West Virginia's Geno Smith is widely considered the top talent among this year's gang of draft-eligible quarterbacks.
If you're waiting for the next Andrew Luck to walk through the door, you're in trouble, but Smith comes equipped with some visible attributes of an NFL quarterback -- along with areas that need work. This according to NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell.
"There's no question that he has an NFL arm -- he's an NFL talent," Cosell said Thursday on the Yahoo! Sports Shutdown Corner draft podcast. "He's got some other issues. He's got footwork issues, but that can be corrected. He plays almost exclusively in the shotgun and he's a bit of a bouncer -- in other words, he doesn't take the snap, drop back, stick his foot in the ground and get ready to go.
"He sort of bounces, so when he decides where he wants to throw the ball, he then needs to plant and deliver. Sometimes he hurries himself doing that if there are bodies closer to him, and at other times, he's a beat late with throws, because he has that extra half-second where he then has to plant and throw. At times, I thought he was a little bit erratic and scattershot with his accuracy, and he left some routine throws on the field."
Cosell was quick to point out that the 2013 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks -- considered an underwhelming collection of passers, to say the least -- shouldn't be judged against last year's wunderkinds.
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"There are some talented quarterbacks, but they're further from finished products than other quarterbacks have been, like an Andrew Luck," Cosell said. "They all have some flaws, some weaknesses, some things that need to be coached hard, some refinements that need to be made. I think that's what we're ultimately saying."
The problem for these young passers is an issue of patience. After watching Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson tear up the NFL as newbies, tolerance for slow-cooked arm talent is at an all-time low. Smith and the rest of this class would benefit from time to watch and learn, but the NFL is no longer a watch-and-learn league for first-year signal callers.