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.
Just want to thank all those so called “experts” who say I can’t be an NFL QB. Thursday will be a special day but the work has only begun
— Eugene Geno Smith (@GenoSmith_12) April 23, 2013
That’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.