New York Jets: Geno Smith is the Likely Week One Starter


With the NFL Combine in full swing a lot of attention has been paid to the quarterback position, especially by New York Jets fans.  Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston took the field yesterday, and neither of them did anything to disappoint.  Add that to the feeling the Jets fan base has for the incumbent Geno Smith, and the position becomes basically the number one talking point of the off-season.

I am not saying that the fans are wrong to want an upgrade at the quarterback position.  My point here is that as much as we might want change, there is a reality that we need to focus on.

Geno Smith is likely the starter in week one of the 2015 season.

First let’s look at the draft class.  Jameis Winston is the real deal, but not likely going to be available for the Jets.  He is the rookie that is most likely to put up immediate competition to Geno Smith, but the evidence is growing stronger that he will be joining Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay.  So scratch him off of the list.

The rest of the class of quarterbacks are projects.  Even Marcus Mariota, who showed well at the Combine, is not going to be a day one starter.  He needs time to adjust to playing in a Pro system, which will keep him on the bench at least for a while.  The draft is not going to bring you a 2015 starter to replace Geno Smith.

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The free agent class really doesn’t fair much better.  Josh McCown is not the guy, we have talked about this before.  Ryan Fitzpatrick could be, but there are no guarantees.  He has never lit the world on fire with his stellar quarterback play.  We have seen Michael Vick play, who could be asked back.  Do you think he has enough left to compete with Geno?  Matt Hasselback is old, Jake Locker is still a young player with a chance, and Matt Moore has been a mid-level quarterback for most of his career.  There are others, but all are at this level.  None of these guys are going to come in and immediately give Geno a run for his money.

Mike Glennon could be the guy if he becomes available, and a guy I think could give Geno the most trouble.  But for now, he isn’t part of the conversation.

The New York Jets are not going to force a 24-year-old Geno Smith to the bench, it’s too soon.  Geno will have a shot to keep his job, and someone is going to have to take it away from him.  There is no clear-cut available candidate that is going to come in here and sweep the position away.  There just isn’t.

Geno Smith is likely going to be the starter when week one comes around.  We all need to start getting used to it.

Next: The Task Ahead for Mike Maccagnan