Scouting Profile: QB Geno Smith

With a top ten draft pick, the New York Jets appear to be in the hunt for quarterback Geno Smith. Find out why Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko thinks Smith can develop into an Aaron Rodgers-type in the next few years.

Rick Laughland: 1. Will Geno Smith be available at No. 9 overall or will the Jets need to trade up to get him?

Eric Galko: Based on what I've heard, his talent level, and recent draft history (a QB has been picked in the Top 4 in every draft since 2000), it'd be a major surprise if he fell to #9. With the Jaguars, Raiders, and Eagles all considering him, along with the Browns, Cardinals, and Bills looking for a franchise quarterback, the Jets may need to trade up to as high as #1 overall to secure Geno Smith.

RL: 2. Can Smith hit the ground running in the NFL ala RGIII or will he need a couple of seasons to develop?

EG: He's a very different prospect and athlete than RG3. He moves well, has quick and composed feet, and can pick up yards past the line of scrimmage, but most of his NFL-readiness is thanks to his short area athleticism, confidence, and ball placement. I'd say by the middle of year one (if not earlier) he's about on par with what Alex Smith (now of the Chiefs) in terms of being a game manager, and has the potential to be a lot more.

RL: 3. Do you see Smith as a good fit in a West Coast system or do you think he's more effective out of a spread offense? I think he's shown the ability to do both. It's important to realize that no team runs a true West Coast offense anymore, and actually many of the teams that employ those concepts run 3-4 wide consistently, and have adapted the offense to the spread formations. Geno Smith's tight passes, ability to adjust arm angles/footwork on the move, and ball placement in short-mid range routes should make him effective in most offenses to begin with, especially for those West Coast-spread adapted schemes.

RL: 4. What is his greatest asset as a passer? greatest weakness?

EG: In my opinion, his greatest asset is his composure and confidence. In the pocket, moving outside the pocket, and through adversity in-game and after games, he possesses the head to last in the NFL and continue to get better. His biggest weakness might be his inconsistencies over the course of this year, especially against more versatile rushing teams, and his lack of a big arm to thread the needle in NFL 20+ yard throws. However, both of those can be developed with time in the NFL.

RL: 5. Do you think he's the best quarterback in the 2013 draft class?

EG: I do, and we have him ranked accordingly there. He's both NFL ready in a lot of areas, along with having the upside to be a top flight NFL quarterback. He's got the potential to be Alex Smith now, and Aaron Rodgers in a few years (depending on where he ends up), and it's hard to find a quarterback like that. He's no Luck/RG3, but he certainly can lead his eventual team to the Super Bowl before his career is all said and done.

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