New York Jets – Stay Away From Quarterback In Top Ten

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There has been speculation about the New York Jets potentially selecting West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. Yes, the Jets have shown a decent amount of pre-draft interest and yes considering Mark Sanchez’s performance last year, on the surface there is some sensibility to selecting the consensus top quarterback in the upcoming draft class. However, taking Smith with their 9th overall pick or even the 13th overall pick potentially acquired in a Darrelle Revis trade would be a mistake…a mistake that the Jets aren’t likely to make.

All pre-draft interest should always be taken with a grain of salt, in particular any interest the Jets are showing in 1st or 2nd round quarterback prospects. The Buffalo Bills are selecting one spot ahead of them in round one and two spots behind them in round two, a division rival who also needs a quarterback. The Jets are doing their due diligence on Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib in particular, two quarterbacks Buffalo is also frequently linked with.

Jets GM John Idzik is highly unlikely to tie his tenure in New York to Smith by selecting him in the top half of round one. When you select a quarterback that high, he immediately becomes “your guy” and the pressure to start him will be immediate. Smith is a shaky prospect to tie yourself to as a new GM. Idzik is just leaving a situation where the Seattle Seahawks found one of the most promising young quarterbacks in football, Russell Wilson, in the third round. Why is he going to reach for Smith, who in any other year would be a 2nd round prospect?

Smith has his share of qualities that will translate well into the NFL and in particular to an offense that Marty Mornhinweg could run. He was accurate in the short passing game and showed a consistent quick release. The mobility is there and the general avoidance of interceptions. However, it is hard to shake seeing Smith playing 30 miles from MetLife Stadium last December, taking two safeties, losing a fumble, only leading his offense to 14 points and looking generally skittish against Syracuse.

The same skittish Smith was present in blowout defeats to Texas Tech and Kansas State. In each of those games, West Virginia only managed 14 points and Smith’s accuracy noticeably dropped off, particularly against Kansas State where he threw two interceptions and only managed 143 yards passing and a net of negative 15 yards rushing. His problems throwing the deep ball accurately and with velocity were magnified, along his negative tendency to throw off his back foot when under pressure.

There should be major concerns with spending a top ten pick on a quarterback of a team who suffered a 5 game losing streak last year and had his accuracy, poise and ability to avoid sacks fall off a cliff in three of the season’s most important games (Texas Tech, Kansas State, Syracuse). Smith has talent…but second round talent…not top ten, tie your entire team to his development talent. Idzik should be wise to this and if the Jets take a quarterback, don’t look for it to be until the third or fourth round.

  • Johnny

    amen…no way we should risk our first round pick on smith. i don’t care who our QB is going to be this year. like you said, in any other year, he would be a 2nd round pick. stay away!!! as far as i am concerned, a team should only use such a high draft pick on a QB when he is as close to a sure thing as they come. just think of the countless QBs that have been drafted in the first round that have amounted to nothing in the NFL. not saying that will be the case with geno, but why take the risk when you have a bunch of other guys to take who are much closer to sure things.

  • Harold

    I think people are being overly critical of his bad games many quarterbacks have a few bad games he had a few, but that was it a few, He did not have 5 bad games just because they lost them all. The defense was subpar to say the least. He has a good arm, good pocket awareness and the ability to make post snap reads which is what separates average quarterbacks from elite quarterbacks. He is not there yet but these qualities make him a great prospect who may be worth the 9th or 13th pick.

  • dpdoble

    While Geno doesn’t escape criticism for hte 5-game losing streak, it had more to do w the D than anything. They gave up 49, 55, 39, 55 & 50 points in those losses. WVU’s D (esp their pass D) was historically terrible last year.

    Hell…WVU loses against Baylor (63 points given up) & Texas (45 points) if Geno doesn’t light it up. And they nearly won vs Oklahoma & TCU despite the D looking like it was only playing w 9 guys on the field.

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  • KAsh

    There is one thing that is rarely pointed out when people discuss taking a QB in the top 10. Smith will have to start. Any competition will be a sham, as not even the ice cube that is Idzik could bear the firestorm from this press conference: “Well, after a fair competition, we’ve determined that Sanchez is our man this year. The guy we took in the top 15 needs to take some pointers from the Sanchize before we can let him on the field. In fact, our 35 year-old veteran will be the 2nd string QB. The only guys Smith could beat were a 6th round backup, an undrafted rookie and Tim Tebow.”

    Smith may not be able to beat a healthy Garrard, but we would not be able to put him behind him and Sanchez. Garrard lost his place with the Jags because the competition was stacked against him. Why repeat their mistakes?

  • matr dontelli iii

    good analysis as always.fill our many needs with prospects closer to sure things before grabbing a questionable qb.

  • Mike

    I disagree about Geno Smith being a 2nd rounder any other year. Look at last year, Ryan Tannehill went at number 8. I am sorry but Geno Smith looks to be a way better player than Tannehill. He might have 2nd round talent, but he still would have been taken top ten in last years draft.

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