STRENGTHS - Maintaining poise and patience vs rush in pocket, Smith does not panic when pressured. He has consistently shown a willingness to throw the ball away to avoid pressure and will not force passes into bad spots. Nimble and quick footed, Smith moves easily within the pocket to avoid pressure and can escape pocket when needed. Not only can Smith put the ball down and make big plays running with the ball, but he shows the body control and coordination to make accurate throws on the move even when he cannot re-set his feet. While Smith does not have rare arm strength, he definitely has a strong arm to make every NFL throw with ease. He has shown the ability to make the far-side 15 yard out throw with excellent zip without setting feet and striding into throw. Although his throwing motion is not pretty or consistent, he has consistently shown the quickness to get rid of the ball fast on quick hitting passes. Similar to Andrew Luck and RGIII, Smith is exceptionally smart with great intangibles/character and work ethic.
WEAKNESSES - While not at the same low level as Jake Locker, Smith accuracy is not great. Of the following QB's (Tyler Bray, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones and E.J. Manuel), Smith accuracy was the lowest when charted out. His quick hitting passes tended to dip in front of receiver at times and when he had to put a lot of zip on throws, but did not set feet and stride into throw his passes tended to float and be high. Although he flashes the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, Smith's footwork and delivery/mechanics are not tight and efficient. Too often his throwing mechanics look different on every pass and he often throws without good foot placement. On key conversion downs (3rd & 4th down & less than 10 when the play begins as a pass play) he only converted 51% of the time, which again was the lowest of the group of QB's listed above.
SUMMARY - Based on all the great things NFL scouts told me about Geno's character, leadership, work ethic and intangibles, I was very excited to evaluate his play. While he impressed me with his athleticism, strong arm and most impressive his ability to avoid mistakes, his footwork/mechanics, conversion rate and inconsistent accuracy kept me from giving him a first round grade. I have no doubt that in terms of physical skills, arm strength and athleticism, Smith is elite, but quarterbacks with accuracy issues often struggle to become consistent starters in the NFL. Overall, I have no doubt that Geno Smith will be a first round pick because of his physical skills and outstanding intangibles, but I would not draft him until the second round. I believe he will be a solid starting quarterback who rarely makes mistakes, but constantly struggles with accuracy issues. He will need to improve his footwork, both dropping back to pass and in terms of his mechanics, and accuracy to become the elite quarterback many expect him to be.