He was called the best quarterback in the 2013 NFL draft class. He lead the NCAA FBS in passing touchdowns with 48, and only threw six interceptions in 2012. Yet, Geno Smith wasn’t the first quarterback taken in the opening round on Thursday night (that honor belongs to E.J. Manuel).
Instead, he watched, and watched, and watched as pick after pick was made with Smith still sitting in the green room. By the end of the
night, his name hadn’t been called, and he left Radio City Music Hall in New York without a team to call his own. The realization that he wasn’t a first round draft pick hit as he left to go home and be with his family for the rest of the draft, refusing to do any on-camera interviews before leaving.
But Smith’s, albeit small, loss could very well be a major gain for the team that holds the first pick on day two of the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have the first pick of the second round on Friday night. In round one, the Jaguars drafted Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel to sure up their offensive line. Now, they could get a new tool to put behind the man who many viewed as the top offensive lineman in this year’s class.
New Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley has said on more than one occasion that there is an open competition for the team’s starting quarterback position. He is not sold on Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne based on their past play before Bradley arrived. With new ownership, a new front office, and a new coaching staff, the Jaguars may want to add their own guy to the competition. And with Smith still available, this is the perfect opportunity to add a guy that could lead them to victories on Sundays.
Smith would give Jacksonville a QB who could benefit from sitting for a year behind a veteran like Henne, but could also be put right into the starting spot on day one and succeed. Especially with the weapons he would have around him.
Smith had Tavon Austin as his primary threat at West Virginia. In Jacksonville, Smith would have Cecil Shorts III, Marcedes Lewis, 2012 first round pick Justin Blackmon, and, of course, Maurice Jones-Drew around him. Talk about a good situation to fall in to.
The combination of Smith to Blackmon would have the potential to become a top QB/WR pairing in the AFC and, possibly, the NFL in a few seasons. It’s a big-play fan’s dream to have dynamic weapons like that on offense, and a QB like Smith could be the final puzzle piece that pulls it all together for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007.
Smith may not be a first round pick like many, including himself, expected, but him falling the way he has could make him even more dangerous once he steps on the field. He will be looking to prove something to every team, including the team that picks him, that passed over him the first time around. It could result in him being an even better player in the NFL.
Hang in there Geno, “good things come to those who wait” -Paul Tagliabue
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 26, 2013