There always seemed to be some doubt about West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, at least among some in the media. They had Smith as the top quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft, but kept all quarterbacks of the first round of initial mock drafts. Following his pro day workout Thursday, many of those same analysts are effusive in their praise.
On Path to the Draft on Thursday, NFL Network's Mike Mayock called Smith's timing and accuracy during his workout "phenomenal," and that "There's no doubt that from a talent level, he's a top 10 pick."
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay sung his praises on SportsCenter and said league sources told him Smith won't make it out of the top 10. In my pre-free agency mock draft, Smith went to the Arizona Cardinals with the seventh pick.
Along with Arizona, there are a few teams picking in the top 10 that could be after Smith. As I noted a couple weeks ago, those teams include the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills.
At Smith's pro day, the Jaguars sent a contingent featuring head coach Gus Bradley, general manager David Caldwell, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, president Mark Lamping, senior vice president Tony Khan and director of player personnel Terry McDonough. With that many top decision makers, it's safe to say the Jaguars have at least some level of interest in Smith.
Jacksonville met with him so long after the work out that Smith was initially late for his media session afterward, Rob Rang of CBS Sports points out. Jim Corbett of USA Today reports that Bradley and Smith broke down game film for 90 minutes on Thursday.
The Bills sent general manager Buddy Nix and will bring Smith to Buffalo on March 22.
ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworkski was in attendance and said several of the coaches and personnel men "gasped" after Smith hit on some throws.
"It was a clean workout," Jaworski said on Mike & Mike in the Morning Friday. "I thought Geno did all the little things that will help his stock rise in the NFL. There is no doubt he has a big-time NFL arm."
A new suitor for Smith may be the Philadelphia Eagles. On Monday, the Eagles had head coach Chip Kelly, owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman privately work Smith out. The West Virginia product said they had him throw 100 passes, many on the move, and worked him in the classroom.
"We think he's a heck of a prospect," Eagles senior adviser Tom Donahoe told Corbett.