NFL Draft Smokescreens Are Beginning to Surface, like Geno Smith to Jacksonville

We’re inside a month to go until the NFL draft, and as teams begin to narrow their focus on targets, one of the best things they can do is float things to reporters that will trickle out into the mainstream and get pickup around the web.

Last year, my favorite was the Matt Kalil scuttlebutt just prior to the draft. For weeks, it was clear he was going 3rd to Minnesota. But suddenly, a week before the draft, Kalil had a “sense of entitlement.” And the Vikings had many options. It was all a smokescreen. Minnesota took Kalil 3rd 4th, and he had an outstanding year, getting called for one holding penalty (it was declined), and allowing just 5.5 sacks. [PFF had Kalil giving up two sacks in the regular season.]

The first outstanding smokescreen of the 2013 draft involves the Jaguars, a QB and …

This is not to impugn Daniel Jeremiah, who was wise enough to preface the tweet with “skeptical of draft rumblings.” He’s terrific – I tried to hire him last year, a fun story we plan on talking about on the podcast – and very plugged it. Where did this Geno Smith-to-Jacksonville rumor begin? Did Geno Smith’s agent selectively leak it to certain people in the league, knowing it would get back to reporters? Or is it more likely the Jaguars selectively placed it with folks knowing if it blows up enough, Oakland, Cleveland, Arizona or Buffalo might fall for it and trade up?

For now, I’ll stick with my mock of Geno Smith going 7th to the Cardinals. The way this could change is if Shariff Floyd of Florida jumps into the Top 2, and then the Raiders at 3 decide the Carson Palmer experiment is over, screw the defense, let’s get a QB. I can’t see the Jaguars taking a QB 2nd.

Related: 2013 NFL Draft: Minnesota Has 23rd & 25th Picks, Should the Vikings Take Two Receivers?
Related: 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Post-Combine: Jarvis Jones 2nd, Ziggy Ansah 6th, Geno Smith 7th, and No Matt Barkley

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