Geno Smith Would Have Best Chance at Success with Philadelphia Eagles
There are a slew of reasons for the Philadelphia Eagles to be wary of drafting Geno Smith with the No. 4 overall pick, but the dynamic West Virginia quarterback would benefit if they ignored those cautions.
Of the top 10 picks where Smith will ostensibly hear his name called, there is no place better for him than the City of Brotherly Love.
Most importantly, he won't be called upon to start right away.
There is some serious talent flowing through this draft, but Andrew Luck isn't sitting at the top of every draft board. There has been no Robert Griffin III expeditiously rising from solid prospect to can't-miss star. Russell Wilson isn't waiting in the third round, either.
No quarterback in this draft is a surefire successful Day 1 starter, and that includes Smith.
That's not meant to be a criticism of the talented QB but instead a wake-up call for anyone expecting a repeat of the rare 2012 QB class. Much like every other normal rookie signal-caller, time spent on the sideline is a necessity for success at this level for Smith.
He'll get exactly that in Philadelphia.
Mike Vick had trouble with both consistency and injuries in 2012, throwing for just 2,362 yards and 12 touchdowns while turning the ball over a staggering 14 times.
But to call him an intriguing fit in new head coach Chip Kelly's spread-option offense is an understatement.
Even if he once again falls below expectations, second-year QB Nick Foles is waiting in the wings and has proved to be a reliable backup.
What top-10 team gives Smith the best opportunity for success?
While time with the clipboard can be advantageous, it's crucial for Smith not to be buried on the depth chart for the next three years.
Once again, Philadelphia checks out as the right place for just that, as it would only take one year for Smith to break through to QB No. 1.
Vick, who is currently 32 years old, will become a free agent in 2014. Foles is signed through 2015, but it's still unforeseen how he'll fit in Kelly's unique offensive scheme.
That absolutely blasts the doors open for Smith, who, by that time, would have spent over a year learning Kelly's system, getting comfortable in practice and adjusting to the speed of the NFL.
The same can be said for Foles, of course, but Smith's skill set far better serves a spread-option attack that hinges on an athletic quarterback getting outside of the pocket.
Judging by this, I'd say he's capable of being that guy:
Smith has a strong, electric arm and made his living at West Virginia by terrorizing defenses from inside the pocket as a prototypical QB. But given some time, he has the athleticism to be downright dangerous in Philadelphia's new-look offense.
Accepting that location equals success is a huge mistake from the start for any rookie, but the Eagles' unique situation would give Smith an opportunity to take advantage of his gaudy skill set.
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