NEW YORK -- Geno Smith was careful in picking out the ensemble for what he expected to be the biggest night of his life. On Thursday, Smith sported a blue suit and red tie to go with his big sunglasses.
But Smith didn't pack a second set of clothes, because he didn't plan on spending another night at Radio City Music Hall. Luckily, his mother, Tracey Sellers, put together an outfit for him on Friday.
"I picked out one suit and expected to go [Thursday]," Smith said with a grin. "But like I said, it's just a blessing to be here today. I made sure I was going to come out here and continue to represent and wait until my name got called."
Smith had to wait until the No. 39 pick, but the New York Jets finally pulled the trigger on the West Virginia quarterback. As he emerged from the green room and onto the stage at Radio City Music Hall, he was met with a mixed reaction from Jets fans. Boos were mixed in among the chants of "Geno" that rang down from the balcony.
With a white sweater replacing his suit, Smith strolled across the stage with his biggest smile of the weekend. As he approached the commissioner, he wasn't sure exactly what to do.
"I wanted to hug him," Smith said, laughing. "It's just one of those things that you have to go through and you never know what's going to happen."
Smith hugged Roger Goodell before grabbing his green jersey and holding it up for the crowd. The moment wasn't what he dreamed, and it happened 24 hours too late, but Smith is just ready to work.
"I'm not going to sit here and say it's something that I'll use as fuel or extra motivation because I'm already motivated," Smith said.
While Smith spoke about Thursday night's disappointment, he chose to focus on the positives, expressing his joy for two of his long-time friends, Tavon Austin and E.J. Manuel, who were selected Nos. 8 and 16. Manuel and Smith have been competing since high school, but there were no hard feelings when the Florida State quarterback became the first signal caller off the board.
"I just told him I was proud of him, and he deserved it," Smith said. "We've competed for a long time, and we've always talked about being here on this stage and getting drafted. To see him fulfill his dreams was extremely gratifying for me."
As Smith was falling on draft day, he received some encouraging words from Aaron Rodgers, who knows a thing or two about sliding in the NFL Draft. Rodgers, who fell to the No. 25 pick in the 2005 NFL draft, tweeted that Geno should hang in there and that good things happen to those who wait.
"You know what, I watched that draft, and I watched Aaron go through that," Smith said. "You know it's kind of ironic that you see that and then you're put in that position. It was just a test of patience. I'm a patient guy. All of those guys that got picked ahead of me are deserving, so no bitterness towards them or any of those teams."
Smith was rumored to be leaving New York, but he insists it never crossed his mind. Family and friends sent encouraging words to him throughout Thursday night. Smith knew he had to walk across that stage to represent them
Now, Smith will stay in New York even longer. Regardless of the diplomatic nature of his answers, he had fire in his eyes when discussing a potential shot at the Jets' starting quarterback job.
"Right now, I can't speak on that," Smith said.
If this weekend taught Smith one thing, it's that quarterbacks will always be under heavy scrutiny. That's especially true when it comes to New York and Jets football. Again, Smith says he's ready for the challenge.
"I'm proud to be a Jet," Smith said. "I understand it comes with the territory."