On-field issues are bigger concern than work ethic for Geno Smith


The recent assessment from draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki that former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is ““Not a student of the game,” “Not committed or focused” and has a “marginal work ethic” has been dissected so thoroughly that Smith’s body of work on the field has been largely overlooked.

And overlooking the way a football player plays football is probably not a good idea.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock it really is the football side of things — not questions about his work ethic, character or anything else off the field — that could make Smith slide deeper in the draft than most people think.

“It’s absolutely the football side,” Mayock said on Path to the Draft. “Talk about the football issues: First of all, ball security, ties into the pocket awareness. Whatever that number is, 30, 32 fumbles in his career, he has no awareness of the rush surrounding him. So his pocket awareness — five sacks in the first half against Texas, three of them he could have gotten rid of the football easily, and one of them he was stripped of the football in the end zone for a touchdown. There’s no internal clock, there’s no feel.”

Mayock also said that while Smith threw a lot of long touchdown passes at West Virginia, he could have thrown a lot more if he didn’t miss open receivers downfield.

“Deep ball accuracy: I put a reel together of six to eight throws that should have been touchdowns, wide open vertical guys that he overthrew or underthrew,” Mayock said. “He stares down receivers and he throws the football late, so there’s a lack of anticipation and timing.”

Mayock said Smith has a big arm and is a good athlete, but that as a result of other problems, he would definitely not take Smith in the Top 10 and probably not in the Top 20. Where ever Smith lands in the draft, there are legitimate questions about him as a prospect. And those questions are primarily about the way he plays the quarterback position, on the field.

37 responses to “On-field issues are bigger concern than work ethic for Geno Smith

  1. Lots of guys have the talent and ability to excel; however, for some, once the $$$ are in the bank, the desire begins to fade…

  2. he sounds like a carbon copy of Mike Vick but runs less. don’t take that as a race thing, big arm, no awareness? hope to God my eagles stay away from him. I like Nick foles. he’s got tons of potential

  3. He would become rattled by certain defenses, such as Kansas State and TCU. The offensive system made Geno look good at times, it also helped mask his limits as a quarterback.

    I want to know which team is going to waste a first round pick on him.

  4. Because Mayock is an expert. Lets look at is last couple predictions
    2009-Mark Sanchez has moved ahead of Matthew Stafford in Mike Mayock’s list of the best QB prospects.

  5. I hope the Raiders don’t pick him up. We’re still recovering from the last QB we drafted first overall.

  6. Jesus can you wait til this kid hits the turf before you tear him up. Yeah this isn’t last years QB class but give me a break.

  7. Let the over analysis continue. All I know is the guy throws a lot of touchdowns (42) and not a lot of interceptions (6). Its called decision making. Lets be honest, West Virginia was not a good team. Their defense is annually amongst the worst. The guy had to win the game with a lot of points and the Defense knew it. Heck, their best running back was their 165 pound wide receiver. As for Nick Foles, lets see how he does out of Andy Reeds system. (AJ Feeley/Kevin Kolb)

  8. Hard to believe anyone watching tape of his season thinks he merits a first round pick. If he came out last year he would have gone in the fifth. Lack of talent at the position, plus need, will pull him higher; but wasting a first round pick on this long shot is plain stupid. He has given no indication he will succeed as a Pro.

  9. We already have a turnover machine QB .. no need to add another one .. I would only take a chance on Geno if he slips to round #2

  10. Two months ago this was supposedly the draft where no QBs were taken in the first round. Now the hype is forcing rumors of teams trading up to get this guy. It would be funny if it weren’t so disappointing that these millionaire GMs can get caught up in such obvious hype marketing and fear of letting someone get past them. What do I know? I saw Geno play and I wasn’t blown away.

  11. I don’t really like to hate on any player other than Tony Romo but I am starting to really hope Russell Wilson has a sophmore slump and his pathetic fan boys cry.

  12. This guys was a top 10 pick a week ago now all of these issue surface. Why didn’t any of this come up before. Seems suspicious. Maybe there’s a team picking in the later part of round 1 that’s pushing these draft guys to put this stuff out there. Nothing would surprise me.

  13. Russell Wilson is such a great player he barely beat a one legged RG3 and then was bounced out of the playoffs in the next round. Yea he is awesome, the only thing that his fanboys should be legitimatly hanging their hat on is that if he keeps up the numbers he has now he was a steal at the draft position the Seahawks took him at. The guy isn’t even a top 10 QB in the NFL at this time, so stop kissing his boots please it is annoying.

  14. This is exactly what the Eagles need – a mobile QB who fumbles all the time and holds on to the ball too long. We don’t have one of those on the roster, do we?

  15. So in other words Mayock has films that NFL coaches and GM’s don’t have? I will say this over and over talk is cheap go run a team and see how your expertise converts to winning games.

