Though he isn't considered the slam-dunk prospects that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were last year, West Virigina quarterback Geno Smith is projected to go No. 1 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 NFL Draft according to several mock drafts. He is the the top pick according to Josh Harris at Rotoworld and SB Nation's own Matthew Fairburn, though both have some reservations.
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The recent success of second- and third-round quarterbacks is either a new trend or an outlier, because from 2001-2010, only two quarterbacks selected in that two round span can be considered dependable starters (Drew Brees and Matt Schaub). With that said, there is large group of signal callers that could be considered second- or third-round talents this season. Kansas City and Andy Reid can't afford to wait on whichever one might fall to the outside of the first-round, instead, this is one of the few opportunities a team can chose their favorite from the entire bunch.
Fairburn agrees, though he admits that the Chiefs will have a lot to think about between now and draft day.
The Chiefs have a desperate need at quarterback, and Smith is the draft's highest-ranked player at that position. This pick could change between now and April, but when a team doesn't have a quarterback, that's the biggest need. This will be a fun pick to debate over the next few months.
Though Harris and Fairburn agreed on the first overall pick of the draft, there were some disagreements about who will be selected where among the first 10 pick.
Fairburn and Harris agreed on picks 2-4 (Barkevious Mingo, Star Lotulelei and Luke Joeckel, respectively), but disagreed on what the Lions will do at No. 5 overall. Fairburn sees the need for a defensive end to complete an otherwise stout defensive line. Harris agrees, but suspects that Milliner may be higher on draft boards than many are assuming.
No. 7, Arizona Cardinals: Harris: Mike Glennon, QB, NC State. Fairburn: Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan
After the Cleveland Browns select Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore at No. 6, a Cardinals squad with a lot of holes will have a difficult decision to make. According to Fairburn, the Cards need to address the offensive line "before they worry about anything else," and Fisher could be a career anchor at left tackle. Harris agrees that the offensive line is a problem. He also believes that Arizona will have a tough time passing on a strong-armed quarterback who fits Bruce Arians' system very well.
Both Harris and Fairburn have the Bills making an intriguing pick at the No. 8 spot. Patterson played just one season of FBS-level football, but his athleticism is hard to match at any position in the draft. Jordan, on the other hand, gives defensive coordinator Mike Pettine a versatile player that can move around and attack an offense in multiple ways.
No. 9, New York Jets: Harris: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State. Fairburn: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
The Jets also need a lot of help. Werner is potentially a questionable fit for the Jets' defensive scheme, but Harris believes that his pass-rushing ability will be too enticing to pass by. Fairburn, meanwhile, sees the Jets addressing the muddy quarterback situation head-on with their first-round pick. WIlson's arm and competitive-streak could be a breath of fresh air for the offense.