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Joe Namath: Jets did not need to draft Geno Smith

Geno SmithJoe Namath is one of very few Mark Sanchez supporters left in the country that are not related to the former USC star, which is surprising considering how critical the Hall of Famer has been of the New York Jets over the past several years. For whatever reason, Namath thinks Sanchez is capable of getting it done.

Geno Smith was expected by many — especially himself — to be the first quarterback selected in the 2013 draft. For that reason, the Jets thought he presented tremendous value at No. 39 overall. Not surprisingly, Namath thinks it was a wasted pick.

“No, I don’t think they needed a quarterback,” he said Tuesday according to the NY Daily News. “They needed the other positions filled. Possibly offensive line. They got some defensive line. The safeties are still questionable. The outside linebackers are still questionable.”

Namath is not the only one who feels that way, but at the same time there are not many people in Jets nation who feel comfortable with Sanchez as their quarterback. Broadway Joe praised Smith for being a “sensational athlete,” but he made it clear he is still high on Sanchez.

“I am pulling for (Sanchez),” he said. “I know that he can do better than he’s done. And we saw him lead a team to two AFC championship games, right? I also know what it’s like not to necessarily have the weapons you’d like to have, not to necessarily have the time you’d like to accomplish.

“I know it’s a team game and I know Sanchez is going to play better. I promise you you’ll see a different guy (this year). I believe you’ll see a different guy.”

Perhaps Namath knows something we don’t. Or maybe Sanchez’s new high-profile quarterback coach has done more for him than we could ever imagine. We know one Pro Bowl receiver isn’t buying it, and neither am I.

That being said, I’m not all that high on Smith at the moment either. Regardless of who the Jets starter is at the end of training camp, their defense will likely have to be closer to the caliber it was when they reached back-to-back AFC championship games if they want to contend.

Geno Smith reportedly dropped over character, leadership concerns

Geno Smith NFL Draft

Geno Smith went from being an anticipated top-10 pick in the NFL Draft to slipping to the second round where he was selected 39th overall by the New York Jets. Smith faced heavy scrutiny prior to the draft after a Pro Football Weekly scouting report from Nolan Nawrocki skewered him for having poor work habits and focus. Now we’re seeing that he may not have been the only one disenchanted with Smith’s personality.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole wrote a column on Smith that is well worth your time. In the article, Cole cites a few different executives who expressed concerns about the former West Virginia quarterback.

“I’m not sure he knows how to take instruction because he pretty much wouldn’t listen or talk to our coaches,” one executive told Cole.

“He doesn’t have much presence, not much of a leader,” another league executive told Cole.

Cole also reports that Smith spent a lot of time on his phone during his visits with teams rather than interacting with coaches and other team personnel, which turned off some teams.

E.J. Manuel was the first quarterback taken in the draft and only QB selected in the first round. He came off very well in media interviews and seemed to understand what it takes to be a franchise leader. That could explain in part why Buffalo selected him.

Many were outraged when they read Nawrocki’s assessment of Smith and felt that some of the criticism had racist undertones. Maybe Nawrocki’s report just happened to reflect the widespread feeling about Smith across the league. We know one thing: it reflects poorly on Smith that he didn’t want to come back to the draft after not being picked on the first day, and it looks bad that he has already fired his agents.

Geno Smith reportedly fired agents because he wasn’t top overall pick in draft

No player in the 2013 NFL Draft seemed more disappointed with their draft position than former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Many considered Smith to be the best player in the draft at his position, but several NFL teams disagreed. He slid out of the first round and was selected by the New York Jets with the 39th overall pick. As a result, he has fired his agents.

According to Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, Smith believed he should have been the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. His agents from Select Sports Group reportedly did not assure him that he would be the first player selected, but Smith has left the agency anyway. He will have to wait five days before hiring another agent.

It was hardly a secret that Smith was crushed when he did not hear his name called on Thursday. He had his family with him and was introduced with some of the other top prospects prior to the start of the draft, so he had to have been embarrassed. After the first round, he claimed he would not be coming back to Radio City Music Hall for the second round. He later changed his mind, possibly because of some words of encouragement from Aaron Rodgers.

