Geno Smith: Video Highlights from Former West Virginia QB
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The quarterback position is seemingly the most difficult to get a consistent grade on for each prospect. However, the most common notion among experts is that former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith stands at the top of his class.
Smith started out incredibly strong during his 2012 campaign. However, his performance took a slide over the latter half of the season. This erased his hopes of contending for the Heisman trophy. Despite the aforementioned slide, Smith still may be the only quarterback to be taken in the first round this year.
Not only should he go in the first round, but CBS Sports also sees him as a top-10 selection.
Let's take a look at some of Smith's highlights from his college career and see how he was able to put himself in this position.
45-Yard Pass vs. Kansas, 2012
During this play, the most impressive feature in Smith's game is his ability to sell the play-action fake. This will absolutely help him out at the NFL level.
Notice when he takes the snap, he rotates his shoulders toward the running back while swinging his head around to face the backfield. Meanwhile, he clearly exposes the ball heading into the midsection of the running back.
While this is going on, the safety on the right side of the screen is completely frozen and cannot get back into coverage on time. This allows the perfectly thrown pass to go uncontested for a huge gain.
24-Yard Pass vs. Maryland, 2012
This pass really showcases Smith's ability to look off the coverage. Watch as he takes the snap and keeps his eyes focused down the middle of the field. This freezes the safety in position, allowing his receiver man coverage on the outside.
Smith waits until the very last second to look back over to his receiver and unleash the football. Even though his receiver was wide open, Smith's ability to keep the safety away from the right side of the field allowed that pass to go completely uncontested.
45-Yard Pass vs. Norfolk State, 2011
In this video, Smith shows his ability to throw a very accurate pass into tight coverage while on the move.
Early in the play, the West Virginia wide receivers do not seem to get open. This causes Smith to hold the ball in the pocket due to some nice protection.
Once he feels some pressure, Smith steps up in the pocket and finds an open target. While moving, Smith turns his hips, gets square with his target and delivers an absolute strike in a very small window.
This is most definitely an NFL-caliber pass.
34-Yard Pass vs. Marshall, 2009
Even early in his tenure at West Virginia, Smith showed off his strong arm.
Smith maintains great focus on this play from the beginning. He receives a low snap, which throws the timing of the play off immediately. He is able to scoop the ball from the ground and continue with his drop.
Once he hits his final step of the drop, he finds his target quickly. Smith transfers his weight, and with a flick of his wrist, he sails the football 40 yards through the air with ease. The pass is perfectly thrown to a wide receiver in double coverage; however, neither defensive back ever had a chance to get a hand on the football.
59-Yard Pass vs. Cincinnati, 2011
This video features the touch that Smith can put on the football. Even on a deeper throw, he is very precise with the amount of hang time he allows.
Smith once again transfers his weight perfectly, allowing the pass to be right on the money. With two defenders trailing his receiver closely, Smith needs to get the ball over them but cannot hang it up too much or they could gain ground on his target.
He not only gets the ball perfectly over the heads of the defenders, but he also drops it straight into the waiting arms of his receiver in stride. This allows his receiver to maintain his momentum and take the ball the remainder of the way to the end zone.
3-Yard Pass vs. Norfolk State, 2011
This video highlight puts Smith's ability to quickly find an open receiver on display.
Once again, Smith sells the play-action fake and fools the majority of the Norfolk State defense. However, when he does this, Smith has to completely turn away from his intended target.
After the fake, it only takes a split second for Smith to find an open receiver coming across on a slant. Smith reacts quickly and fires in time and on point for the sure-thing touchdown.
26-Yard Pass vs. James Madison, 2012
This is the kind of play that NFL scouts will want to see out of players like Smith. The reason why this is so important is because it showcases Smith's ability to read a defense pre-snap.
While in shotgun formation, it appears that West Virginia has a run called. Smith sees the encroaching safeties and realizes that he will have man-coverage on the outside receivers without safety help over the top.
He checks into a passing play that allows his receivers to get over the top of the cheating safeties. Once Smith sees his target hit the open field beyond the secondary, he throws a perfect pass, which yields a huge play through the air.
28-Yard Run vs. Marshall, 2012
Smith can absolutely be a dual-threat quarterback at the next level. It is difficult enough to rush on a designed play, but Smith takes this to a whole new level during this highlight.
There is confusion in the backfield between Smith and his running back. This spins Smith around in a full circle. Without any options, he must now take off with the football to prevent a loss on the play.
He immediately identifies a nearby defender and shifts away from the pressure. Keeping his head upfield, he finds a big hole and turns on his speed to beat the entire secondary to the end zone for the score.
Pocket Awareness vs. James Madison, 2012
Smith shows his versatility here by maintaining a high awareness for pressure while in the pocket. He does not have any options downfield, and it appears that a coverage sack is in order.
That is not the case with Smith.
Although he is constantly looking downfield for an open target, he feels the pressure when a defensive lineman gets close. Smith reacts quickly enough and uses his athleticism to spin and get out of the grasp of a would-be sack.
Smith then scrambles quickly to his right to escape the collapsing pocket and smartly throws the ball away down the right sideline.
This may be the absolute best collection of Smith highlights on the Internet. These clips showcase every aspect of Smith's game, including his ability to run, his accuracy as a passer and ability to thread the needle in tight coverage.
Also, early in the video, there are some great close shots of Smith's throwing motion, which are very easy to dissect.
This is a great example of how electrifying Smith can be at the quarterback position.