Draft Profile: Alex Smith

Once considered the second-best quarterback in the draft, behind Cal?s Aaron Rodgers, it?s now looking more and more like the San Francisco 49ers would prefer Smith with the first pick Saturday. On the downside, Smith doesn?t have the arm strength that Rodgers possesses and he?s not as polished, but many scouts and GMs believe that of the two quarterbacks, Smith has more upside and is therefore a more intriguing pick. He?s mobile and has great leadership abilities, plus he?s an extremely intelligent young man, having graduated from Utah with an economics degree and a 3.74 GPA in only two years. It had long been assumed that, should the Browns keep the #3 pick and Braylon Edwards was not available, Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel would not hesitate to make Smith the team?s quarterback of the future, but with all the uncertainty surrounding the #1 choice there?s no way to tell right now if the Browns will have a shot at either guy. Several teams are rumored to be talking trade with the 49ers and Dolphins, including the Vikings, who just lost a guy by the name of Randy Moss. And if Smith and Edwards do in fact go 1-2, then not only have the Browns lost the top two guys on their draft board, but they?ve also lost much of the leverage they had for a trade, considering teams looking to move up were primarily interested in Smith and Edwards.

Still, if Smith and Edwards are taken with the draft?s first two picks, Patrick McManamon from the Beacon Journal says the opportunity to draft Auburn running back Ronnie Brown could have several teams calling the Browns once they?re on the clock.

The PD?s Tony Grossi says Phil Savage should be talking Smith up more to the media to help generate some trade interest from other teams.

In his USA Today column, Larry Weisman reports that the 49ers have already made a contract proposal to Smith but that his financial demands may price Smith out of the top pick.

Newsday.com?s Bob Glauber says deciding which quarterback is the right quarterback on draft day is never easy, pointing to past debates like Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf, John Elway vs. Dan Marino, and Tim Couch vs. Donovan McNabb (ugh). But Ira Miller from the San Francisco Chronicle says the choice is clear for the 49ers: Aaron Rodgers.

Here are links to more commentary on Smith:

San Diego Union Tribune
Washington Post
FOX Sports
Rocky Mountain News
Ohio.com
New York Times
CBS Sportsline

Draft profiles:
NFL.com
CBS Sportsline
ESPN.com
FOX Sports
CNNSI.com

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates.