USA TODAY Sports
This is the first time I've ever done this. I'm extremely excited for the NFL draft & really wanted to see for myself the guy who is talked about as the best QB in the draft & possibly our #1 overall pick. I watched gametape on youtube, every one of the Geno Smith games from 2012 that are posted on youtube (well almost all, couldn't find the Oklahoma St game, I also watched his bowl game from 2011). Some of them didn't show int's or incomplete passes for some reason(but I did check the stats sheets & looked into the opposition for each game to try and get a full understanding of what happened & who the competition was). I think I got a pretty good feel for Geno Smith...... Here are my thoughts.
- First off (nothing to do with gametape, but very important positive) everything I've read & heard about him is that he is a football nerd. Hes always in the film room studying, and is a very hard worker. All the interviews I've seen of him make him seem like a very legit team guy who is not out for himself whatsoever, he just wants his team to win at all costs. There is nothing more you could ask in a QB as far as attitude goes then what I've read & heard about him.
- still nothing to do with gametape, but size can be important to teams in the NFL (don't tell that to the seachickens). Smith is right in the range your looking for at 6'3 214lbs. He may be on the shorter/smaller side of what teams are looking for in an NFL QB, but I'm sure that weight will go up quickly in his first year or 2 of conditioning in the NFL to be right where you would want it. As for the height, at 6'3 its right at the low end of the exact height NFL teams are looking for.
- more non gametape. These stats are unreal. 369comp 518att 71.2% 4205yards 42td 6int 163.9qbr / 66rushes 151yards 2td. He set single-season school records for pass completions, attempts, and yards
- He can make every single throw quickly & accurately. He throws a beautiful deepball hitting his guy in stride so well. I think he can throw like 55 yards down field & hit a guy in stride, from what I recall that was about his longest pass & I wouldn't be surprised if he can throw further. He throws out routes to players outside the numbers 10-15 yards deep beautifully. He can get the ball out extremely fast on the screens & can nail people perfectly 15-25 yards deep in the middle of the field. The WVU offense is mostly short game WR/HB screens & drags and he can hit those with ease & probably has more experience then anybody coming from the NCAA doing it. There isn't a pass I have seen Geno consistantly struggle with.
- Touch, hes got very good touch. I think his touch on medium/deep balls is excellent. His shorter balls I sometimes feel like they may be alittle to hard, but that didn't seem to effect his targets at all so it can't be all that bad. Very good touch.
- His delivery of the ball looks very good. I probably am not the right guy to analyze this, but from what I can tell he has a very good mechanical delivery that would translate well to the NFL. Its quick, its not too long, he gets the ball out shortly & quickly & his arm seems to take the right motion. I really like what he does. From what I recall he only had 1 ball fumbled out of his hand all year long on a pass, that shows how short & quick his arm can be. But a short & quick delivery isn't everything, you have to hope it translates into his next positive...
- In a very simple statement, HE HAS GREAT ARM POWER. You don't throw & hit every pass accurately without great arm strength. (he should be at least 95 arm strength on madden, always the attribute you look for when you want your QBOTF in your video game franchise, and thats excellent arm strength when you pair it with that accuracy)
- He can also throw very accurately on the run. I haven't noticed much of, if any, fall off when he's gotten outside the pocket & had to throw on the run. This is great for a guy who has scramble-ability (I may have just made up a word) and will be getting outside the pocket on the run.
- He has poise in the pocket. He is not afraid to stand in there when things come down around him and hes good at moving around in the pocket. He doesn't seem afraid to stand in there and take a hit to complete a pass (althought I can't recall seeing that too often, because of.. my next point)
- When he sees/feels the pressure he has great scrambling ability. He's very elusive, he can get out of tight spaces & likes to get to the outside to still complete a pass, but of course if he sees open field he can go with the best of them, probably a top 5 NFL scrambling ability the day he steps into the league. He also has excellent speed for the QB position, when he gets moving hes extremely quick. A great thing about when hes on the run is that he takes care of the ball, hes not running around with it in 1 hand like Vick, and he also doesn't lay his life on the line when he runs, he'll take a qb slide or go out of bounds, its great to see that he's already got this in check before he goes into the NFL. Also when he scrambles out of the pocket he is not afraid to throw it out of bounds when he doesn't see a play to be made, he won't force it, another great thing to have in check before he gets to the NFL. Which leads me to my next point
- He doesn't force the ball. Its not just when scrambling, its all the time. Its why his TD/INT ratio is so great this year he just won't force the pass. Don't get me wrong he can & has thrown into some tight coverage, he will take some chances, and he can nail a guy in the chest through triple coverage (i've seenit, its pretty fun to watch!)
- A downfall with not forcing the ball sometimes is that he'll take a sack. For the most part I could actually say this is a positive, I'd rather take a sack then throw an INT. But stay with me, this leads to my next & most important point.
