Geno Smith: Is He A Legitimate Top-5 Pick.

Dec 29, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Syracuse Orange at the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last few weeks, Geno Smith’s stock has been on the rise because he is the only quarterback with the potential to squeeze into to the first 10, and maybe even the first 5, picks of the draft. Now the question that has arisen is this: Is Geno Smith worthy of a top 5 selection? The answer to this question is unclear because there is strong support for Geno Smith being a op-5 pick and there is a strong case against it. With the draft less than 25 days away, it is time to uncover the mystery of Geno Smith.

Geno Smith has ideal height and speed to play quarterback in the NFL and he has short quick release which is also a plus. Smith is a three year starter from West Virginia and by looking at his season ending stats make your mouth drop to the floor. Last season, Smith completed 71.2% of his throws for 4,205 yards, while throwing 42 touchdown passes to only 6 interceptions (he also ran for 151 yards and 2 TDs).  These stats are awesome, but as you delve deeper into the stats, you find that the season ending stats don’t tell the whole story. In Smith’s first four games of the season he threw for 1,728 yards which looks unbelievable until you look at his opponents. West Virginia played Marshall, JMU, Maryland, and Baylor in their first four games, and all four of these teams have very bad defenses. Against the better teams, like Kansas St. and Syracuse, Smith put up poor stat lines. Last season, Smith put up huge numbers against bad teams, which helped pad his stats, but struggled against the better teams.

On tape, Smith shows that he has the ability to start at the next level, but he will also need some time to sharpen his skills before he can truly be effective. Smith has a short, quick release and generates a lot of power in his throws. Due to the attributes previously listed, Smith is extremely effective in the short to intermediate range. When a play stretches into the 15-20 yard area, Smith begins to have a bit of trouble, not much, but it is something to keep an eye on. I saw in the 15-20 yard range that Smith’s throws would begin to drift a bit high, I believe because he was trying to throw the ball so hard, that it left his receivers vulnerable to huge hits and some times, because of these hits, the ball would come loose. Again, I don’t think it’s a huge concern, but its something that kind of stuck out. In the deep throws, Smith showed he had the arm, but he seemed hesitant at times to let it loose or his accuracy was off. I think his deep ball accuracy needs the most work, but he definitely showed he could throw the ball long. One of the biggest strengths I saw in Smith’s game was his ability to go through his progressions. Even when Smith’s first or second option was covered, Smith showed the ability to check it down to his underneath receiver. Anther plus was when he was being hurried, SMith kept his eyes down field at all times as he tried to make a play with his arm, rather than his feet. The calmness and poise that I saw in Smith’s game really stood out t me and is definitely a plus for him as he looks to become a starting quarterback at the next level.

With all of that being said, I believe Smith is deserving of a top-15 even top-10, selection, but I don’t see him as a top five quarterback and I believe NFL coaches and GMs feel the same way. The Chiefs hold the first pick in the draft and they had a huge hole at quarterback. Instead of spending their first selection on Geno Smith, Andy Reid and Co. decided to pay a huge fee to acquire Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. This move leads me to believe that the Chiefs didn’t feel that Geno Smith could be an instant starter at the next level, which a player selected in the top-5 needs to be.  And more recently, the Raiders, who hold the third pick in the draft, decided to trade for Matt Flynn instead of spending their first round selection on Geno Smith. And it was reported by Jeff McLane, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported that the Eagles will mostly likely pass on Geno Smith. McLane wrote this is his article about the Eagles potentially drafting Geno Smith. ”Chip Kelly’s belief that his offense can thrive without a franchise quarterback suggests that a team with many needs will pass on the West Virginia prospect.”

Geno Smith will most likely be drafted with in the first ten selections in the draft, I have him going 8th to the Buffalo Bills in most recent mock draft, but I don’t think Geno Smith is worthy of a top-5 selection and based on the moves and comments made by the teams in the top-5, I don’t believe that they feel that Geno Smith is a top-5 pick either.

Topics: 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles

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