It has been three quarters of the first season into the career of one Geno Smith. The Jets chose him in the second round of the draft, and once Mark Sanchez was injured during the preseason, he got the job as the Jets’ starting quarterback.
His ups and downs have been talked about at length, here and in other locations, websites, shows..etc. Now seemed an interesting time to look back at Geno Smith’s draft profile. Just what were the Jets getting into when they chose him. Take a look at his strengths and weaknesses, they are going to look very familiar:
STRENGTHS Competitive, confident player who can lead a team with his physical attributes and willingness to work on his craft. Possesses a quick delivery, can get the ball downfield or move a team methodically by making quick decisions. Has improved his accuracy greatly during his career, placing the ball very well at every level of the field. Fires throws into tight windows over the middle while also leading receivers open on the sideline and showing touch on fades into the end zone. Generally keeps his eyes downfield and feet moving within the pocket to find a target instead of looking to run. Finds second or third options across the field if first read is covered. Tests defenses with his ability to get first downs and more with his feet, has speed to break off big runs and usually makes the right decision on when to take off. Has gotten physically stronger over the course of his career, is a tough player who will hang onto the ball after a big hit and bounce back up.
WEAKNESSES Runs a spread offense almost exclusively from the shotgun, needs work on his footwork coming from under center. Ball will float or sail if his feet are not set or he fails to transfer weight, either in the pocket when facing pressure or when throwing on the run. Blitz awareness is only adequate, will miss guys coming free to his left and right. Will back up from pressure at times instead of unloading the ball or stepping up to make the throw. Seemingly regressed each week, especially when locking on to one side of the field.
For the most part, pretty darn accurate, wouldn’t you say? He CAN get the ball downfield. He has shown the ability to test defenses with his feet, although not as much recently. He has shown a great ability to work hard and is very willing to learn.
The weaknesses are accurate too. He does continuously back up a lot, rather than stepping up into the pocket. We have all talked about problems with pocket awareness. We have all seen him regress by locking onto one side of the field.
Can Geno get better, and be the guy for the Jets going forward? Sure he can. But he is not without flaws. And they are flaws that everyone was aware of when he was drafted. The Jets knew what they were getting into. He’s a project quarterback. He’s not Peyton Manning, or Andrew Luck. It will take time, Rome was not built in a day.