Geno Smith: NFL Draft Preview

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Published: April 10, 2013

Geno SmithGeno Smith Fantasy Football

Geno Smith has been a solid quarterback since his high school days at Miramar High School. Smith had a solid junior year and was invited to the Elite 11 camp prior to his senior year. Elite 11 is a competitive quarterback camp to decide who is the best signal caller in country going into their senior years. Smith was considered a top 10 quarterback nationally by some publications entering his senior year. He was a first team all state player in Florida, runner up for Mr. Football (behind AJ Graham, recent player of Marshall), and received offers from Florida State, Boston College, and Alabama before committing to West Virginia. At West Virginia Smith garnered honors such as First team all Big East (1), Second team all Big East (1), 2011 Orange Bowl Most Valuable Player, Big 12 Offensive Player of the week (4 times), and National Player of the week honors (2 times during the 2012 season). It is easy to get stats like that when you are throwing to the likes of Stedman Baily and Tavon Austin. The common misconception with Smith is as a dual threat quarterback. Although Smith does have decent speed to pick up rushing yards he was more of a pocket quarterback at West Virginia. His senior season stats were as follow:

Att Comp Passing Yards Comp. % TD INT Rush Yards Rush TD
369 518 4205 71.2 42 6 152 2

Strengths

Geno Smith is a very competitive football player. He has all the makings of a solid quarterback in the NFL. Smith is a confident quarterback who can make quick decisions and decisive throws and is accurate on short and long range passes. He has a strong arm to fit the ball into tight windows while leading receivers and has great touch to make accurate sideline passes on intermediate and deep routes. Makes great decisions on when to pass or pull the ball down and run. Knows how to throw but can make plays with his feet as well. His 4.59 forty yard dash shows that he has the speed to pull the ball down and run while picking up chunks of yards on the ground. Smith is also able to take a hit. He weighs 220 pounds so he has the strength to take hits while hanging onto the football.

Weaknesses

Has footwork issues that limit the amount of work he can do from under center. Has some accuracy issues when throwing on the run. Has issues picking up the blitz on pres-snap reads and after the ball has been snapped. When dealing with pressure sometimes will lose yardage or get sacked rather than stepping up into the pocket to make a throw. Smith can get stuck on a single read at times rather than working through his progressions. Seemed to regress throughout the 2012 season after a hot start.

Fantasy Impact

I think Smith posses a lot of potential to be a solid quarterback in the NFL. He is not going to have the immediate impact that some recent quarterbacks have had in fantasy football in the last couple years. I beleive that Smith has the ability to be a top 15 quarterback and that will depend on how many rushing yards and touchdowns he scores as a rookie. Cam Newton put up top 10 numbers as a rookie but scored 13 rushing touchdowns and ran for over 700 yards. RGIII finished as a top 10 quarterback but he ran for over 800 yards and had 7 touchdowns. He is an accurate quarterback but our perception as fantasy owners has been skewed by some amazing talent at the quarterback position the last two season. Realistically expect a possibility of a top 15 quarterback at best for the rookie.

I think Smith ends up as a top five pick in this draft. There are several quarterback needy teams in the top five draft picks. Smith is the top quarterback in the class and with the NFL being a passing league I think the Raiders take him with the 3rd overall pick. In Oakland he would have a nice corp of young wideouts to throw to. Flynn will provide competition in camp and also provide some veteran leadership. It is very conceivable that Flynn holds the clipboard, for a rookie quarterback back, after being traded to a new team two years in a row.

 

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