Geno Smith went from being an anticipated top-10 pick in the NFL Draft to slipping to the second round where he was selected 39th overall by the New York Jets. Smith faced heavy scrutiny prior to the draft after a Pro Football Weekly scouting report from Nolan Nawrocki skewered him for having poor work habits and focus. Now we’re seeing that he may not have been the only one disenchanted with Smith’s personality.
Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole wrote a column on Smith that is well worth your time. In the article, Cole cites a few different executives who expressed concerns about the former West Virginia quarterback.
“I’m not sure he knows how to take instruction because he pretty much wouldn’t listen or talk to our coaches,” one executive told Cole.
“He doesn’t have much presence, not much of a leader,” another league executive told Cole.
Cole also reports that Smith spent a lot of time on his phone during his visits with teams rather than interacting with coaches and other team personnel, which turned off some teams.
E.J. Manuel was the first quarterback taken in the draft and only QB selected in the first round. He came off very well in media interviews and seemed to understand what it takes to be a franchise leader. That could explain in part why Buffalo selected him.
Many were outraged when they read Nawrocki’s assessment of Smith and felt that some of the criticism had racist undertones. Maybe Nawrocki’s report just happened to reflect the widespread feeling about Smith across the league. We know one thing: it reflects poorly on Smith that he didn’t want to come back to the draft after not being picked on the first day, and it looks bad that he has already fired his agents.