According to a report put together by ESPN’s Mike Sando, Geno Smith came in last after an anonymous group of league insiders evaluated all 32 projected starting quarterbacks, with Patriots’ Tom Brady coming in at number one.
Sando asked 26 different insiders, ranging from general managers to coaches, to evaluate the projected starting QB’s on a 1-5 scale, one being the best and five being the worst, and then placing each QB in a Tier based on their ranking. Smith had an average rating of 4.48 and was ranked as a Tier 4 QB.
Although most would agree that Smith is too young to simply write off, he certainly has some work to do. One coordinator in Sando’s insider group said, “he was a rookie and he struggled and some of his reads were poor…”
I attended the season opener last year and those words ring true of Smith’s debut. He spent much of the game looking like he was still playing college level football. Although Smith improved throughout the season, especially during the last four games, it wasn’t enough to make a significant impact for the Jets.
But that’s not to say that Smith will continue on the same path as last year. Based on past statistics, you really can’t judge a player by his rookie year. Eli Manning, for example, had worse stats than Smith in his rookie year, but later went on to lead his team to two Super Bowl wins.
Smith has the potential to be the winning qb the Jets need this season. With a season’s experience under his belt and new recruits from both the draft and free agency period, Smith could lead the team to more victories this year. But the fans will have to wait and see if he continues to play at the Tier 4 level or progresses to a Tier 1.