No player was more disappointed after round one of the NFL Draft on Thursday night than former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. After a great deal of speculation that he could be the first quarterback taken, Smith sat at Radio City Music Hall and watched 32 players embark on a new life without hearing his name called.
Instead, the Buffalo Bills took EJ Manuel with the 16th overall pick, and he wound up being the only quarterback taken in the first round. At the conclusion of the evening, Smith was reportedly so upset that he declined to do an on-camera interview and said he would not be attending Day 2 in New York. He may have changed his mind.
West Virginia QB Geno Smith has decided to remain in New York and will be attending the draft tonight in Radio City Music Hall.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2013
Smith was clearly speaking out of frustration on Thursday night, and you can’t really blame him. He was looking sharp, his family was there and he was introduced with a number of other prospects before teams began making their picks. Perhaps the words of encouragement he received from Aaron Rodgers factored into his decision.
As we have seen countless times, there’s nothing wrong with slipping out of the first round. Smith will be playing with an even bigger chip on his shoulder now. His rookie contract might not have quite as many zeros attached to it, but plenty of NFL legends have been drafted in the later rounds.
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