The New York Jets needed a change at Quarterback going into the 2013 season. With only names like Carson Palmer, Matt Flynn and Matt Cassel available, the Jets decided to gamble on drafting one. The 2013 Draft was not filled with many sure things at any positions and particularly at the QB position. The first seven picks and 11 of the first 14 were all Lineman and only one offensive skilled player was taken in the top 15.
Geno Smith was thought to be a possibility at number one overall during the end of the college football season, but a poor showing at the combine by all Quarterbacks changed the thinking of many teams. With the 16th pick, the Buffalo Bills decided to take a young QB, but it wasn’t Smith. Instead, they drafted E.J. Manuel out of Florida State and Smith remained through the end of Day 1.
On Day 2, the Jets spent the 39th overall on Smith and announced that it would be an open competition with he and incumbent starter Mark Sanchez. After Sanchez suffered a season ending shoulder injury in the preseason, the job was awarded to Smith from day 1. His numbers were well below average, but the Jets were 3-2 through their first five games and the surprise of the league.
However, since then the Jets have gone 2-5 and Smith has regressed every game. In his last seven games, Smith has thrown only one TD and has been picked off 11 times. In his last four games, Smith has failed to complete 50 percent of his passes in any of them and has been benched in two of the last three.
Two weeks ago against Buffalo, Smith was benched in a 37-14 loss in favor of rookie Matt Simms. Simms went 4-6 with a TD in garbage time replacing Smith, albeit against a prevent defense. On Sunday against Miami, Jets Coach Rex Ryan didn’t wait that long to make the switch. Down 6-0 at halftime, he put Simms in for Smith. At that point Smith was 4-for-10 with an interception and was being booed by Jets fans after every failed possession. Simms didn’t play much better but the offense was able to at least move down the field. He finished 9-for-18 for 79 yards and an interception.
With the Jets losing to division-rival Miami 23-3 at home, the question remains will Smith ever play QB for the Jets again? They are still technically in the playoff hunt, but it is very unlikely they can make a run and grab one of the Wild Card Spots. Smith seems to have worn out his welcome a lot quicker than Sanchez did and would not have been a second-round pick any other year.
With the 2014 NFL Draft likely being headlined by Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Brett Hundley, the Jets could begin the rebuilding process early. Any one of those guys would be immediate upgrades over Smith and Sanchez, but all will be gone in the first round. If the Jets want a chance to get either Bridgewater or Mariota, they will likely need to finish in the top 10, which won’t happen with a 7-9 record. The best thing for the franchise would be to move on from Smith now, give Simms a chance to show he can be a backup QB and punt the rest of the season. Nobody wants to talk about teams throwing games, but it looks like the Jets have already started looking towards 2014 anyways.