NFL Draft 2013: Geno Smith doesn't need the Senior Bowl

USA TODAY Sports

The fact that West Virginia QB Geno Smith isn't participating in the Senior Bowl shouldn't surprise anyone considering recent draft history.

On Tuesday came news that West Virginia's Geno Smith, widely considered the top quarterback prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft, will not participate in the Senior Bowl. That's disappointing news for plenty of draftniks and draft fans, but perhaps it shouldn't be particularly surprising considering the history of the event.

In the past four NFL Drafts, only Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker participated in the Senior Bowl and still managed to find his way in to the top 10. With nowhere for their draft stock to go but down, the top prospects often avoid events like the Senior Bowl and sometimes even the NFL Combine so as to keep their stock as is.

A big reason why many quarterbacks haven't gone to the Senior Bowl is due to the word "senior" itself. Many of the top prospects enter the draft as underclassmen and are ineligible for the seniors-only all-star game. Such was the case for each of the last four players selected first overall.

However, as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III proved to be examples that not participating in the Senior Bowl isn't going to have a negative impact on a player's draft stock, the importance of going to such events has seemingly diminished. The list of recent quarterbacks selected in the first round of the draft includes a number of players who came out prior to their senior season, including Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, and Mark Sanchez.

Prospects like Smith, albeit a senior, don't need the Senior Bowl to convince teams that he is the top passer, he's already done that. It's up to players like NC State's Mike Glennon and Arkansas's Tyler Wilson to prove that they can challenge that top spot.

If they can do so, maybe Smith would be forced to prove his worth at the 2013 NFL Combine. Skipping drills at the Combine has become a regular feature for prospects as well. Bradford, Luck and RGIII all skipped that part of the workout in Indianapolis, opting for a private workout with team representatives and a handful of media members.

1st round QBs Year Pick Senior Bowl?
Sam Bradford 2010 1 No
Josh Freeman 2009 17 No
Blaine Gabbert 2011 10 No
Robert Griffin III 2012 2 No
Jake Locker 2011 8 Yes
Andrew Luck 2012 1 No
Cam Newton 2011 1 No
Christian Ponder 2011 12 Yes
Mark Sanchez 2009 5 No
Matthew Stafford 2009 1 No
Ryan Tannehill 2012 8 No
Tim Tebow 2010 25 Yes
Brandon Weeden 2012 22 Yes
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