New York Jets: Is Rookie QB Geno Smith Ready to be NFL Starter?

By Connor Muldowney
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith was a highly-touted projected first-round pick coming out of the 2013 NFL Combine and a very successful 2012 regular season statistics-wise at West Virginia.

Smith was easily supposed to be a top-10 pick in the draft, but after a few teams with quarterback needs passed on him, he fell all the way to the No. 39 overall slot. Some may say that the New York Jets got a steal in Smith, but others would tell you that his talent isn’t worth the baggage that comes with it.

The Jets are one of the biggest disappointments from 2012, and a big reason for that is Mark Sanchez‘s mediocre play at quarterback. Not to mention the whole Tim Tebow show that rolled into town for a year and then abruptly left, contributing nothing to the offense– Rex Ryan was mostly to blame for his lack of performance and playing time.

The question remains, is Geno Smith ready to step in and start if things begin to go awry with Sanchez?

We all know Sanchez is bound to mess things up like he is so good at, but Smith will need to be game-ready and prepared to take over the reigns. He is an extremely accurate passer, but one of his biggest criticisms– as there are many– is the fact that most of his solid completion percentage from his senior season(71.2) came from shorter passes.

While that’s not exactly a bad thing, it begs the question, is the accuracy the same on deep-balls? Sure, nickel-and-diming isn’t a terrible thing, but when putting together a two-minute offense at the end of games, this lack of long-balls could be a problem.

Is he ready for the NFL and media attention that New York brings? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure: this kid has a lot of growing up to do if he even wants to be considered for the starting gig.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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