By: James Johnson (@J_1010xl)
Eugene “Geno” Smith
Measurables: 6-3, 220 lbs.
Well Jaguars fans, first things first: get used to hearing this name. It looks like the Jags will be in search for yet another franchise QB since Blaine Gabbert hasn't developed as fast as most would like and Chad Henne doesn't look to be the answer either. Whoever is named the new GM (once Gene Smith is likely fired) will want his own franchise signal caller. Problem is, this draft doesn't seem have that “star player” at the QB position like last year's did. However, there are some solid QB's in the 2013 draft that certainly have potential. At the top of that list is Geno Smith, who is without a question the top rated QB prospect in this upcoming draft. Smith is very experienced as he's started every game dating back to his sophomore year for West Virginia. I can honestly say that year-by-year he seems to improve--which is good as he'll have to do the same in the NFL. His stats for this year are particularly crazy. Currently, he has a 164.6 passer rating and a 71.4% completion ratio. Alongside those stats he seems to have gotten better with his deep ball accuracy in 2012, as well. I've seen Smith come away from multiple games with only 4 or 5 incompletions of 30 plus attempts. In his game against Baylor, his most impressive performance, in my opinion, he completed a whopping 45 passes of 51. As many have already said, it was like “watching a video game” when Geno was on the field, as he left that game with an 88.2 completion percentage. He wasn't too shabby in his game against Kansas, either, when he completed 23 of 24 passes, finishing with a 95.8 completion percentage. Yes, I know it was Kansas, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless. Aside from his accuracy, his pocket presence is another one of the things you'll notice about him right away. He keeps his eyes downfield even as the pocket is collapsing, but he can get a little too comfortable at times. I've seen him stick in the pocket on multiple occasions and take a hit which results in a fumble. He'll need to work on that in the pros, but that shouldn't be difficult since he has the legs to do so. There are also concerns with Smith coming from a pistol offense. Personally, I was one of those skeptical on Smith for this reason. However, when I look at Colin Kaepernick, who also played in the pistol in college, I think Geno could certainly make the transformation. If you look around the NFL it seems as if some coaches (like Shanahan and Harbaugh) are adopting pistol packages in which they let their QB's make a zone read. The common factor is that they have young QB's with the legs to make it work. Though Smith isn't as fast, I could certainly see his next head coach sprinkling the pistol into their playbook, and doing it successfully. As of now, Smith is projected to be a top 10 pick. No, he's not as talented as RGIII or Andrew Luck of the 2012 draft, but he can definitely transfer his success from college into the pros with the right personnel
around him. Kansas City currently holds the number one pick and most seem to think they will go with a QB at some point in the draft. If they somehow pass on Smith, it would certainly be something the Jags, who will likely have a new GM, will consider. Smith will be at the Senior Bowl in January and will definitely be one to watch in terms of prospects the Jags show interest in.
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