After three weeks of the college football season, it’s apparent that what we thought we knew was wrong. I had penciled in USC as a participant in the national title game, but they showed some serious flaws against Stanford. One seemingly sure thing over the last couple of years has been West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who has now taken his abilities to the Big 12, along with the rest of the Mountaineers.
Smith has been a big time playmaker ever since his sophomore season with West Virginia when he passed for 2,763 yards and 24 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. Last season, the junior tossed for 4,385 yards and 31 touchdowns, again with only seven interceptions. As a senior, Smith looks poised to shatter those numbers. He’s already thrown nine touchdown passes in just two games, and is completing 88 percent of his passes. His start to the season reminds me a lot of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III from last year.
Smith is a definite Heisman front-runner at this point, especially after Matt Barkley’s lack-luster performance against Stanford. With an open race for the Heisman Trophy, I think there should also be an open race for the number one overall pick, and Smith’s name should be included. He doesn’t run a pro-style offense at West Virginia, but the NFL is moving toward the “Pass ’til you drop” sort of mentality, and Smith fits that perfectly.
He is an excellent passer, but more than that, he makes smart decisions and is able to make plays. He’s probably not going to run a 4.35 second 40 yard dash like Griffin, but he’s no slouch in terms of running with the football, and has a rushing touchdown this season to go along with 83 rushing yards. His ability to make plays with his feet and make strong throws is really enticing for NFL scouts.
If you’re talking about potential top picks for the 2013 NFL Draft, I don’t think you can leave Geno Smith out of the conversation any longer. He is for real, and he’s been doing this longer than most college quarterbacks. He’s completed over 65 percent of his career passes, and he has thrown only 14 interceptions in 973 attempts over the last three years.
That’s incredible, and you’d better bet he’s one of college football’s best kept secrets, despite how prolific he’s been.