The last few weeks haven't been kind to Geno Smith. After falling to the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Smith fired his agent and has been faced with criticism from the media. So it should have been a relief for him to hit the field for Jets rookie minicamp on Friday. Unfortunately, the struggles and criticism continued for the former West Virginia quarterback.
Smith struggled in his first day at practice and was his biggest critic, giving himself an "F" for his performance, according to USA Today. Others thought Smith may have been being a bit hard on himself, as he usually is. Regardless of how far he fell in the draft, Smith is the most pro-ready quarterback to come out of this class. Here's what Gang Green Nation had to say about the news.
Nobody in the media agreed with the numbers on Geno, and with his first practice it really doesn't matter. He gave himself an F (he is notoriously harsh on himself), however others said he progressed through his reads well and delivered the ball well. A couple of footwork errors and one mis-read.
In other rookie minicamp news, the Chicago Bears have first-round pick Kyle Long lined up at right guard to start his career, according to the Chicago Tribune. Long's versatility is one of the biggest reasons that he managed to climb into the first round. While he has some developing to do, his ability to play multiple positions gives him a chance to contribute right away on an offensive line that needs help.
Meanwhile, the 49ers opened up rookie minicamp and got a look at player that isn't expected to make an immediate impact. Running back Marcus Lattimore worked out, and coach Jim Harbaugh was encouraged by what he saw, according to the Sacaramento Bee. However, Harbaugh mentioned that the team will be cautious in terms of allowing Lattimore to make cuts in order to make sure his knee heals fully.
Lattimore has a promising NFL future if he manages to stay on the field. He landed in the perfect situation, as San Francisco does not need to rush him into action. With an already deep stable of running backs, the 49ers are in position to allow Lattimore to get fully healthy and regain his old form before giving him too much responsibility in the offense. The folks over at Niners Nation mentioned that Lattimore would have no problem sitting out the entire 2013 season if that's the direction the team decides to take.
Another rookie that appears to be a ways away from making an impact in the NFL is Dallas Cowboys third-round pick J.J. Wilcox. The former Georgia Southern safety presented a significant amount of upside as the second night of the draft came to a close, but Cowboys defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Wilcox is light years away from being an NFL contributor.
While Wilcox showed off his range and physicality often at Georgia Southern, playing against a lower level of competition will force him to play catch-up in the early part of his career. He still figures to develop into a key piece of the Cowboys' secondary moving forward. It's May, and Wilcox has plenty of time to get ready before the season kicks off.