The previous night general manager John Idzik revealed to the media that they had considered selecting an "offensive player" with their 13th overall pick however, they decided on Sheldon Richardson instead and stayed true to their draft board. As we would find out after drafting the WVU product, Smith, had indeed been that "offensive player." Still on the board at #39, the Jets couldn't resist passing up on Smith who they felt very confident about and got good value for given the way the draft boards fell.
So, Who Exactly Is He?
Weight: 218 pounds
225-pound Bench: N/A
40-yard dash: 4.59
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Birthday: October 10, 1990
Smith was born in Miami Florida into a family of athletes. His great grandfather was boxer and bodybuilder Cyril Smith, his grand uncle, Danny Smith, a famous hurdler, his great grand uncle and cousin, Yama Bahama and Gomeo Brennan respectively, were also boxers. His mother's side of the family also includes former NFL players Melvin Bratton and Lonnie Hepburn. Smith was an artistically gifted child and grew up around football. He played in youth leagues and was tutored on the finer points of the position by his uncle Antwan Sellers. He eventually went to high school at Miramar where he started all four years. During his high school career, Smith earned multiple accolades and left as the school's third best passer. He was rated as a four star prospect by Rivals.com and named to ESPN's Top 150 Prospects.
Smith committed to West Virginia passing up offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State and South Florida. He served as the primary back-up to Jarrett Brown his freshman year before he attained the starting job his sophomore year. He broke a bevy of records throughout his career and led WVU to multiple wins that included a winning trip to the Orange Bowl in 2011. The team struggled in Smith's final year and lost the Pinstripe Bowl to Syracuse, a game in which Smith struggled. However, Smith was still one of the top quarterbacks in college football and his improved strength and accuracy didn't go unnoticed by scouts.
Smith is known for his competitive spirit and leadership qualities he's built from a young age. He's quick with the ball, can throw into tight spaces, and is always looking to make plays and find the open receiver. He can also use his feet to pick up first downs and is overall a strong, physical player. There are some concerns about his blitz recognition and his footwork could use some refinement. He also tends to be inconsistent in his setup and delivery of the the football.
"Geno Smith does an awful lot of good things," Mike Mayock said. There are components of a franchise quarterback, I just don't see it enough. When I look at him, to be brutally honest, I think he fell to about where he should have gone based on what his tape tells me. To me, I don't think you can hand him the keys."
For as much Geno Smith has been praised for, questions remain about whether or not he can put it all together and become a franchise quarterback. He certainly has high upside and given where he was drafted, the Jets got pretty good value for a guy who they plan to bring along slowly rather than throwing him to the sharks. And that's smart. I feel the mistake the Jets made four years ago was that they were content to throw Mark Sanchez in the water and let him figure it out (with Brian Schottenheimer no less) and unfortunately, they're paying for it.
Personally, I'm excited to see what Smith can do but I'm also perfectly content watching him progress gradually if it means it will benefit his career. His addition to the quarterback competition brings about a whole new dynamic and I think we can all agree that minicamp cannot come soon enough.