"Entering the season, Geno Smith was easily the most accurate quarterback I graded on tape. After another 4,200+ yard passing season in which he improved his completion percentage to 71.2 and increased his passing touchdowns from 31 to 42, Smith actually regressed in terms of ball placement and total accuracy. In 2011, his receivers were rarely forced to break their stride on drags, digs, deep crossing patterns, posts, or go routes, as Smith had both the arm talent to drive the ball down field and the anticipation to lead his receivers with the throw.
As a senior, however, Smith missed throws far more often, missing with high ball placement, which is a sign of release point inconsistencies. Having the experience of throwing a multitude of NFL routes now, through just two years as a starter, as well as showing extreme efficiency in accurately throwing said routes bodes well for this prospective NFL Draft prospect."
This is a Full Scouting Report done for our 2013 NFL Draft Guide. We'll be previewing a handful of our reports before the Guide is finished and published on April 8th. If you'd like to be on the email list to pre-order, my email is EricG@OptimumScouting. Reserve your on-line copy today!
|Marshall, Maryland, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma, Iowa St, Kansas||
Height 6023 Weight 218 40 Time 4.59
Bench N/A Vertical 33.5 Broad 10'4
|PLAYER COMPARISON||Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers|
|PROJ. DRAFT POSITION||Top 10|
|INJURY HISTORY||Broken foot suffered in 2010 offseason|
|CAREER ACOLADES||KEY STATS|
|Parade HS AA, 2010 2nd Team All-Big East||2009: 32-49 (65.3%), 309 yards, 1 TD-1 INT|
|2011 1st Team BE, 2012 Orange Bowl MVP||2010: 241-372 (64.8%), 2,763 yards, 24 TD-7 INT|
|2012 2nd Team All-Big 12||2011: 346-526 (65.8%), 4,385 yards, 31 TD-7 INT|
|2012: 369-518 (71.2%), 4,205 yards, 42 TD-6 INT|
An ESPN Top 150 prospect and Parade HS All-American, Geno Smith was heavily recruited coming out of high school. Rated as one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Florida, Smith participated in the Elite 11 quarterback camp prior to his senior season to both improve and showcase his skill level. And while physically talented, Smith's attention to detail and work ethic has helped him continuously improve. Smith has run two entirely different offenses in two of his three seasons as a starter, remaining ultra productive in each of those seasons -starting 39 consecutive games from 2010 to 2012, Smith has compiled 11,662 yards passing, 102 total touchdowns, while throwing just 21 interceptions. Dedicated to developing both the mental and physical sides of playing quarterback, he certainly has the makeup of a franchise quarterback, but will need to learn how to better handle the spotlight of success. Remarkably productive for the first half of his senior season, early season Heisman-chatter appeared to effect Smith’s approach to the game. Smith noticeably pressed in an attempt to make the “big play” on every snap.
Long bodied with good core strength and the frame to add weight, Smith looks the part of a young NFL quarterback. At 6'2 and 218 lbs, Geno Smith could very well work his way into a solid, 225 to 230 lbs build in an NFL workout program. Smith's foot speed, coordination, and athleticism can be seen through both his pocket mobility and running ability. Though not overpowering or overly explosive as a runner, the fluidity and smoothness of Smith's athletic ability can be seen with his pocket movements, ability to elude rushers, and running ability to pick up first downs with his legs. Timing in the high 4.5’s and low 4.6’s at the 2013 NFL Combine, Smith is much more athletic and gifted from a running standpoint than he shows on tape. The body control, balance, and agility exhibited in the pocket, are all plus attributes for Smith, as he has the ability to make things happen in tight spaces. Smith has also shown the ability to adjust his arm slot in reaction to throwing lanes, as well as the ability to complete off-balance throws with defenders nearby. The ability to operate in traffic as a quarterback is so important in the NFL, as defenses have ratcheted up blitz pressure more and more each year -Smith's unique athleticism fits right in with the NFL.
