Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scouting the 2013 NFL Draft: Geno Smith

Geno Smith seems to be the number one quarterback on most people's boards. Saying that doesn't mean a whole lot, because this does not look like a draft where a QB is going to be drafted in the top ten. Still, Jake Locker was the 8th overall pick, and Ponder was taken 12th, so it wouldn't surprise me to see somebody taken early. Although I have seen and heard good things from Smith, I wanted to take a closer look at a couple games of his to get a better idea of his skills. I looked at his game against Kansas State where he struggled, as well as his game against Baylor where he set the world on fire. This is what I observed.

He experiences a problem that I see from a lot of spread quarterbacks in that he makes his decision on where he is throwing before the ball is even snapped. The routes are designed to be open and easy throws, but sometimes he looks silly as he tries to immediately squeeze something in as opposed to letting other routes develop.

The one thing that I really liked about him was his ability to lead receivers to help them gain yards after the catch. Both of his main receivers (Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey) will probably be taken within the first three rounds which helps, but you could tell that both sides of the pass-catch combo helped make the other side better.

He did a good job of squeezing out of shaky situations when his pass protection broke down, but once he did that, he went into scramble mode and lost track of what was happening down the field.

As you can see from the video, he seems to hate underneath zones, as he got intercepted twice on out routes  (the video is cued up for the second interception) when they had coverage dropping back from underneath the receiver. Another big issue with both of those throws was that he did not drive the ball which gave the defender that split second needed to make a play on the ball.

He definitely looked a lot better in the Baylor game, but this had a lot to do with predictable defenses from Baylor that either left his first target open or gave him enough time to scan the field for a secondary option.

One thing I really liked was his deep ball, as you can see here.

He drops it right into his receiver's hands past the coverage, and that is just a really pretty ball.

There are a lot of things to like, and a lot of things to question with Geno Smith. He does a good job of leading receivers and throws a nice deep ball. I haven't had a chance to check out videos of all of the quarterbacks, but I would be shocked if he wasn't the most accurate thrower of them all. On top of this, he is mobile enough. He's not a burner, but he can be elusive and get some yards on the ground.

He doesn't always make great decisions as he decides to throw a pass even if it is well covered. This happens to the best of quarterbacks, but it happens at an alarming rate for Smith. Kansas State made him look very bad when he did this, but he was able to tear up Baylor. The other issue is despite his accuracy, he doesn't drive the ball on his throws. Everything has a little float to it, and it can kill him on out routes.

The guy I see when watching Smith is Christian Ponder. He might be a little more accurate than Ponder, but physically, they are very similar. He can be a good quarterback, but I have a lot of trouble seeing greatness in his future.

No comments:

Post a Comment