Geno Smith Image Credit: Highlight Hell Youtube

Nine Years Later, Geno Smith Is Finally Getting His

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For those for slept on Geno Smith, you better wake up now.

And yes, we’re talking about that Geno Smith.

The Geno Smith from Miramar High School in Florida who was a four-star recruit, first-team All-State in Class 6A, a Parade All-American and Mr. Florida runner-up.

The Geno Smith who attended West Virginia after turning down offers from Alabama, Florida State and South Florida.

The Geno Smith who, as a junior with the Mountaineers, threw for 4,379 yards, 31 TDs and 7 INTs, broke the Big East single-season passing record and was named All-Big East Conference First-team.

And the same Geno Smith who threw for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 6 INTs as a senior and was selected with the 39th overall pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

I remember watching Smith, a projected first-round pick, become disgruntled after being abandoned in the green room. He bristled as he watched the Bills select EJ Manuel, the only quarterback selected in the first round.

The disappointment and anger at not being selected almost prevented him from returning the next day for round two.

But Geno relented and was the seventh name called on Day 2 of the Draft.

The only thing more infuriating than that was the criticism that hampered his draft position.

That year, Albert Breer wrote that teams he spoke with ranked Manuel ahead of Smith. Those “experts” even had the nerve to rank Matt Barkley ahead of both of them (he went in the fourth round to the Eagles).

Breer wrote that Smith’s “demeanor and handling of the pre-draft process” were critiqued by teams. They also expressed concern that the Mountaineers QB regressed toward the end of his senior year.

“..scouts found that the quarterback’s vision, accuracy, poise and decision-making declined sharply,” wrote Breer. “He remained steady and efficient when the pocket was clean and he had time — flashing outstanding ability as a passer — but he scuffled otherwise.”

Apparently, 174 fewer yards and 12 more TDs is a regression.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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