Hang in there Geno, "good things come to those who wait" -Paul Tagliabue— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 26, 2013
The first round of the 2013 NFL draft is in the books, and Smith never left the green room behind the stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Are you surprised that Smith fell down the board?
The Buffalo Bills made a trade with the St. Louis Rams early in the draft, trading back from No. 8 to the No. 16 spot, and of all the teams left in Round 1, Buffalo seemed to be Smith's best chance to be selected.
The Bills had a different plan in mind, however, and the franchise selected EJ Manuel from Florida State instead.
The move shocked John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, along with many others:
Wow. Bills take QB EJ Manuel rather than Ryan Nassib or Geno Smith. Unbelievable! I didn't see anyone have him as first QB.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) April 26, 2013
Most experts viewed Smith as the top signal-caller in this year's draft class. It was thought that if only one quarterback went in Round 1, it would be him.
Smith possesses all the physical attributes of a franchise quarterback, but most scouts saw him as a player who'd need time to develop into a starter.
Perhaps the Bills saw Manuel as a player who could be a starter from Day 1, which prompted them to select him ahead of Smith.
Now Smith has slipped out of the first round altogether and doesn't plan on returning on Friday, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated:
Geno Smith told ESPN's Suzy Kolber that he's heading home. Will not be back at Radio City on Friday.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 26, 2013
It's not a comfortable feeling to slide down the draft board, and ESPN's Rick Reilly offered his take on how the young man might feel:
Geno Smith needs to find one of those disguises that make you look like an empty chair. #NFLDraft— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) April 26, 2013
However, being passed over may be the best thing that could have happened to Smith. Rodgers has played with a huge chip on his shoulder since the San Francisco 49ers picked Alex Smith over him in 2005, winning a Super Bowl and a league MVP award.
Will Smith's draft-day skid help or hurt his NFL career?
Smith will have a chance to prove his doubters wrong for the rest of his career, and you can be sure he'll remember this day.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78