Geno Smith awaits NFL draft, future after Pro Day
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 08:03
The next few weeks will hold a lot of uncertainty for former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith, a projected top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, will hold several private workouts for NFL teams leading up to the draft in April.
"I would expect to (work out) with 10-12 teams," Smith said. "I’ve got something coming up with the Bills on (March) 22."
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who attended the West Virginia Pro Day Thursday, believes Smith could be drafted as early as No. 2 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars and as late as No. 8 to the Buffalo Bills. Several teams in the top 10 of the draft have quarterback issues.
Smith has the potential to be the highest NFL draft pick in West Virginia history. Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was the sixth selection by the Tennessee Titans in the 2005 NFL Draft.
"Overall, I’ve had a fun time with this," Smith said about the draft process. "Teams have been saying good things about me, so I guess we’ll see on draft day where that goes."
Smith thoroughly impressed at his Pro Day, showing off his talents in front of 29 NFL representatives. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley were in attendance.
"I just wanted to show that I was able to do a multitude of drops, hit a bunch of different route patterns in different areas of the field and be accurate," Smith said.
The quarterback, who threw for almost 12,000 yards during his college career, answered any questions about his accuracy. In passing drills, Smith
completed 60 of 64 passes, and he blew scouts away with his ability to hit players in stride.
His completion percentage of 94 percent was slightly better than the September 29th game against Baylor, in which he completed 88 percent of his throws.
"I’ve done things physically that you can wow at, but most of my good games have come from me making good decisions," Smith said. "When you look at my game, it’s played from the neck up."
Throughout the 2012-2013 season, Smith took the majority of his snaps from the shotgun formation. However, at the Pro Day, he worked extensively from directly under the center.
Despite his successful workouts, Smith admits the process is exhausting.
"The most grueling part is not being on a team," he said. "Basically, they kicked me off of West Virginia’s team, so I’m a free agent looking for a team. The (most fun) part is meeting with different coaches and scouts and traveling all across the country, showcasing my talents and allowing people to get to know who I am."
Perhaps what Smith enjoys the most, however, is going through the draft process with former wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Austin is projected to be a first-round draft pick, while Bailey is predicted to go in the second or third round.
"Stedman and Tavon are everywhere with me," Smith said. "I get a chance to hang out with those guys and chase our dreams. They’re some of the best wide outs in the country."
Regardless of where he winds up in the draft, Smith said he is just happy to be entering the NFL.
"It would be a tremendous day for me just to get picked," Smith said. "Just to get a shot to play in the NFL is a blessing in itself."
The Philadelphia Eagles, who hold the No. 4 pick, have a fitting style of offense for Smith’s style of play. The team held a private workout for Smith last Monday and will be a possible landing spot for his services come April.
"I can fit into any offense," Smith said. "I’m not any particular type of quarterback. I have many strengths, and I’ll do things that I feel as though can fit into pretty much any (offensive) system."
While Smith’s NFL future looks bright, he’s not the only high-touted quarterback in the draft. USC’s Matt Barkley could potentially be selected before Smith.
"I’ve put myself in a good position to be one of the top picks, and hopefully that dream comes true," Smith said.
The NFL Draft starts April 25.