After reading the posts by Chris Eastman and Ryan Clark I just had to pitch in. I decided to watch film of Geno Smith from this last year and to be as analytically objective as I could. I watched Geno's games against UT,OU, TTU and KSU. These were two of his best and two of his worst games. I did this because I wanted to get a good idea of what it looks like when he does bad and when he does really well.I didn't include the Baylor game because I wanted to see how he fared against decent competition.The Baylor D was so porous, I felt any tape from that game wouldn't be accurate in helping me determine his next level capabilities. Here are the conclusions I came away with:
1)Top tier arm strength- Smith does a very good job throwing the deep ball.He also has the arm strength to throw the comeback route, when on the hash mark, to the wide side of the field. He's not Jay Cutlet but in no way is arm strength a deficiency for Geno.
2) Good accuracy- Does an excellent job placing the ball. Even on his INT's they are usually on target, he just gets fooled by the coverage or his receiver doesn't win the 1-on-1 battle. He occasionally breaks down on his mechanics but is still top tier in terms of NCAA QB's.
3) Athleticism- Has the ability to slip pass rushers and do some damage with his feet. Reminds me of Aaron Rodgers in this aspect. Doesn't look to run unless he has no other option.When he does run, he has the ability to do some damage. Not RGIII but can get you some first downs and make some plays.
1) Becomes far less efficient when throwing over the middle- Most of his misfires seem to come in the intermediate-deep middle throws. He has some big plays over the middle but they usually come when the field is WIDE open. He doesn't do well when there is traffic.I believe his issues with this tie into my next point.
2) Not good at anticipation or "throwing guys open"- Throwing over the middle often requires a QB to be able to use some anticipation, which Smith doesn't do much of. I can't really remember seeing a play where Smith threw to a spot before his receiver made the break. He only really does this on comeback routes when the WR is man'd up with the CB. KSU,especially, exploited this. You can see Smith being baited into some bad throws because he has a hard time diagnosing zone coverages. In zone, you have to lead your WR into the open area on slants,posts etc. If you throw it when he appears open, you will lead the WR into another zone. Watching to KSU game is the best example of this.
3) Pocket awareness/prescence- For someone as elusive and fast as he is, he sure did seem to get sacked a lot. I will admit that his O-line didn't do him many favors. However, there were numerous instances where he could have stepped up to avoid the sack but didn't. Ball security is another issue. He had the ball stripped several times in just the 4 games I watched.
Geno Smith has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. However, many a bust can claim the same thing. I like Geno as a prospect, just not at #2. I agree with the "experts" on this one, he is a mid-1st round talent. I think a good cover 2 team will give him all kinds of trouble. This will force him to throw guys open, which isn't something he is particularly good at. Cover 2 does a good job taking away the 5 yd outs and 10-12 yd comebacks Smith likes so much. If you take away the deep routes, you can really limit Smith's effectiveness as a passer. Geno will more than likely experience some serious growing pains as a rookie. He can definitely overcome these issues but it SHOULD take time. I don't think drafting another "upside" QB so early in the draft is what the Jaguars need right now. With the talent this draft has to offer at CB,OT, OG, OLB and DT, I think we should look elsewhere. I don't think he will be around long enough for his draft position to match his value.