My first 2013 NFL Mock Draft is not ready yet. But that’s no reason to hold up coverage of my favorite sporting event of the year. Today we look at Geno Smith, who is currently the most likely player to be selected 1st overall by the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, April 25th.
QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Smith is a prospect that ascended to the top of draft boards very early in the season, when he was completing 81% of his passes and had a 24:0 TD:INT ratio. There were knocks on him as a junior, but he proved his work ethic as a senior, adding 15 pounds of bulk in the offseason and improving his touch on deep balls. He still has a bit of difficulty connecting downfield, but it’s not for lack of arm strength. That’s certainly the highlight of his game.
Nevertheless, Smith has generated a great deal of scrutiny. He struggled mightily against Texas Tech and Kansas State. In the latter game, he looked discouraged and incapable of rallying his team, leading to concerns about his play in the clutch. He also throws off his back foot a lot; his mechanics as a whole need work. The most common concern of course is his system. Smith comes from a shotgun-based offense at West Virginia, and while he does take a few snaps at center, he’s nowhere near as NFL-ready as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were this year.
In spite of this, Smith does exhibit leadership qualities on the field. He also has great pocket presence, and a dedication to the pass (he may be a bit too shy about throwing the ball away or using his decent mobility).
Of course, in spite of all of this, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Smith is the best player in the draft. And of course, the answer is no. But with Andy Reid’s arrival in Kansas City comes the need for a face of the franchise, and the Chiefs won’t leave the draft without a new quarterback. Unless they manage to trade out of a very undesirable spot in the draft, my guess is that they take Smith.