Player Name: Geno Smith
School: West Virginia
Queen City Sports Ranking: 1st
Geno Smith started all 39 games in his final three seasons for the West Virginia Mountaineers and it allowed him to set single-game, season and career records. His six passing touchdowns in one game tied a West Virginia record first set by Marc Bulger vs. Pitt in 1998. In addition, Smith set a BCS and Orange Bowl record with the six touchdown passes in 2011.
In Smith’s junior season in 2011, he became West Virginia’s and the Big East Conference single-season passing leader with 4,385 yards. During that season he threw 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He also completed 65.8% of his passes.
Additionally in 2011, Smith finished four games with over 400-yards passing and set a Big East single-season record of eight 300-yard passing games. In a game against LSU Smith threw a program record 463 yards as well.
In his senior season in 2012, Smith finished with 4,205 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He also finished with a completion percentage of 71%. In terms of touchdowns, interceptions and completion percentage, Smith improved every year since he arrived at West Virginia in 2009.
Very accurate passer, even down the field
Good touch passer
Ability to create with his feet, throws well on the run
Great placement on out routes, balls outside of defender
Very quick release
Smart when running, either slides or runs out of bounds
Solid work ethic (gym, film room)
Senses pressure very well
Locks onto one receiver for too long
Doesn’t always keep his eyes downfield
Geno Smith has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback for a team and in my opinion he can become one of the top 15 quarterbacks in the NFL after a few years. Smith is the quarterback the Bills have been looking for since Jim Kelly left. His ability to lead a team and led by example with his work ethic would be loved in Buffalo. His strong arm and accuracy would fit well in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Unfortunately, due to the Bills picking at No. 8, he will most likely not be available. With Smith most likely being selected in the top five, the Bills would need to trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in order to guarantee landing him. That would require a combination of picks over the next two years that would really hurt the Bills long-term development.
One way to acquire Smith is if he falls to the Browns at pick six. The Bills could move their first round pick (No. 8) and their third round pick (No. 71) to move up two spots and land the quarterback. This trade would allow the Bills to hop the Cardinals in the draft since they are looking for a franchise quarterback as well. Losing a third round pick in a draft with only other six draft picks hurts, but landing a franchise quarterback changes everything.
Where he likely goes: Geno Smith will be a top five selection in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft. Without question, he possesses the most skills out of the quarterback class this year and can end up as a franchise quarterback for some team. With Jacksonville and Oakland looking for capable starters, he will likely be selected by either one of those teams. I don’t see him slipping by the Raiders at pick three in this draft.
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