The 2013 NFL Draft Spotlight series continues, as we preview one pro prospect per day, right up until the start of the draft, April 25-27. However, none of the reports in this series are indicative of who the Kansas City Chiefs plan to draft, with any of their currently-owned eight picks.
Day 9 of 32
Geno Smith is pegged by many as the first QB to be taken in April's draft. During his Pro Day at West Virginia, Smith excelled, being led by former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke, now the Director of IMG's Football Academy in Brandenton, Florida. Apparently, Weinke's expertise is paying off for Smith, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.
"I saw what I needed to see - the kid ripped it," said Mayock.
"Most importantly, his footwork looked like it had been cleaned up. He slid, moved in the pocket, and delivered the ball firmly and with authority. The intermediate routes -- 15 to 20 yards; the deep in-breaking and deep out-breaking, he threw the ball as well as you could. I loved what I saw from Geno Smith."
West Virginia's prolific spread offense allowed Smith to use his professed God-given talent to total some astronomical numbers.
2012 passing stat line: 13 games, 369 of 519 (67.4%) for 4,205 yards, 42 TDs, six INTs, 51 rushing yards and two TDs2012 Discover Orange Bowl MVP – 407-yards passing, 6 TDs in the 70-33 win vs Clemson
2011 All-BIG EASST First Team
2011 Set WVU TDs responsible for (33) - season record
2011- Passed for 4,385 yards
2010 Led the All-Big East in completion percentage (64.8)
What else should you know about Geno?
Spotlight Game: WVU vs Baylor - Smith was 45 of 51 for 656 yards (88.2%) and 8 TDs in 70-63 win (Sept. 29, 2012)
While Geno worked out for general managers, coaches and scouts during the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, he chose not to accept an invitation to the 2013 Senior Bowl and stated why, during his Combine press conference.
Combine stats: Best in his group
40-yard dash (4.59 sec)
Vertical Jump (33.5 inches)
Broad Jump (124.0 inches)
"He carries a late-first-round grade," according to ESPN NFL Insider Todd McShay, who continued by saying, "but quarterbacks are the most valuable commodity in the league, and Smith has the work ethic and skill set to polish up the problem areas in his game."
McShay's colleague, ESPN NFL Insider Mel Kiper Jr. doesn't question Smith's ability, just the immediacy of his impact.
"You can't say Smith hasn't aced the evaluation process, one that can be even more intense for seniors," Kiper Jr. said.
"His best traits are great accuracy, ball placement and good pocket maneuverability and awareness. What I question is whether you can draft him with the certainty that he'll start and improve your QB situation immediately. That's why he's not near the top of my board."
During the Combine, Smith was the first to admit that improvement is needed. "Every aspect of my game needs to improve," Smith said. "I work extremely hard to better myself as a whole."
Name: Geno Smith
College: West Virginia
Hometown: Miami, FL
Draft Spotlight - Day 8: Barrett Jones