Combine: Geno Smith fails to stand out during passing drills
INDIANAPOLIS -- West Virginia's Geno Smith was the most impressive of the 14 quarterbacks who threw at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday, but he did not provide the sparkling performance to seal up the No. 1 overall pick - or even assert himself as the clear-cut top quarterback.
Smith impressed early in the day, clocking in at a 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He was also dynamic in the throwing session at times, hitting receivers in stride on passes which require velocity (slants) and touch (verticals, post-corners). He perfectly placed one post-corner to South Carolina wideout Ace Sanders that drew applause from the scouts and media on-hand. The ball forced Sanders to show another gear, complementing the well-placed pass which led him down the right sideline for a "touchdown."
While Smith flashed the talent to warrant his perch atop NFLDraftScout.com's quarterback rankings, his ball placement was highly inconsistent. A few of Smith's handful of deep balls hung in the air, forcing receivers to slow considerably. He also forced receivers to adjust on several of the shorter routes, including many of the square-ins.
Several NFL talent evaluators in the stands were polled following the day's throwing session. While several characterized Smith as the best of the passers, they hardly lauded praise on the West Virginia quarterback. Asked to grade Smith on a 1-10 scale, Smith received an average score of seven.
Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, the only other quarterback NFLDraftScout.com currently rates as a clear first-round passer, was not able to throw today due to his recovery from a shoulder injury which ended his Trojans career.
Rob Rang is a Senior Analyst for www.NFLDraftScout.com, published by The Sports Xchange.
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