New York Jets Make a Solid Choice with QB Geno Smith in Second Round of 2013 NFL Draft

By Christopher Gamble

The New York Jets have their future franchise quarterback again after selecting Geno Smith of West Virginia in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. This was a pick the Jets had to make.

Mark Sanchez, the previous franchise quarterback for the Jets, should be entering his last season as a Jet and is only still there because the team has to pay him $8.25 million this season whether or not he is on the roster. Geno Smith will be allowed to sit for a year and learn the offense before being asked to take over the starting job with the Jets.

Smith has loads of potential but there are a few questions surrounding his game especially surrounding his ability to throw the long ball. He also seemed to struggle when he was in adverse weather with the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse being the standout in that regard.

Smith, however, is the most talented quarterback on the Jets right now. He has the ability to move around in the pocket and extend plays. To me, Smith is like a cross between Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez. He has the legs of Tebow and the arm of Sanchez, although slightly better than both of those quarterbacks in both departments.

The Jets cannot afford to rush Smith into playing if they can help it. There will be a ton of fan pressure to start Smith immediately or at the first sign of Sanchez struggling. They cannot bend to that pressure. Smith needs to sit and pay attention to learning the offense. Smith could become a very good quarterback in the NFL but he will need to polish his game before he can excel at the next level.

The Jets should have an intriguing combo with last year’s second rounder, wide receiver Stephen Hill, and Smith. Hill will be a big, fast target for Smith moving forward and Jeremy Kerley is a reliable slot receiver with Santonio Holmes offering a veteran presence as well at receiver. The future of the Jets passing game looks a lot better than the present simply by adding Smith in place of Sanchez. Time will tell if the Jets finally found their franchise quarterback.

The Jets were wise to wait on drafting Smith and focused on adding essential pieces to their defense with their two first round picks. New GM John Idzik is having a fairly solid draft right now, especially if number 13 overall pick Sheldon Richardson develops into a stalwart on the defensive line. The Jets needed new blood at quarterback though but they didn’t reach. Overall this has been a good draft for the Jets so far and Smith could make this draft a great one if he develops into the quarterback they hope he can be.

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