2013 Draft Prospect Profile: Geno Smith

Welcome to our 2013 Draft Prospect Profile series, written by Rob Quinn. Rob is putting together quick, digestible summaries for highly publicized discussed prospects, prospects that interest him, and prospects that interest YOU.

If there’s someone out there who has piqued your interest and you want to know a little but more about him before April rolls around, get at Rob and request he put a profile together. You can email him at RQUINN619@billsmafia.com with a request.

The series isn’t Bills-centric necessarily; however, when the occasion calls for it, Rob will include thoughts on how a player might impact the Bills were they to draft him. But overall, the goal is to educate you on some of the names you’ll hear called in April.

Geno Smith: QB, West Virginia (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Geno Smith: QB, West Virginia (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Geno Smith
6’3” 215 lbs
West Virginia Mountaineers

Geno Smith is the consensus No. 1 rated quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft. Nearly every mock draft has him pegged as the No. 1 overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, however, it is very early in the evaluation process, and there is a chance he could slide all the way to Buffalo at No. 8. Smith had an incredible career at West Virginia, completing 67.2% of his passes for 11,346 yards, 97 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions in his three full seasons of play.

The Good

Geno Smith definitely looks the part of a franchise quarterback. He has a nice build at 6’3”, but could stand to add another 10-15 pounds of bulk to his frame. He has adequate arm strength and an exceptional completion percentage. Smith has great ball placement and has the ability to fit passes into tight windows. His delivery is quick and compact, and he consistently steps into his passes. Contrary to many stereotypes, Smith is a pocket passer. While he’s mobile in the pocket, he looks to pass first. He’s a reported film junkie, spending countless hours watching tape and breaking down upcoming opponents. He throws a beautiful deep ball, and puts touch on the intermediate-to-long passes (11+ yards). Smith leads his receivers, which allows for extra yards after the catch.

The Bad

Smith played in a shotgun offense at West Virginia, and had two incredible playmakers at the wide receiver position in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. According to SecondRoundStats.com, 29% of Smith’s passes were screens. Furthermore, 41% of his passes traveled less than 10 yards in the air. His passing statistics were gaudy, but generally due to Austin and Bailey’s ability after the catch to extend plays. He has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long, which could be an issue at the next level. He wasn’t asked to go through many progression reads with the Mountaineers, and often locked onto one specific target. Additionally, Smith was terrible when taking snaps from center, completing just 33% of his passes from a traditional center-quarterback exchange, compared to his 81% completion percentage in the shotgun.

How He Would Impact The Bills

Smith clearly is the best option at the quarterback position in the 2013 NFL draft. He displayed above-average arm strength, accuracy, and poise, which translate well to the next level. However, due to his limited decision making in the West Virginia offense, it isn’t clear whether he could handle the sight-adjustments necessary to effectively operate the offense that Nathaniel Hackett and Doug Marrone utilized in New Orleans and Syracuse. While he has all the physical tools you look for in a quarterback, the team would have to put him up at the chalkboard to get a clear view of his mental makeup.

Projected Draft Position

Top 10 Pick

Pro Player Comparison

Alex Smith

Best Game: Baylor (’12) (88.2%, 656 yards, 8 TD, 0 INT)
Worst Game: Kansas State (’12) (65.6%, 143 yards, TD, 2 INT)

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