  16. The difference between Geno Smith and Matt Lienart are that Lienart never HAD a big arm and Smith is 10 times the athlete Lienart is. Other than that, alot of similarities.

  17. A 70% completion percentage says Mayock is an idiot.

    There aren’t any words to describe how stupid Nawrocki is.

  18. Wow! I bet Geno wishes the draft was like ….. yesterday. They’re really jumping on him hard. Not saying it is, but if all this stuff were really true, he would be only a backup, so why would anyone take him in any of the early rounds?

  19. This kind of critique doesn’t bother me. When you watch highlights or games you can see he’s a step slow on some reads and does stare down his targets. Some of it could be system related and simply having limited reads….I’m not paid to get that info.

    Breaking down a young mans character and mental make up with out ever even being in the same room let alone conversing is cowardly and screams of just another average bum “reporter/analyst” trying to make a name for himself by tearing someone else down.

  20. Mayock likes to play both sides. After his pro day Mayock said that he looked like a top ten pick now that other people are dumping on Geno he “wouldn’t draft Geno in the top 20!” Which is it Mayock you can’t play on both sides of the fence? I can’t wait until Geno starters to silence his doubters on the field!!!

  21. “on-field issues are bigger concern than work ethic for Geno Smith”………

    That would mean that, yes, there are work ethic concerns as well as on-field issues.

  22. Unlike whites a high ranking African American QB’s work ethic is ALWAYS called into question. Its simply true. The media is as imperfect as any entity

  23. WVU grad here, and I have to say that I agree with most of the Mayock and Nawrocki assessments on Smith. (I’m probably in the minority of WVU fans on this topic.)

    Smith always seemed to me to lack leadership skills, and often pouted throughout the game, every game.

    Re: awareness (both pocket and situational), no doubt he lacks it. Despite his size and athleticism, he probably left 30 to 75 rushing yards on the table every game…yards that could have extended drives or, at the very least, improved field position. Rather than taking the easy yards on the ground (that anyone on this site could have gotten), he’d often stay in the pocket (sometimes for what seemed like 10-15 seconds), throw a deep incompletion (often overlooking the easy-target safety valve) or get sacked or lose the ball.

    I’d say he is solid – not great – and because of his potential (and inability to achieve it), it was frustrating to watch him at times. It was damn near like he didn’t want to be “labeled” something other than a pure pocket passer.

  24. Chip Kelley ran a vertical passing offense for the better part of his career.

    His whole message is that a coach needs to curtail a philosophy to the talent on a team.

    so basically, no one knows his plan , or his scheme.

    shut up

  25. Isn’t it odd how all these so called hot shot analist, jump on the band wagon when one of their kronies call out a certain player. Flavor this week is Smith, next week who knows. I guess better than hearing about TEBOW.

  26. “West Virginia (3-1) outgained LSU 533-366. Smith set school records for completions (38), attempts (65) and passing yards (463)”
    From the Holy Grail, ESPN

    Finding stats that matter on Smith are as elusive as Iraq’s WMD. Most of the critiques are laughable. Geno Smith is a 1st rd talent. I will go so far as to say Reid will take him on the first pick. Smith has better numbers than last year’s 1st rd picks and will excel on the next level.

    How do you ignore what he did against LSU, a team full of NFL players and how do you ignore all the TDs, yardage and completion %, unless you have a bias?

    Here’s how: you dwell on unmeasurable intangibles, that amount to “assessment of the invisible.” To all of you, I say the tape “DON’T LIE”. Stop looking, you won’t find WMD, but in the 1st rd. you will find Geno Smith. Bet the house on it.

  27. Wow…. pretty smokey topic.

    Draft Media gamesmanship in full swing.

    He definately goes in 1st Round

  28. “Sure he made a lot of Deep Ball Plays, but he could’ve had more”?

    Really, is that where we are at with this guy, Nit-Picking about what he could’ve done? I’ll tell you this Mayock, whoever he does fall to later in the 1st round is getting themselves a damn good QB to groom for the future. Didn’t Aaron Rodgers fall to 28? Wasn’t Drew Brees a 2nd round pick? Montana a 3rd, Brady a 6th. The hell is wrong with scouts that they could miss on so many top caliber players & project so many future bust players as being “can’t miss” & still have the arrogance to believe they KNOW EVERYTHING on a players career potential just by watching college film. We all seem to check-out on the fact that Smith has “amazing work-ethic” & is a “film junkie” right? THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS ya bunch of numb-nuts! Give me a humble QB with a few fixable flaws but willing to work day & night to change them over a guy who’s so pro-ready they don’t see the need to fix anything, not to mention a lack of work-ethic & immaturity (See Vince Young & Jamarcus Russell). Isn’t that the job of pro coaches anyway, take the physical-tools of a prospect, refine the mental side & create an elite pro.

  29. I see him going to someone who trades back into the 1st. if he gets past bills he will drop way down. I don’t want him to go to the raiders at 3. waste of a pick.

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