The first unofficial first-round smokescreen of the year

AP

With multiple reports indicating that the Cardinals, who hold the seventh overall pick in the draft, have become smitten with former USC quarterback Matt Barkley, our first reaction is this.

It’s B.S.

With the Bills parked one spot behind the Cardinals in the top 10 and equally desperate to get a franchise quarterback, the Cardinals could be trying to do one of two things by letting word leak of an alleged love affair with Barkley.

First, the Cardinals could be hoping to get someone else (like the Bills) to trade in front of them and take Barkley, pushing another player in whom the Cardinals truly are interested one spot farther down the draft board.

Second, the Cardinals could trying to mask their potential interest in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, hoping to keep the Bills or some other team from leapfrogging Arizona at No. 7 to get Smith.

The latter explanation makes more sense, primarily because Smith better fits the profile of quarterbacks with whom Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has most recently worked.  Like Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Smith is big and strong and mobile — the kind of quarterback who can use his legs to make up for the absence of a high-end offensive line.  Which the Cardinals don’t have.

It’s a topic that I vaguely recall coming up during our recent interview of Arians at the Scouting Combine.  I’m going to watch it right now to remember what he said.  You should do the same.

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27 responses to “The first unofficial first-round smokescreen of the year

  1. I’d be ok with the Cards taking Smith at that pick. Would prefer to trade down because I think it’s a “reach”. However, when you don’t have a QB under Center, no QB is a reach. The Cards could do just as well to draft for OL starter and/or OL depth that high and maybe grab one of the other QB’s later. But all in all, I’m taking no chances on any QB’s coming out of USC.

  2. Where does the infatuation with Geno Smith begin? I don’t see it. In the NFL scramble-first QB’s are only good for making ESPN highlight reels and ending the season on IR. Frankly, I think the mid to late round prospects are where the good QB’s are going to be found in this draft class. Guys like Tyler Bray, Ryan Nassib, James Vandenberg and Matt Scott seem like better gambles for the money, and for a whole less of an investment.

  3. The Cards will draft Leinart 2.0 and the Jets will trade up to draft Tebow, and the Bills will draft a LB who never starts a game and the NFL world will keep spinning as it always does.

  4. Smith was 6-2, 215, I think, at the Combine. Ran the same 40 time as Gabbert. Only slightly faster than Luck. I don’t see where he suddenly became this awesome physical force at the event.

    Smith is very good QB, but you have to remember there were PAC 12 coaches who preferred Barkley to Luck when they were both there in 2011. I don’t think there is a big gap between the two.

  5. I don’t think neither Barkley or smith are much better than Kolb. doesn’t matter who you put behind there, o line is so bad no qb will have success. but I think if some resemblance of a half decent line is in place, save the pick for another position, take your chances with Kolb and qb search next year for a better option.

  6. I hope that QBs get picked early and often this draft……..It will allow good players to drop down to Seattle at 25. Lets keep the QB buzz going…….Go Hawks!

  7. “To clarify those who call Geno Smith a running qb. He is a pure pocket passer and had like 200 yards rushing on the year possible less.”

    This.

    If you’ve watched any WV football last year you can obviously see why Smith is first round talent in this draft class. He has better arm strength and accuracy than any QB in this class.

  8. With the 8th pick in this years draft….. The buffalo bills would like to chose……… Anybody, I mean anybody other than Barkley. This clown has bust written all over him!

  9. As a Bills fan… I hope we don’t pick Barkley or Smith.. Trade down.. Get an extra second.. But as a Bills fan I know they will probably take on of these 2 or Nassib.. Because the Bills never make the right move! The right move would have been drafting Russell Wilson instead of another slot receiver who can’t catch. Please let me be wrong

  10. The Bills could certainly do worse than Smith. His back shoulder throws r tight he puts a nice ball into the corner of the end zone and can put it on the money 45-50 in the air. He had mostly smaller wrs give him a tall guy like Hunter in rnd2 w SJ and Graham plus that running game. Its a nice fit. He needs fine tuning as they all do but he’s as ready as Tannehill was and while he doesn’t run often he can pull it down and move. See Oklahoma game.

  11. Barkley is the best QB in the draft. Look at his stats compared to Andrew Luck’s & keep in mind he missed the last two games of his Senior season with a torn shoulder. He has been extremely doubted and scrutinized since coming out if Highschool & I think he’s got what it takes to be a good QB in the NFL.

  12. Smith looks unflappable out there. That’s a hard quality to find. He could be playing school yard pickup football for all the difference it makes to him. That won’t change either, I don’t think.

  13. Anyone who believes this scenario must be under the impression that there is even one single NFL general manager who think the Cardinals have a good eye for talent in the draft.

  14. Aside from my favorite team, I generally feel for the underdogs. I truly hope a struggling team doesn’t reach for Barkley. I see it coming, it always does. Not taking anything they’ve done in the NFL, at the time, Locker, Ponder, Tannehill.. all big reaches. It’s inevitable. Some team will get desperate, and I can’t help but think a team like Buffalo will have wasted a pick when all’s said and done.

  15. I doubt the Cards are trying to put up an elaborate smokescreen to fool the Bills. With Buddy Nix in charge it’s simply not neccessary, a simple Jedi Mind Trick will do.

    If the Cardinals really want the Bills to move up and take somebody, they ought to be acting all ga-ga over Ryan Nassib – that’s the player the Bills really want and will do whatever it takes to get him.

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