By Steve Corkran
Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at 2:13 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders were one of 29 teams with a representative at the workout of West Virginia players on Thursday.
That fuels speculation that the Raiders are considering West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft late next month.
Smith is regarded as the top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft, though many draft analysts aren’t certain any of the quarterbacks are worthy of being selected early in the first round.
The Raiders have Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor under contract. However, it’s conceivable that the Raiders release or trade Palmer, draft Smith and add a cheaper veteran through free agency.
It’s also possible that the Raiders are showing interest in Smith only as a means of increasing their leverage for a potential deal with a team interested in trading up for the No. 3 pick so that it can be assured of getting Smith.
Smith completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 4,205 yards and 42 touchdowns, while being intercepted only six times in 518 pass attempts.
The Raiders also got a chance to take a long look at West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, regarded by many as a first-round prospect.
The release of receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on Tuesday leaves the Raiders thin at that position. Austin is viewed as a potential big-play receiver.