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Geno Smith likely off Oakland Raiders' NFL draft radar

Although the Oakland Raiders' acquisition of Matt Flynn on Monday shouldn't preclude them from continuing their search for their long-term quarterback, it does mean it's unlikely that general manager Reggie McKenzie will use the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft on West Virginia's Geno Smith.

The quarterback landscape has changed drastically since Steve McNair learned at Chris Chandler's knee for two years with the Houston Oilers before taking over as the face of the Tennessee Titans.


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NFL teams no longer spend high first-round draft picks on quarterbacks to stash them on the sidelines for a redshirt season. They don't have to. Four of the best rookie campaigns the NFL ever has seen came in the past two years from Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck.

If McKenzie simply wanted to provide "competition" for Smith, he could have turned to Terrelle Pryor without surrendering a pair of draft picks for Flynn.

In the middle of a massive rebuild, McKenzie has just three picks in the top five rounds this year. Burning draft picks for a backup quarterback can't be on the agenda.

The Flynn acquisition affords the luxury of going with the best player available in the draft's first round. If neither Flynn nor Pryor proves capable this season, the Raiders can pin their hopes on a stronger quarterback draft class in 2014.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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