Naturally, Twitter is now buzzing about how perfect Smith is for the Jets. The fact that he fired his agents because no team wanted him badly enough to spend a first-round pick on him shows how highly Smith thinks of himself. That should make him a nice fit in New York.

Photo Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

Geno Smith reportedly changed his mind, will attend Day 2 of NFL Draft

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.

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.

Photo Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

Geno Smith reportedly will not attend Day 2 of NFL Draft

Geno Smith NFL Draft

Geno Smith was one of the players in attendance for the first day of the NFL Draft, but he reportedly will not be back at Radio City Music Hall for day two.

Smith was considered a strong possibility to go in the first round. He was dressed up, had his family with him, and he was introduced with the other top prospects before the draft began. But after the Buffalo Bills selected EJ Manuel at No. 16 overall, the chances of Smith going in the first round decreased. By the end of the day, 32 picks had gone without Smith being selected. No surprise, he wasn’t in the best of moods afterwards.

ESPN’s Suzy Kolber said after the draft that Smith declined to do an on-camera interview. He told her he wasn’t shocked or surprised that he didn’t go in the first round. He was feeling so down he apparently told her he wouldn’t be back for Friday when the second and third rounds of the draft take place.

One thing Smith did tell Kolber is that he would be playing with an even bigger chip on his shoulder than before the draft. That’s exactly what we figured. Smith also received some words of encouragement from Aaron Rodgers as he fell in the draft.

Photo via BSO

Aaron Rodgers offers encouragement to Geno Smith

Aaron Rodgers offered some encouragement to Geno Smith as the West Virginia quarterback dropped in the NFL Draft.

Though Rodgers attended Game 3 between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks and did not watch most of the first round, he was aware of what was going on. He decided to tweet some words of encouragement for Geno Smith, who had yet to be selected.

Geno SmithSmith was believed to be the top quarterback on most draft boards and the strongest possibility of all the QBs to go in the first round. However, that wasn’t the case. The Buffalo Bills selected E.J. Manuel No. 16 overall, making the Florida State product the first quarterback selected. Most teams considered this to be a weak quarterback draft, meaning they didn’t want to spend a first-round pick on a marginal talent. Rodgers recognized that Smith would likely fall to the second round and decided to lift up his spirits.

Rodgers, as much as anyone, knows what it’s like to sit in Radio City Music Hall waiting for your name to be called. He was thought to be a possible No. 1 overall pick in 2005, but the San Francisco 49ers took Alex Smith. Rodgers inexplicably fell all the way to No. 24 before the Green Bay Packers selected him. A Super Bowl and MVP award later, and Rodgers proved it’s not about where you get selected, but what you do once you get your chance.

It’s funny that Rodgers sent the note for Geno, because Smith tweeted during the week that he was fueled by his doubters. He’ll enter the league with a chip on his shoulder similar to Rodgers.

Geno Smith fueled by NFL Draft experts who doubt him

Geno Smith appears to be entering the NFL with a chip on his shoulder, which is likely a good thing. Though the former West Virginia quarterback is widely listed as the top quarterback prospect on draft boards, he believes he has his doubters. Smith indicated on Twitter Tuesday that those doubters are fueling him.

Geno SmithThat’s the type of edge you want your quarterback to have entering the NFL. Even though he’s won league and Super Bowl MVP awards, Aaron Rodgers still plays with that type of mentality because he was doubted coming out of high school and college. Guys who feel they have been doubted tend to work harder to prove people wrong.

The question is what motivated Smith to write that tweet? Has he been hearing that he is slipping on draft boards? There are rumors that Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib may be the first (and only) quarterback taken in the first round, and that Smith may slip into the second round. Maybe that’s why he sent out the note. Additionally, Smith was the subject of a harsh character assessment from NFL Draft scout Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly.

Nawrocki blasted Smith in this way:

A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities.

Surely Smith will not forget that commentary. Though, I must say, if Smith turns out to be similar to Aaron Brooks, that wouldn’t be too bad.

I imagine Smith won’t be greater than an average quarterback. He looked great early in the season, but faltered against Kansas State and in the bowl game. On the flip side, he improved every season in college, which is an indicator that he continues to learn and get better, making it possible he can do the same thing in the NFL.