Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Alex Smith trade could impact AFC East


Alex Smith won't be traded to an AFC East team, but his reported move to the Kansas City Chiefs could still have an impact.

The San Francisco 49ers will receive a second round draft pick (34th overall) and an additional pick in 2014 in exchange for their backup quarterback. Jay Glazer broke the news Wednesday, and Tim Kawakami was first to report the compensation. (photo: John Martinez Pavliga, Flickr)

Not only does Smith's departure from the trade block eliminate a possible option for two teams, the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, who are in need of another competitive quarterback, but it opens up some other possibilities.

According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, the 49ers are expected to have 15 draft picks in 2013, as their current tally is at 12 with three compensatory picks on the way. With a veteran roster in win-now mode, the 49ers have a ton of ammo to wheel and deal.

As Graham notes, the Bills' eighth and 41st overall selections in 2013 are ill timed, as none of this year's crop of top quarterback prospects are worthy of going eighth overall but could be slim pickings by the early-to-midway part of the second round. That makes the 49ers "attractive trade partners" to the Bills, as their now 34th-overall pick could be a prime spot to take a signal-caller.

The Jets will likely address outside linebacker in the first round, and No. 9 is a decent spot for that. However, they are in the market for a quarterback project, and if the QB prospects start coming off the board early, Gang Green maybe could be looking for an earlier second-rounder or late first rounder. Meanwhile, the Niners are looking to bolster their secondary. Darrelle Revis trade? It's possible.

Now, take the New England Patriots. The usually pick-rich Patriots have just five choices this year. Five. San Francisco has 15. Surely, there's potential for conversation there.

Any way you slice it, San Francisco could now be looking square in the direction of the AFC East.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily