Geno Smith's Latest Draft-Day Projections from Top NFL Experts

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 24: Geno Smith of West Virginia throws during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2013 NFL draft, but experts across the league can’t agree on his career outlook or exactly which team will draft him.

While most NFL insiders and draft experts have him being selected in the first round, some big-name analysts like Mel Kiper have projected that the talented QB prospect will fall out of the first round altogether.

All of the following experts think that Smith will be taken in the first round, but each has his own twist on exactly how this pick could go down.


Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

Full mock draft link here.

Where Geno Smith Lands: Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 overall.

What Matt Miller Says

… But the pick isn't mine, and from owner Shad Khan all the way to head coach Gus Bradley, there is a buzz surrounding Geno Smith that is radiating from the building. This isn't the regime that drafted Blaine Gabbert, and their responsibility to him carries no loyalty beyond his paycheck. Smith would bring about the harsh reality that is Gabbert's ending tenure with the Jaguars. In a crop of weak quarterbacks, Smith is far above the competitors. But if you asked me to stake my job security on his ability to play quarterback in the NFL, I'd pass.

The Reality

Of all the experts, Miller is one of the few that has stuck with Geno Smith at No. 2 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. While others have changed the first-round projections to an offensive tackle heavy top-four, there is still a great chance that Smith ends up being the second pick of the draft.

The Jaguars are far from convinced that Blaine Gabbert is the quarterback of the future, and drafting Smith would be the perfect excuse to sit the former first-round pick and eventually trade him when possible.

Smith has far more upside than any of the QBs on the Jaguars roster, and taking the West Virginia star would be the smart long-term move for the Jacksonville franchise.


Mike Mayock, NFL Network

Full mock draft link here.

Where Geno Smith Lands: Cleveland Browns at No. 6 overall.

What Mike Mayock Says

When I look at Geno, I see a kid who's got everything you want to see in a franchise quarterback, but there's just too much bad tape. I would not take him this early; I would go for an edge or a corner. However, I really think Joe Banner might pull the trigger on the quarterback from West Virginia.


The Reality

While Mike Mayock is one of the best NFL analysts in the business, there is no doubt that he is underestimating Smith's talents.

The Cleveland Browns would be a great fit at No. 6, and no matter what Mayock thinks, that franchise would be getting a long-term solution at quarterback.

Smith has the size, strength and accuracy to be a serious passing threat in the NFL, and with his elite mobility and the success of quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, there is no doubt that a team will look to draft the best QB in this draft early in the first round.

Move over Brandon Weeden.


Todd McShay, ESPN

Full mock draft link here.

Where Geno Smith Lands: Cleveland Browns at No. 6 overall.

What Todd McShay Says

Ideally, the Browns would like to partner with a team looking to trade up to get Smith, or more likely one of the top three offensive tackles (in this case, Oklahoma's Lane Johnson). It's common knowledge the Cardinals would like to get Johnson with the next pick on the board, so teams looking to get ahead of Arizona could target this spot. That would allow Cleveland, which currently does not have a second-round pick, to move back and also acquire extra selections, which would make it easier to take Smith a little later in the first knowing it won't have to wait until the third round to pick again. Miami -- which has picks No. 12, 42 and 54 -- could be a prime trade candidate here.

The Reality

It is so hard to predict trades on draft day, but this is a scenario that could easily come to fruition for the Cleveland Browns. If the pressure isn’t on from other teams to draft Smith and the Browns feel they could wait until No. 12 to get the QB the team wants, trading back is certainly a possibility.

The Browns have been known to make trades in the top-10—just ask the Atlanta Falcons and Julio Jones—so trading back to gather more picks would be acceptable as long as the franchise is assured that the No. 1 QB in the 2013 class will still be there.

That could be a risky proposition, though, especially with the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets reportedly both fighting over quarterback Ryan Nassib at No. 8 and No. 9.

If Buffalo takes Nassib, New York could counter by selecting Smith and ruin Cleveland’s plans.