AFC South-rival Jaguars.

If the Jaguars decide that they do not want to draft Smith, it's not too hard to figure out why a team would elect to trade with them rather than the Chiefs. Price. While the Chiefs can certainly offer a discount off the usual price of the top pick, it's only logical that they would want to receive a higher return than the Jaguars would expect to receive from the second pick.

One year after the St. Louis Rams received the Washington Redskins' first round selections in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 NFL Drafts in exchange for the second pick, it's very unlikely that the Jaguars would get a similar haul from any of the teams 6-9. However, that might not be too far off of the asking price to move from outside the top five into the No. 1 spot.

Ultimately, talk of a trade is completely dependent on a team liking Geno Smith so much that they are willing to part with picks to ensure he is theirs. He would have to prove himself to be such an intriguing prospect to that particular team that it would actually be surprising to see the Jaguars pass on him.

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