Geno Smith

By PFC Draft Writer Josh Ready

Geno Smith

 

Geno Smith is probably the most controversial QB of this class.  The quarterback from West Virginia is quite the interesting specimen.  As a passer he has all the ability to succeed in the NFL.  But, as do most rookie players coming in, he needs work.  He shows tremendous flashes of being the next franchise QB, and then he just as often shows that he could be another flop turned back-up.  He has a tendency to lock onto his first read and gets the ball out very accurately doing it with his ability to read the basic defense at the line.  However,  he often does not read the blitz well, and when forced to hold onto the ball and go through his progressions, things become very inconsistent.  He often struggles to see the blitz coming off the edges, which may be part of the reason that his footwork gets so sloppy at times.  He doesn’t possess a huge arm, but has a very good one.  He can make all the throws, but will often miss a wide open receiver.  The biggest flaw, aside from his inconsistent at best footwork, is his tendency to let balls sail when he misses.  As we all know, if you have a ball sail on you in the NFL, it usually means bad news.  To his credit though, with this problem his numbers have been extremely low in the interception category.

When Geno had success, it was in the short to intermediate routes, and also passes off of play action.  His struggles were when he was forced to go through his progressions and being pressured.  I am not saying that he doesn’t  or cant go through progressions, but more saying that NFL defenses will not give him the time he took in college to figure out his first option is not available.  His deep ball will sure look pretty, and he has decent accuracy with it, but will have you screaming at your T.V. about “how could he miss him?”

One of probably the least talked about handicaps he dealt with (probably because they will be first and second round draft picks) is that he was throwing to not one, but two very small receivers.  Being able to hit guys like that in small windows like he did is an absolute credit to his ability.  One thing that was just covered was his shocking 4.59 40 time at the combine.  Nobody out there expected that, and it should help his stock tremendously.  No, he is not the read option QB that is apparently the new thing, but he has very good speed to get away from defenses to keep a play alive.  With him not being the read option guy, people look at his system and put the old “but he runs a spread offense” argument against him.  This is actually not a fair criticism of his, because it was just the last two years that he has ran the spread.  He has shown the ability to go under center, and be successful at it, as his did this in his beginning years at West Virginia University.

PROS

Above average arm with great accuracy on short to intermediate routes with great velocity.  OK size at 6’2′ 218 pounds for the NFL with above average speed, and extremely durable.  Great and fearless leader as he took many big hits only to dust it off and keep going, and a student of the game always studying film.  Constantly in the gym to get better and stronger, never settling for “good enough”.  Very crisp, compact throwing motion with a very quick release.  Leads his receivers well, and allows them to pick up yards after the catch.  Generally protects his receivers and does not throw it in a spot leading them to have a big hit on them.

CONS

Footwork is by far the biggest knock I have on this guy.  He is just so inconsistent.  If he were to be coached up and shore up his footwork, he could very well be a “franchise” QB.  He has never sat out and learned, as he did not red-shirt as a freshman, so maybe learning from a vet for a year could be exactly what he needs.  Letting the ball float on him is another concern of mine.  When he attacks the sidelines or deep, he can either throw it in the smallest of windows, or leave it sailing.  Like I said, this did not hurt him that bad in college, but in the pros, the game gets much faster and room for error is much smaller.  Seems to have a little Phillip Rivers in him at times when things aren’t going so well, he tends to get a little childish, and tries to force throws.  But, this could also be looked at as “winners hate to lose” mentality that I have seen put into a plus category.

System

I feel as though Geno could actually succeed in any system, but is probably best fit for a west coast hybrid offense. as he excels at the short to intermediate throws and has the capabilities if hitting the home run.  An offense similar to what San Francisco was running or a Philadelphia style offense with Andy Reid.  Putting him with a strong running game would be optimal as he succeeds well off of the play-action, and would allow for him to use his quick release to pick up easy yards.

Projected Draft Position

Top 5

Team Fits

Kansas City Chiefs (1.1)

Jacksonville Jaguars (1.2)

Oakland Raiders (1.3)

Philadelphia Eagles (1.4)

Cleveland Browns (1.6)

Arizona Cardinals (1.7)

Buffalo Bills (1.8)

New York Jets (1.9)

 

The video is probably the best example of Geno from this last year.  He shows that he is very capable of making it in the NFL, and also shows his struggles with footwork and his inability to see the rush off the edges at times.  It also shows his pinpoint accuracy and capabilities of hitting the deep routes.

 

Geno V Texas 2012