Geno Smith the second coming of ... Sam Bradford?


This year's collection of quarterback prospects is having a rough time with the critics, but at least one in-house draft expert sees similarities between West Virginia's Geno Smith and a former No. 1 pick.

The NFL Scouting Combine is about to kick the draft season into high gear. With that in mind, Gil Brandt puts together the first "Hot 100" list of the year. Find out who made the top 25.'s Bucky Brooks on Monday argued Smith most resembles Sam Bradford, the St. Louis Rams quarterback who rose to the top of the draft heap in 2010.

"Smith has been described as a 'ho-hum' quarterback prospect in some circles, but I see a polished pocket passer with outstanding arm talent and passing skills," Brooks wrote. "(He) displays the capacity to throw the ball accurately to every area of the field with zip, velocity and touch. Additionally, he flashes anticipation and awareness by leading receivers into open areas against tight coverage."

Scouts were certainly higher on Bradford coming out of Oklahoma, but if the Kansas City Chiefs wind up drafting Smith with the first-overall pick, the risk isn't nearly as steep. That's something NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has repeatedly talked about in recent weeks.

Bradford was the last of the top-overall picks inked to heady deals prior to when the new collective bargaining agreement went through. The Rams are on the hook for $50 million guaranteed as part of Bradford's six-year, $78 million contract.

The Chiefs would be looking at something closer to the guaranteed four-year, $22.1 million deal Andrew Luck signed with the Indianapolis Colts one offseason ago. That difference between Smith and Bradford might be the most important factor of all.

Check out the rest of Bucky's column here.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.