Geno Smith takes 1st-team reps in Jets OTAs

USA TODAY Sports

Is the rookie going to be ready to step in as starter by Week 1? He could be taking an early lead.

The competition to be the Jets starting quarterback could likely stretch deep into the preseason, but as we approach June and then training camps it looks like we could have an early leader. Rex Ryan says that Smith has been working with the first-team offense in OTAs after having "flipped those guys in earlier practices," according to the NY Daily News' Manish Mehta.

"Those guys" likely refers to Smith and incumbent starter Mark Sanchez. While New York did just use their second-round selection on Smith, after he had previously been projected to go as high as No. 1 overall to the Chiefs, Sanchez would seem to have an inside track on the job given his experience and a contract that could compel New York to get as much out of him this season as they possibly can. But Ryan likely also knows that he is on the hot seat this year and would like to start the best man for the job.

With Tim Tebow released and David Garrard retired, and with reports that Matt Simms has surpassed Greg McElroy on the depth chart for third-string duties, the competition has likely boiled down to Sanchez versus Smith. During OTAs, Smith is at least getting a fair shot to show it should be him with first-team reps. Whether or not he holds that position likely won't be known for a little while longer.

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