Capable of making all the NFL throws with authority and zip, Smith’s ball jumps off his hand with plus velocity and back end zip to his intended target. Moreover being an excellent anticipator, Smith gives his receiver the best opportunity to complete the catch, throwing away from defenders and preserving his receiver's momentum; specifically on drag routes, he dials down his velocity to give his receiver a catchable ball. Hitting his receivers right on the numbers, this quarterback earns high marks on accuracy for his elite ball control to all levels of the field. He is most effective and accurate on curl throws outside the numbers, delivering the ball on time and on target; does an excellent job of placing these throws on his receivers outside shoulder, to allow a quick, upfield turn for yards after the catch. Another throw that Smith excels at, is the deep out to either the outside or the slot receiver. Throwing from the far hash to far sideline, Smith has the ability to attack the all levels of the defense. Working to perfect his deep ball prior to his senior season, strides were evident based off his final year’s worth of tape, as the deep fade became one of Smith’s best throws.
Tightly wound, compact and over the top with his throwing motion, Geno Smith gets the ball out fast and from an elevated arm slot to keep the ball from being batted down at the line of scrimmage. Smooth and sudden from separation to delivery, these polished mechanics need no tweaking at the next level. Although there is a whipping, windup to his delivery, it should not require correcting, as he is able to quickly rip the ball down field with no release issues. Smith, in operating almost exclusively from the gun, does not have great polish or consistency to his dropback footwork. Taking at the maximum, a three step drop with a hitch or a 5 with a hitch, Smith needs to improve the consistency of his stride lengths, as his shorter strides often hurry his decision making process and rush the throw. His unique athleticism and movement skills within the pocket, afford intermediate to deep route development, as he is able to avoid the rush and buy time inside or outside the pocket. Smith more importantly, does an excellent job of keeping focus down field and resetting his feet to throw by being able to climb the pocket. Smith does exhibit plus footwork on designed rollouts, reaching ideal depth, attacking upfield and staying light on his feet.
Calm, cool, collected when forced to move off his spot and reset his feet, Smith's footwork and mechanics don’t break down under pressure, as his feet and shoulders continuously relocate and reset, while scanning for open targets. Smith’s ability to progress through multiple options without panicking, enable routes to develop separation downfield, and showcase his poise and patience in the pocket. Confidently steps up into throwing lanes, displaying awareness of the rush and pocket presence. Reading and reacting to coverage post snap very well, Smith locates spots and holes in the defense in which to lead his receivers, not simply throwing to a man, but throwing a man open. Most impressive was Smith's use of eye level and pump fakes to move the deep safety, and manipulate downfield coverage. Smith did take a step backwards in terms of decision-making, as he often forced the ball to his primary option in hopes of completing a bigger play. Still, Smith had zero double-digit interception seasons, despite averaging over 500 pass attempts in his final two seasons at West Virginia
Entering the season, Geno Smith was easily the most accurate quarterback I graded on tape. After another 4,200+ yard passing season in which he improved his completion percentage to 71.2 and increased his passing touchdowns from 31 to 42, Smith actually regressed in terms of ball placement and total accuracy. In 2011, his receivers were rarely forced to break their stride on drags, digs, deep crossing patterns, posts, or go routes, as Smith had both the arm talent to drive the ball down field and the anticipation to lead his receivers with the throw. As a senior, however, Smith missed throws far more often, missing with high ball placement, which is a sign of release point inconsistencies. Having the experience of throwing a multitude of NFL routes now, as well as showing extreme efficiency in accurately throwing said routes bodes well for this prospective NFL Draft prospect. The greatest attribute in Geno Smith’s game is his pocket presence and ability to adapt under pressure. When forced to move off his spot and reset his feet in a collapsing pocket, Smith consistently keeps his eye level down field while avoiding the rush. His patience and poise in a clean pocket, as well as his smooth, elusiveness to slide and buy time adjust to a collapsing one, afford his receivers the time necessary to continually create separation down the field, resulting in a more explosive pass offense. Improving greatly with his deep ball accuracy, Smith now does an excellent job of dropping fade throws into the bucket with touch, spin and placement away from the opposing cornerback. Equally impressive is how polished and savvy, Geno Smith has become as a quarterback. The issues with Smith moving forward, involve his decision-making on the field and attitude in handling success. Struggling under the pressure of being in contention for the Heisman trophy, Smith could clearly be seen pressing and forcing the issue during game situations. Not having the same instinctive, calm presence to his game that enabled him to be so very productive, Smith simply tried too hard to make the “big play” instead of the “right play”. A late season struggle aside, Smith is a film-junkie, hard working and productive quarterback with obvious natural talent. Smith is by no means a perfect prospect; however, there are franchise tools and skills to develop. I fully expect Smith’s name to be called within the first 15 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft.