Finally, after seeing a run on offensive and defensive lineman and watching fellow Mountaineer great Tavon Austin come off the board in the first round, West Virginia’s great quarterback was selected 39th overall by the New York Jets in the second round of the NFL draft.
Smith had to wait quite sometime to hear his named called as the predicted trend of a run on trench players (offensive and defensive lineman) came to fruition. That trend pushed Geno Smith out of the top end of the draft and into perfect position for the Jets to snag him at the top of the second round.
Both the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets had interest in Geno Smith at picks #12 and #13 but opted to select defensive players instead. Even with the Raiders and Jets passing on him, nobody thought that the Bills would allow him to slide past them at #16.
What was so surprising was that E.J. Manuel of the Florida State Seminoles was selected at #16 overall by the Buffalo Bills. Manuel was widely regarded as the 4th best quarterback by most scouts behind Smith, Barkley, and Nassib. Questionable move by the Buffalo Bills at best.
With the Bills pick now come and gone, there were no franchises left in the first round that would have interest in selecting a quarterback, allowing Geno Smith to free fall into the second round.
All the while, ESPN and NFL Network were shoving a camera in Smith’s face to document his anguish. Smith, who originally vowed to not return to Radio City Music Hall last night, recanted that statement and appeared at the podium to hug Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The move by the New York Jets to draft Geno Smith is the first step in the rebuilding process for the franchise and officially puts an end to the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow experiment.
It is not all roses for Geno though. The Jets roster is pretty bare as far as offensive talent goes. Outside of Santonio Holmes at wide receiver, this team lacks all weapons. The Jets will need to gather a lot of weapons to give Geno the opportunity to excel in New York. Hopefully the Jets will allow Sanchez to flounder this coming year and allow Smith to learn the offense for a year.
Even with Geno Smith’s slide to the 39th overall selection, he is still the highest drafted West Virginia quarterback of all-time. He is also the second Mountaineer to be drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft.