Geno Smith could be the man to put the Jets back on the map.
Quarterback Geno Smith could be the savior for the New York Jets.
Now all they need to do is trade up and get him.
Mock drafts have Smith as the first quarterback off the board, and it's tough to see him being available with the ninth pick, which is what the Jets currently own. Of the teams ahead of them, the Jaguars, Raiders, Eagles, Browns and Cardinals would each be wise to take Smith with their pick.
There is no real secret surrounding the Jets' inadequacies at the quarterback position. Mark Sanchez suffered a huge regression last season, slicing his 26 touchdown passes from 2011 in half, and replicating his 18 interceptions from that season.
In order for the Jets to turn things around, they need to start by improving their play-caller. There have been whispers of an impending deal with former Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, but a 35-year-old two seasons removed from his last NFL start hardly seems like a wise direction to move in.
Smith has all the makings of a franchise quarterback. Last season with West Virginia, he passed for 4,205 yards, with a 71.2 percent completion percentage, 42 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.
He has the intelligence that is crucial to be a star quarterback in the NFL. He can read defenses well, and exploit their weaknesses.
The most important element for the Jets might be Smith's decision making under pressure. His six interceptions exemplify his restraint when it comes to forcing bad passes. Jets fans have seen Sanchez top 18 interceptions in three of his four seasons, so they would be grateful to see someone who doesn't turn the ball over like that.
He often gets the ball to receivers when they have room to make plays after the catch, which could benefit the Jets receivers greatly. The team has quite a few good receiving options, including wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley, as well as tight end Dustin Keller. With Smith, each of these talented players will be able to play up to their potential.
New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will be able to help Smith bloom into the quarterback he can be. Under Mornhinweg's seven-year reign from 2006-12 as offensive coordinator for the Eagles, the quarterbacks have had great success.
Donavan McNabb was great for many of those years and Michael Vick had a near-MVP-caliber season in 2010. Even Kevin Kolb, who has struggled with the Arizona Cardinals, played his best football under the Jets' new offensive coordinator. Smith, who has tons of talent, would be able to flourish with the help of Mornhinweg.