This past weekend was quite an eventful one for the four West Virginia Mountaineers alumni. Tavon Austin and Geno Smith shined in the spotlight while Stedman Bailey and Joe Madsen left something to be desired.
While all four had memorable performances, we will focus on Geno Smith`s combine performance. His was the most scrutinized of the weekend.
40-yard Dash: 4.59 seconds
Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches
Broad Jump: 124.0 inches
Smith showed off in his measurable events for NFL scouts Sunday. Known exclusively as a pocket passer, Geno showed off the kind of speed associated with read option quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick.
Smith’s strong scores in the vertical and broad jumps went farther to document just what a complete athlete he is. His athleticism could be a big draw for various NFL teams if Smith bends on his “no read-option game” status.
It is understandable that Geno is far more comfortable operating as a pocket passer, but he should open himself up to the possibility of becoming a read-option capable quarterback to make himself appealing to a wider variety of NFL teams.
In the throwing portion of the combine, Geno showed off his cannon of an arm, hitting multiple receivers on deep routes. The one knock on Smith’s throwing was his odd hop right before setting his feet, somewhat hindering the torque he generates in his hips.
The footwork is something that Geno can easily work on and should not be any kind of hindrance to his draft stock. According to various outlets, Smith is still the top quarterback prospect, but might not be taken off the boards until the late first to early second round.
Geno cautions fans and scouts alike that no matter what happened in the underwear olympics, there is more to his ability:
4.56 40, 10.4 broad jump, 34 inch vert. Yet none of this defines me as a QB! The game is won between the ears, study the tape!
— Eugene Geno Smith (@GenoSmith_12) February 24, 2013
When scouts look at how he breaks down tape, they will see that Geno really has the potential to be the next franchise quarterback in the NFL. He is a really intelligent player that knows how to identify defenses from the line of scrimmage and how to win the mental battles against safeties.
Smith has already completed some interviews with teams and the consensus is that while he is impressive, not many teams feel an urgent need to go draft him in the early part of the first round. A strong pro day performance at Milan Puskar Stadium and follow-on interviews will go a long way to elevating Geno to a top 10 pick.