Could Geno Smith's 'slow eyes' spell trouble in NFL?


It's widely believed Geno Smith will be the first quarterback off the board in April's NFL draft.

But is the West Virginia star worthy of a first-round selection? NFL Films guru Greg Cosell doesn't think so, and he explained why during a Tuesday appearance on "The Rich Eisen Podcast."

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According to Cosell, Smith misses too many routine throws, a sign that his ball location isn't as precise as it should be for a pocket passer. Cosell also has concerns about Smith's "slow eyes."

"When you watch a lot of film, you know what the route combinations are, you know where the ball is supposed to go based on the defense and you know when a throw is there," Cosell explained. "And too many times I thought that throws that were there clearly defined, he took an extra beat.

"And in the NFL, that will kill you. You can still complete balls in college like that, but that won't happen in the NFL. And I can't answer whether that's coachable or not."

Cosell -- one of the most respected tape guys in the business -- hit on several prospects during his chat with Eisen:

» N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon is rising up. "Glennon is a big kid with pocket presence. And one thing that people have to remember about quarterbacks: Size is a talent. We don't think of it that way, but when you're big and tall and you can stand in the pocket and deliver the ball with bodies around you or when you're getting hit, that's a talent."

» Cosell believes Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o can be a capable player for multiple seasons, but he doesn't see a star. "I think there's a lot of guys like Manti Te'o. I think he's a solid inside linebacker, who will be a base personnel guy."

» Cosell sees Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones as a top-10 pick when he watches film. However, he has doubts Jones gets drafted there because of his well-documented health concerns.

» Cosell sees offensive linemen Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) as similar talents. Cosell doesn't believe either has the ceiling of Jonathan Ogden, Walter Jones or Orlando Pace, but they are "comfortable movers" who have value because of their great consistency.

» Cosell's uncle was Howard Cosell. I'm assuming I'm the last one to know this, but Eisen told a funny story about an ephemeral meeting with the legendary broadcaster at Yankee Stadium in the early 1990s.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.