The Raiders are interested in seriously pursuing West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, according to Matt Miller.
Smith passed for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2012, eventually succumbing to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Miller cites the Raiders’ desire for a new signal caller as the reason for his report, which makes some sense. The team has gone so far as to say that Terrelle Pryor will be given a chance to start next year, which is not a ringing endorsement of what the team has going on under center.
Oakland currently holds the third overall pick in the draft and despite the fact that two quarterback-needy teams in Kansas City and Jacksonville are above them in the selection process, it’s entirely possible that Smith is there with the Raiders’ first choice.
It’s been somewhat tough to find a good pick for the Raiders in a mock draft, as they don’t really have many glaring needs that need to be taken care of.
That said, it seems as though the team was not satisfied with Carson Palmer and wants to upgrade at the position. Smith doesn’t have a very big arm, but he’s efficient, serviceable and athletic. Imagine Kyle Orton if he could run.
The Raiders have the right pieces on offense, with Darren McFadden and a talented receiving corps, but need to find out better ways to use the players in 2013 after an abysmal offensive output last season.
That said, if Smith is the answer, the Raiders are asking the wrong question. He’s not a player who is going to take this team to a Super Bowl, but that’s the unfortunate expectation he’ll bear on his shoulders if he’s taken third overall.