The Kansas City Chiefs were mentioned as a potential landing spot for top quarterback prospect Geno Smith ever since they secured the first pick in the draft. The team's trade with the San Francisco 49ers for Alex Smith should bring an end to that connection.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported the Chiefs and 49ers have a deal in place, although it can't become official until March 12. Since Kansas City has filled that glaring void, it's time to recalculate the best fits for the West Virginia product.
Right now, Smith's focus should be on the top 12 picks. There are several teams in that group that could use a quarterback upgrade. If they all pass, he would probably endure a major slide. So let's take a look at three teams in that early group where he may land.
Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer all took snaps under center for the Cardinals last season. None of them gave the front office reason to believe they are a reliable long-term option for the franchise.
Larry Fitzgerald's numbers tell the story. After five straight years with at least 1,000 yards, including three above 1,400, he checked in below 800 last season. In fact, his stats reached their lowest levels since he was a rookie.
If a team isn't getting its biggest playmaker the ball, the offense is going to struggle. That was clearly the case in Arizona. Smith would give the Cardinals a chance at a fresh start and would benefit from having a true No. 1 wideout like Fitzgerald to utilize.
Which of these teams would be the best fit for Smith?
No team has a longer active streak without making a playoff appearance than the Bills. It's been 13 seasons and counting since they made the postseason and the lack of a franchise quarterback is a major reason for that extended drought.
Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't the answer. Although his overall numbers of 3,400 yards and 24 touchdowns aren't terrible, his inability to connect on downfield throws and constant mistakes in the second half of games make it tough to put any faith in him over the long haul.
The Bills do have some nice pieces on offense. C.J. Spiller is one of the league's most explosive players in the open field and Stevie Johnson has emerged as a solid top target. Smith could help Buffalo bring it all together if he lived up to the hype.
New York Jets
The Jets have remained loyal to Mark Sanchez even though he's given very little reason to stick with him. His best quarterback rating in four seasons is a subpar 78 and he's coming off a year in which he had double the amount over turnovers as he had touchdowns.
He helped New York reach the Conference Championship round twice at the beginning of his career, but the credit for that success belongs to the team's defense. Sanchez is nothing more than a game manager, and a lackluster one at that.
Add in the fact the Jets' experiment with Tim Tebow failed, and Smith would be a breath of fresh air. The Jets offense needs somebody who's capable of putting a lot more pressure on the opposing defense than Sanchez has. Smith would do that.