- When Geno Smith is getting sacked, or starting to feel the heat on a consistent basis he falls apart. In almost all his games where he didn't put up big numbers it was because the defense was putting consistent pressure on him. They weren't sacking him every time, but just the fact that they were getting there consistenly would completely change Geno's game. All of the sudden he becomes inaccurate, he starts missing these throws he would normally make. Even when sometimes he has time in these games it seems that once hes shaken up he struggles to get past it & he just can't throw with the same ability he does in games where he really has it going. Can this be cured? thats the real question, teams that watch his college tape are going to see this & bring the heat, and if we can't give him time in the pocket, if we can't keep him from getting rattled, he falls apart. Honestly looks like cassel/quinn in those games. Don't get me wrong, he's still not as bad as them 2, but when he misses his passes it just makes me think of them 2 with how they can miss by 2-4 feet at times on passes that you'd expect Geno to make everytime if you watched his film. He will still make passes (obviously, even in those games where they lose big he has decent numbers & pass %), but his accuracy just seems to be off when he feels the heat. This also doesn't seem to cause him to throw INT's, maybe hes throwing too far away in spots where he knows the defense can't get it too, but these can be guys wide open on easy short/medium passes that he would nail everytime that he suddenly will miss & it kinda shocks you to see him miss like that. This makes him sound completely terrible when rattled, hes not that bad if you look at the #'s, and he still seems to stay quite poised in the pocket, but it is a big negative I have found and it just seems to shake him up for the whole game, thus he can't put up the big #'s he needs to come back in games where they need the passing game to do the work.
- Knowing your spot on the field. Geno made a few key safeties/fumbles this season. I really feel this is more coachable, but it is something to be concerned about. He needs to know when hes at the endzone that he won't have all day & maybe thats the wvu play calling that is forcing him to wait so long for routes to develope. He also needs to be hold onto the ball inside his own 30 and he's given up a few fumbles there. But like I said, i think he can/will learn from these, hes a smart kid & I don't think this is going to be a career trend for him.
- The weather. As much as he says it didn't effect him in the last game of the season I really think it did. Also in a game or 2 in the season where he didn't perform well there was talk wind may have been a factor. Hes never a QB to give excuses & he wouldn't ever admit it, but I think it can be a factor for him. This may be a concern playing in Arrowhead but I wouldn't be overly concerned, we may only have 1-2 games a year in bad whether, and i think we should have a solid defense, and very effective run & short passing game in this offense that wouldn't put Geno in a position where he'd need to light up the scoreboard to win.
- Not sure if he is a comeback/winner. These are the type of qb's that everyone wants, a guy like drew brees, eli manning, peyton. A guy who can carry his team on his back in the 2nd half when they are down big or need that big score in the final 2 minutes. As I stated above, the being rattled factor seems to determine what type of player Geno will be when it comes to this. When he is getting the time in the pocket he can carry the team on his back, he can make all the right passes. When he gets time in the pocket he is RG3, he is Andrew Luck, and he'll get on a roll in games like that & its real hard to stop. But when hes rattled, well, he actually rarely gets these opportunities when hes rattled cause the WVU defense is god awful & there is no chance of a comeback late in games because Geno isn't putting many points on the board & the defense is allowing points every time out. I'm not positive, but I can't recall a game where Geno struggled yet had a chance to lead a comeback late.
- the wvu playbook. This playbook is a downfall for Geno because it is a short game playbook. Its full of screens & slants & drags & crossing routes. Although they do have alot of out routes which Geno throws impressively hitting his guys perfectly & quickly by the sidelines. And they do run the ball quite a bit. Alot of games I feel WVU just didn't give Geno a chance to throw much down field, didn't allow him the opportunities to make alot of reads, to go through the options. So its really tough to tell if he goes through his options, if hes making reads. But I do feel he does & can do this well if given the opportunity. I seem to recall a game or 2 where they would open the playbook up & allow him to make more medium/deep passes, and when that happens I can see his head turning & going through options, and he just tore at least 1 team apart when they gave him this chance just nailing passes medium & deep perfectly all game long. So I really feel wvu playbook held him back, and I actually do believe that he can read plays & options well in the NFL, especially with Reids help & being given more of the opportunity.
My overall opinion is, in any other draft except last year this guy is the top QB in the draft, hes just as good as any of them. The very few negatives he have just cannot touch the intangibles he has. If any team could build an elite O-line this guy would torch defenses through his hole career. But thats not realistic, my biggest question is whether the getting rattled thing is fixable. If the answer to that is yes then there is no doubt whatsoever you take him #1, if its a hard no then hes probably an 8-35 overall value. If its a maybe then I still think hes a top 10 pick & should be the pick for the Chiefs. This guy could be something very special.
Thanks for reading guys. I would LOVE comments and questions. I hope this wasn't way too long & boring for you guys, but after watching all those games in 2 days I really wanted to share my views with arrowhead pride & get their thoughts and opinions on them as well. And would really love to try and answer anybodies questions they have about Geno.