While other draft analysts are watching film and evaluating talent for the 2014 NFL Draft, Nolan Hack is applying his skill to your New York Jets! Here are some of his thoughts on Geno Smith, their second-round selection from the University of West Virginia.
He’s in the shotgun again, that’s one of the first things you notice when watching film of Geno Smith. Even though he spent most of his time at West Virginia in the shotgun, Smith will hang in the pocket when provided the time, and he’ll hit his man! He can take a hit and deliver the ball, but he also has the ability to escape the rush when pressured. He’s nimble in the pocket, with the ability to play-action, bootleg or rollout when called upon. He can throw a nice deep-ball on the run, with the confidence and ability to be lethal going deep off play-action. Don’t let all that pocket-presence fool you, he can tuck and run with the best of them; but he’s more a gunner… than a runner.
A quarterback needs to be a good-decision maker, and Geno Smith has proven he can make good decisions with the football. He tends to take what the defense gives him, even if that’s just the short completion. He can hit the back-shoulder throw, which will keep DBs guessing. Smith can make tight throws down the sideline against one-on-one coverage; he can also fit the ball in over the top of tight-man coverage. He can attack the middle of the field, and he can lob it over a defender in the flat. Geno Smith can throw it, he can run it, but best of all he can throw it away to live another down.
Geno Smith has a lot of positives, but there are a few areas of his game he needs to work on. When he has the opportunity to run for the first down, he needs to take it. He also needs to develop the ability to follow his progressions on a play, and not lock-in, or predetermine a target. He’s better against man coverage than zone coverage, staring down a target way too often. Like former Jets QB Tim Tebow, Geno needs to work on that release! A poor release causes the football to come out late and gives a defender that split-second needed to recover, or even make a play on the ball.
Geno Smth has the arm-talent, pocket-presence & mobility to become a good NFL QB, with a zip and touch on the ball any evaluator would salivate over. He’s shown the ability to learn from his mistakes on the field, now let’s see if he can move past the off-the-field and draft-day drama that surrounded him.
-Nolan Hack & Joseph Haas
Stay tuned for more of Nolan Hack’s in-depth analysis on each selection by the Jets in the 2013 NFL Draft. Mr. Hack utilizes his hours of game film study to arrive at his conclusions on players. All player evaluations found in this article are those of Mr. Nolan Hack (@NolanHack).