With the No. 39 overall pick in second round of the 2013 NFL draft, the New York Jets selected West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith. Smith is the No. 20 overall prospect and top-rated quarterback in this year's draft class, according to SB Nation's Dan Kadar.
Smith, 22, saw a little bit of playing time during his freshman season but primarily played as the backup to starter Jarrett Brown before taking over as the full-time starter for the Mountaineers as a sophomore in 2010. In the high-flying WVU offense, Smith put up prolific stats, accumulating 8,590 yards, 73 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his final two seasons.
For a while there, it was tough to imagine a way Geno Smith wouldn't win the Heisman. Dana Holgorsen's strategy was easy enough: take a quarterback who can probably hit more throws than all but a few quarterbacks in college, surround him with elite wide receivers, and go full Air Raid. It nearly worked. Smith was a damn vision in 2012, lighting up defenses week after week, rising to be the No. 5 team in the country after a 5-0 start.
There were a few "bad" outings sprinkled in, but what doomed Smith's Heisman candidacy wasn't Smith, but a defense that couldn't keep up as the 70-63 wins turned into 50-49 losses. Smith will take some of the blame for not leading his team to victory on those games, but how much more was he supposed to do?
His fever-dream slinging made West Virginia a contender, if ever so briefly. His shootout victories at Baylor and Texas -- combined stats of 914 yards, 12 touchdowns, no picks -- were passing porn, his shootout losses to TCU and Oklahoma were just as fun to watch, even if the result was slightly different. West Virginia's 7-6 record shouldn't sully the insanity of Smith's passing efficiency in 2012.
Smith will be expected to compete for the starting job in New York from Day 1. Despite signing Mark Sanchez to a big contract last year, it is no secret that the organization is disappointed in the quarterback. He was benched late last season after throwing 18 interceptions to just 13 touchdowns. There is no reason Smith can't immediately make an impact.
In a prospect profile on SB Nation, the following were listed as positives for Smith:
At 6'3 and 220 pounds, Smith has the ideal frame for an NFL quarterback. He has a strong arm, and displayed pinpoint accuracy on the deep ball. Despite defenses keying on the West Virginia passing attack and relentlessly pressuring him, Smith hardly missed a meaningful snap in three years as the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers. He's not fast, but he has sufficient elusiveness and quickness to avoid the pass rush.
Weight: 218 pounds
Hand size: 9.25 inches
40-yard dash: 4.56 seconds
Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
During his senior season, Smith began the year red-hot with 24 touchdowns and no interceptions as the Mountaineers got out to a 5-0 start, including eight touchdowns and 656 yards passing in a 70-63 victory over Baylor. However, the team followed the five-game win streak with a five-game losing streak that ended any Heisman Trophy talk.
Still, Smith finished the season with 71.2 percent of his passes completed for 4,198 yards, 42 touchdowns and six interceptions to end the year with the fifth-best passer rating in the nation.