Quarterback Notes: Geno Smith, Tyler Bray

With all of the questions flying around West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, everybody is wondering where he’ll go in the first-round come Thursday’s NFL Draft festivities.

Adam Schein is adamant that Smith won’t leave the first round — in fact he goes as far as alleviating any misconceptions that Smith isn’t a legitimate franchise quarterback.

Why does Schein believe this?

Well, he cites the thought that Smith has both the “tangibles and intangibles” a team looks for in their franchise quarterback. Undoubtedly, Smith has talent. The problem many see with Smith is the same that many of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class exhibit: inconsistency. While many young players have problems with consistency, it’s remarkable that all of these passers have at the collegiate level.

There are solid possibilities for Smith going in the top-five — Jacksonville, Oakland and Philadelphia all clearly need quarterbacks. Blaine Gabbert has flopped in his time starting for the Jaguars, Oakland is devoid of talent at the position, and the Eagles have concerns about Michael Vick’s durability and age.

Even after the addition of Kevin Kolb, it’s clear that Buffalo needs a quarterback (even if they’re looking at Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib). Smith could even go to the Cardinals, although glaring needs and the recent addition of Carson Palmer could temper any thoughts of Smith playing in Arizona.

A couple interesting teams that Schein throws into the mix for Smith should he fall from the top-ten are Tampa Bay and Tennessee. Although Josh Freeman is squarely locked-in at starter for the Bucs and Jake Locker is the heir apparent following Matt Hasselbeck’s departure from Tennessee, it’s been made known that Greg Schiano has his reservations about Freeman and Locker’s early struggles both in performance and staying on the field have worried Titans management.

It would be a bit of a shock for either team to take Smith, especially since the Buccaneers just shipped off their first-round pick for Darrelle Revis — it would likely take a few picks this year and possibly their first next year to jump back into the first. The Titans are in a similar situation to the Browns in that if they grab Smith that means they’re giving up on a former first-round pick in Brandon Weeden.

One team that Schein comments about that makes sense is the New York Jets. Yes, they’re clearly in need of defensive help at several positions (and even more so after the trading of Revis), but now with two first-round picks they could afford to spend one on Smith — thus upgrading tremendously on the likes of Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, David Garrard and Greg McIlroy.

Geno Smith makes for a very interesting story this year not only because the Revis trade has shaken up the first-round, but also because he isn’t the clear-cut prospect that we’ve seen in quarterbacks from years past — i.e. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford or Matthew Stafford.

Steelers Looking at Quarterback?

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com has some interesting news out of Pittsburgh: the Steelers are looking at taking an heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger come draft day.

They’ve even got one in mind already — Tennessee’s Tyler Bray.

Bray’s got talent, that’s for sure, but off-the-field issues have squarely eliminated him from first-round discussions. Between arm strength and an unabashed fearlessness when it comes to off-the-field problems (just look at Big Ben), the Steelers could be the perfect fit for Bray — that is if another team just jump on him in the second- or third-round before Pittsburgh can.

Another name Rosenthal throws out there is Miami of Ohio product Zach Dysert. The apparent backup plan, should Pittsburgh stand-pat at quarterback in the draft, is for veteran Charlie Batch to be brought back in to compete with Bruce Gradkowski for clipboard duties.

NFL Draft Reports Mock Draft 3.0

I’m currently working hard on getting out a final mock draft prior to the real thing later this week, so stay tuned tomorrow and Thursday. This one will be a beat meatier and likely will be a two-part post.

NFL Draft Preparation Under Way

The 2013 NFL Draft is only a few days away, and here at NFL Draft Reports we’re hard at work prepping for Thursday night’s first-round festivities. I’ll be personally covering the first-round with live updates with some help from a couple new faces, while the second-round will be handled by myself and a said new contributors that I’ll be announcing in the next couple days.

It’s an exciting time in the NFL, and we’re here to bring you all the news you need on the draft, so make sure to tune in on Thursday!


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