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2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

By Cory J. Bonini
Edited by Keith Hernandez

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is the de facto No. 1 signal caller of the 2013 NFL Draft class, largely because of how meager the upper end of the position is this year.

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Pass-first athletic quarterback

He completed at least 64.8 percent of his throws in each of his three seasons as a starter, improving each year. Smith has thrown 73 touchdown passes to just 13 interceptions in the last two years, throwing for at least 4,205 yards in each of those seasons.

Strengths

  • Strong arm - throws a catchable ball with a tight spiral within intermediate ranges
  • Adequate size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds
  • Above-average mobility - throws a good ball on the move
  • Places the ball in position for yardage after the catch
  • Compact, over-the-top release
  • Eyes stay downfield in the face of a pass rush
  • Has experience adjusting his receivers at the line and seems to do a capable job of making defensive reads at the line
  • Displays the ability to manipulate safeties
  • Rarely makes dumb decisions with the ball - understands when a play is lost

Weaknesses

  • Struggled to dig the Mountaineers out of big holes versus Kansas State and Texas Tech in 2012
  • Questionable mental toughness
  • Sometimes unloads too much heat on what should be touch passes
  • Inconsistent footwork
  • Has taken mostly every snap out of shotgun and pistol formations
  • Inflated statistical production based on West Virginia's high-flying system

Expected draft placement

Smith does not have much competition for the top spot at quarterback this year. He needs to show more consistency, after jumping out to a torrid start in 2012 and failing to capitalize on it with any evenness the rest of the season.

It would be surprising to some if Smith fell past the Arizona Cardinals (No. 7) or Buffalo Bills (No. 8), but there is a reasonable chance that he slides out of Round 1 entirely.



 


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