Are the Philadelphia Eagles legitimately interested in using the fourth overall pick on West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith?
That depends on how you convey recent actions by the team. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie traveled to Morgantown last week to attend Smith's private workout. It was the owner's first such visit since 1999, when he checked in on a Syracuse prospect named Donovan McNabb.
"It's a common thing when it's an important decision," said Lurie on Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, according to Philly.com. "We haven't had a very high draft pick in 14 years. It's true on anyone we look at, we want all the information we can if we stay at No. 4 there."
We gently urge you to pump the brakes if you believe Lurie's road trip means the Eagles have fallen for Smith as their new quarterback of the future.
As Lurie said, it makes sense to be especially thorough when holding a top-five pick. Lurie's visit also successfully sends a message to other teams interested in Smith, widely believed to be the best QB in his draft class. Their pick -- and possibly Smith -- can be had at the right price.
The Cleveland Browns also are doing the same thing. Browns CEO Joe Banner is on record that his team isn't focusing on drafting a quarterback with the sixth-overall pick. But they've scheduled a workout with Smith anyway, according to ESPNCleveland.com. It's both due diligence and a signal to other teams.
Smith's stock is rising, and teams picking early in the first round will try to take advantage of it. He provides potential value, whether he is on a team's draft board or not.