Photo of Geno Smith
Grade
91.0 ?
  • 4.59 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 33.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 124.0 INCH
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'2" Height
  • 32 1/2" Arm Length
  • 218LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands

Overview

Smith didn't earn his third straight All-Big East accolade in 2012 because of the Mountaineers’ departure for the Big 12. But he remained one of the top signal-callers in his new conference, even over other prolific signal-callers in the pass-happy league. West Virginia’s spread attack might look a bit different than those run by Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Missouri -- but with Smith at the helm, it is equally dangerous. There’s no question that the cousin of former Miami (Fla.) running back Melvin Bratton (whose knee injury in the 1988 Orange Bowl kept him from having a substantial pro career) is a true competitor with the natural passing and athletic ability to play in the NFL. Scouts also appreciate his improved strength and accuracy, which have helped him become one of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class.



He did not redshirt in 2009, playing in five games and playing significant minutes in just one (15-21, 147 yards, TD in October home win over Marshall). Despite being limited in the spring by a broken foot suffered in January workouts, Smith started all 13 games as a sophomore. He garnered second-team All-Big East honors and led the conference in pass efficiency by completing 64.8% of his passes for 2,763 yards and 24 scores. Smith greatly increased his production in his second year as a full-time in 2011, passing for 4,385 yards as the Mountaineers tied Cincinnati and Louisville for the Big East title. They earned the league’s automatic BCS bid by finishing the highest in the final BCS rankings, and Smith ensured a successful end to the season with a 407-yard, six-touchdown passing effort in the 70-33 thrashing of Clemson in the Orange Bowl. It was his fourth 400-yard game of the year, breaking the barrier against both fellow Big East co-champions and LSU. Finally in 2012, Smith completed 369-of-519 attempts for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns and six interceptions. He added 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Analysis

Strengths

Competitive, confident player who can lead a team with his physical attributes and willingness to work on his craft. Possesses a quick delivery, can get the ball downfield or move a team methodically by making quick decisions. Has improved his accuracy greatly during his career, placing the ball very well at every level of the field. Fires throws into tight windows over the middle while also leading receivers open on the sideline and showing touch on fades into the end zone. Generally keeps his eyes downfield and feet moving within the pocket to find a target instead of looking to run. Finds second or third options across the field if first read is covered. Tests defenses with his ability to get first downs and more with his feet, has speed to break off big runs and usually makes the right decision on when to take off. Has gotten physically stronger over the course of his career, is a tough player who will hang onto the ball after a big hit and bounce back up.

Weaknesses

Runs a spread offense almost exclusively from the shotgun, needs work on his footwork coming from under center. Ball will float or sail if his feet are not set or he fails to transfer weight, either in the pocket when facing pressure or when throwing on the run. Blitz awareness is only adequate, will miss guys coming free to his left and right. Will back up from pressure at times instead of unloading the ball or stepping up to make the throw. Seemingly regressed each week, especially when locking on to one side of the field. Did not participate in the Senior Bowl.

NFL Comparison

Aaron Brooks

Bottom Line

Though Smith has had his ups and downs as a passer in West Virginia's prolific spread offense, NFL general managers appreciate his ultra-competitive nature, athleticism, arm strength and quick delivery. The Mountaineer turned down a Senior Bowl invitation after regressing in the second half of the season following a strong start. Smith's eye level and pocket movement can be great, but he reverted back to staring down his first read. During his sophomore season, Smith played in an offense where he frequently took snaps from center, so he might have a leg up compared to some other prospects in that regard.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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