What Does The Alex Smith Trade Mean For Everyone Else?
The Alex Smith trade effects more teams than just the 49ers and the Chiefs. Lets break down what it does for them first and then how it effects the team’s in the top 10 of the draft as well as other QB hungry teams.
Kansas City Chiefs: Depending on who you ask the Chiefs got a long term answer at QB or bought themselves a few years until one shows up. Regardless, they’re suddenly a contender in the AFC west. The Chiefs have everything to succeed in this pass happy NFL: A big bodied red zone threat in Dwayne Bowe, a gamebreaking runningback who can take a screen pass to the house, an above average offensive line, an offensive quarterback coaching guru and a defense riddled with play makers.
They also can use the number 1 pick to address other issues on their team. I expect them to try and trade and stockpile like the Rams did last year. That would be an incredible start to a coaching career if Reid pulls off something like that.
San Fransisco 49ers: Everyone keeps saying the rich get richer and there is no better way to describe it. The 49ers have been nailing just about every draft they’ve had under Harbaugh. Look for the 49ers to stay in super bowl contention and continue a bid to become the NFL’s newest dynasty. What’s scary is they have ammo to pull off a trade for Darelle Revis. They’ve got 12 picks in this years draft and 2 in the first 34 before picking again in the 2nd round. They could easily package picks and move up in the draft, trade picks for Revis or stay put and gain 3 day one starters in the first 64 picks! Talk about a great start to a coaching career!
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals are about as quarterback hungry as you can get for an NFL team. The issue is that their offensive line is so awful that even if Alex Smith went there it wouldn’t be a good situation for anyone. It’s well known that more than anything, protection is the number one indicator of how well a QB does on a team. There aren’t many QB’s who could survive the beating they would take in the desert.
Couple that with the fact that Arians is a huge advocate for attacking a secondary down the field and Alex Smith wouldn’t make much sense there anyways. The Cardinals are better off re-building their QB situation from the ground up under Arians. He’s one of the best QB guru’s in the game. Give him a young moldable QB prospect like Geno Smith, sign a couple offensive linemen through free agency and the cardinals will be competitive in no time flat.
Alex Smith would have been ill-suited to run the high flying run and gun offense that Arians loves. I think he would have regressed and the Cardinals would have been stuck in reverse.
So, look for the Cardinals either get Geno Smith, if he falls past the Raiders, or Matt Barkley.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Everyone see’s the Jaguars going for another QB. If that’s your perception then Geno Smith makes sense. I don’t see them giving up on Gabbart just yet. The new regime seems patient and willing to build through the draft. Gabbart doesn’t look like a franchise QB but he’s only 23. Most QB’s get 3 solid years before the rug gets pulled out from under them.
Also, Chad Henne never has been the answer but he put up some pretty nice games last year. He may not be the future but he’s good enough while the Jaguars re-build. He can give you 2-3 years while the Jaguars find someone better or Blaine Gabbart finally shows up. This QB draft class is one of the worst to reach and try to re-build in.
Oakland Raiders: Thing get interesting for the Raiders. They’ve got Carson Palmer, who they will have re-structure his contract and Terrelle pryor, who no one knows what he’s capable of. If there is any time where Terrelle Pryor can produce it is now when the spread is welcomed with open arms and bear hugs.
But why not draft a much more talented Geno Smith who has plenty of speed (4.56) and a hell of an arm to boot? I’m much more high on Geno Smith than most. I think people are knocking him more than they should. You know, they say that teams pump the league with lies during this time in an effort to get players to lose value and fall to them in the draft. It’s entirely possible thats whats going on here because while I am no NFL level talent evaluator I don’t see anything out of the ordinary that can’t be fixed.
Here’s what’s funny to me. In the past the knock on running QB’s is that they look to run first and pass second. Well, finally we have a bunch of running QB’s who want to be known as pocket passers first (RG3, Russel Wilson). Geno Smith has the speed to run but is a pocket passer at his core.
In my eyes he’s the second coming of Steve McNair. That’s my comparison and I’m sticking to it! So yeah, if he is as raw as they say you’ve got a guy in Carson Palmer who can take the reins for a year. The Raiders aren’t going anywhere for a few years anyways while they climb out of salary cap hell.
And sure there is more pressure for rookies to come in to play nowadays but it’s not as if this kid is getting Jamarcus Russel money. He’ll get Cam Newton money, at $22 million, which is highway robbery compared to what top 5 picks used to get. The Raiders can afford to either let him sit for a year behind Palmer or even throw him right into the fire.
Buffalo Bills: I don’t know much about what the Bills are planning to do. In fact I don’t have much speculation that is based on any type of logic at this time so I’m not going to pretend like I do.
The Bills blew their load too early on Ryan Fitzpatrick a few years back. Hey it happens to us all and it sure is embaressing, especially when it’s with a girl you really like. All you can do is hope she gives you a few more chances to redeem yourself and if she does, you’ll show her, right?
Well, Fitzpatrick has gotten more than a few more chances and the sex just isn’t getting any better. It makes for some awkward bedroom, errr, I mean awkaward NFL Sunday’s. The team tried to hide the real issue at hand by surrounding the team with an excellent collection of defensive talent. Hell, if the defense is good enough, and you have a good running game then you can get by with average QB play, right? Not anymore old timer. This is the high flying, run and gun NFL where you need an elite level talent who is either elite (Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Flacco? Ugh, it pains me to say it) or on his way to being elite (RG3, Russel Wilson, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick).
The defense didn’t even play up to their contracts, with Mario Williams being the most disaspointing byt signing a $100 million contract and only getting like 11 sacks. Ok, you can say the sacks are good enough but the defense, especially against the run, was terrible. If you get paid that much money you should at least put up 15 sacks and the unit should be in the top 10. Let’s just say he didn’t quite have a julius peppers type impact.
So where do the Bills go from here? Do they pull the trigger on a QB in what is considered a weak QB class? or do they give old Ryan a few more bed room romps, close their eyes and hope for the best?
Everyone’s had bad sex before and it’s hard enough to give someone a 2nd chance (Unless you’re drunk) let alone another year.
But they have no real choice at this point. There is no long term answer in free agency and it doesn’t appear there is a QB that can step in and start day one in the draft unless you’re Geno Smith.
But what about Matt Barkley? He was, just a few years ago, the equivalent of QB jesus until he tried to do the right thing and stay in school. Now no one is so sure about him, unless NFL teams are simply running game again. There’s talk of him being a top 10 pick now. If the Bills do take a QB, and this Barkley hype is real, I expect him to go to Buffalo at number 8.
What else do the Bills need at this point? They’ve got a pretty good offensive line, they have an excellent collection of defensive talent at every position. Defensive end, safety, linebacker and cornerback all have potential studs.
They’ve got an amzing talent at runningback in CJ Spiller, a WR who can beat Darelle Revis in Stevie Johnson so what else do they need? Oh yeah! A quarterback! It appears that Buffalo has no choice but to draft a QB at some point. If Geno Smith falls to them they should sprint to the podium. Anyone else you kind of just go through the motions and hope for the best. They’re used to that by now….