West Virginia Football: Why Geno Smith Is Still a Top 5 NFL Draft Pick

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent INovember 10, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 03:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the TCU Horned Frogs during the game on November 3, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

West Virginia started the season on a tear, climbing the rankings and landing in the Top 5 before an upset loss came against Texas Tech. That loss led to four straight as the Mountaineers lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday. 

This West Virginia team has a lot of issues, but none are coming from the quarterback position. Geno Smith is having one of the best seasons in college football right now, tossing 29 touchdowns and only three interceptions. 

Smith is the No. 3 quarterback in the country in passing yards per game and is No. 12 in passing efficiency. He is completing 72 percent of his passes on the season.

There aren’t many signal-callers that will come out of college this season who will battle Smith for position on draft day. He stands at 6’3” and 214 pounds, and has enough mobility to move the pocket when need be. 

This has been the most impressive quarterback performance in West Virginia history. Pat White was good, but he isn’t nearly as impressive as Geno Smith has been in his final year with the Mountaineers. 

The West Virginia defense is No. 121 in points allowed this season, giving up 41.4 points per game. This offense is No. 11 in points scored, putting up 40 points a game on average. 

Smith can only do so much when he has no defense helping him win games. Despite the plummeting stock of the West Virginia team, Smith’s is still on the rise. 

The NFL has seen the recent rise in rookie success with Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and others taking the league by storm. Any NFL team will look favorably on Smith as he has shown the ability to read defenses and be a consistent threat from the pocket on a weekly basis. 

Griffin III and Newton were both considered “system” quarterbacks when they left the college game for the NFL, and Smith will carry that label from West Virginia, but the proof is in results. 

No matter what “system” a quarterback is playing in, if he can make the reads and make the throws he will be successful at the next level. Smith has all of the intangibles that will make him a threat when he enters the draft in April. 

By season's end Smith will be considered one of the top 5 quarterback draft picks for 2013.