Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Raiders should not take former West Virginia QB Geno Smith.
Geno Smith (quarterback, West Virginia)
Smith has been linked to the Raiders throughout the offseason, as a recent Bleacher Report mock draft tidily details.
Smith was the most impressive quarterback prospect at the combine, according to ESPN Insiders Todd McShay and Kevin Weidl.
They reported that Smith flashed excellent arm strength and ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, the fastest time at his position and identical to that of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton in 2011.
Based on his poise, physical skills and dedication to his craft, I believe Smith will be a worthy starter in the NFL.
However, he would be a wasted pick for the Raiders as long as they have Terrelle Pryor: a young, inexpensive commodity with a similar skill set.
Oakland doesn't need a quarterback nearly as much as it needs immediate help in the secondary and on the defensive line.
The only reasonable rationale for the Raiders to openly consider Smith is to drum up interest in teams lower in the first round.
This PR tactic would make a trade down, in exchange for additional draft picks, more likely.
Sharrif Floyd (defensive tackle, Florida)
According to NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, Floyd may be a superior talent to more highly touted position mate Star Lotulelei of Utah.
Mayock told insidebayarea.com that Floyd is a "prototypical three-technique" lineman, meaning he would prosper as the tackle lined up opposite the offensive guard.
Floyd would seem to fill a need for the Raiders, particularly if they don't re-sign free agent tackle Desmond Bryant.
Yet, this is a rich draft for impact defensive linemen, as nbcbayarea.com notes. A player just as productive as Floyd could be available later in the first round.
Also, Floyd's track record hardly suggests that he would drastically improve the Raiders' anemic pass-rush.
While he showed good athleticism and the ability to fend off double-teams while in college, he amassed only 4.5 sacks over the last two seasons.
Dion Jordan (defensive end/linebacker, Oregon)
Jordan could be the biggest benefactor of combine workouts come April.
His 4.60 40-yard dash time may well make him the Philadelphia Eagles' pick at No. 4 overall, according to ESPN Insider Tim Kavanagh.
In theory, Jordan is a good fit for the Raiders, as well.
Jordan projects well as a 3-4 outside linebacker, if the team makes the schematic switch I suggest.
If Oakland defensive end Lamarr Houston switches to 4-3 tackle, as head coach Dennis Allen suggested recently to reporters at the combine, Jordan could take his place.
Unfortunately, Jordan is set to undergo surgery on a torn labrum, according to NFL.com, and is expected to be out for three to four months.
A prolonged absence would make Jordan unlikely to contribute immediately in 2013. A Raiders defense desperate for difference-makers can't afford the wait.