Fantasy Impact: New York Jets Select Geno Smith
The New York Jets drafted Geno Smith with the 39th selection in the 2013 NFL draft. Smith can now breathe a big sigh of relief as he’s freed from the green room into a Jets green uniform. Let the debate begin on when he’ll get a shot to revive the struggling New York franchise.
Smith starred in Dana Holgorsen’s Air Raid offense at West Virginia. His numbers improved throughout his career for the Mountaineers culminating in a phenomenal senior season in which he threw 42 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
The 6’2″, 218 pound quarterback has NFL arm strength and very good accuracy when throwing from a clean pocket. Smith is a pocket passer first but showed his athleticism at the Scouting Combine running a 4.59 in the 40. Within Holgorsen’s offense he was able to display quick and effective decision making. He was able to identify the correct receiver and deliver the football on time. Perhaps more importantly he had complete control at the line of scrimmage and was able to read prepackaged plays that involve both run and pass options.
There are concerns on how Smith’s skills will translate to the NFL level. In college he was almost exclusively in the shotgun. He was also throwing to wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, both highly rated NFL prospects, who would make many quarterbacks look impressive.
Smith’s footwork is sloppy at times leading to inconsistent accuracy and then there’s the Air Raid system question. Air Raid quarterbacks haven’t excelled at the NFL level yet. However, as more and more colleges run spread offenses this seems to be less and less of a concern.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference
Fantasy Impact: The big question here is how fast will Smith get on the field? The second is if it’s better for him to play early or sit and learn? Most would agree that the Jets will struggle to win games this season. Based on that premise, I think you’ll see Geno Smith on the field for New York by the end of the year. He’s polished, understands coverages, and will lead the offense, which Mark Sanchez has struggled to do. From a redraft perspective I wouldn’t expect much from Smith. If he can take over the starting job there’s still the fact that the Jets offense is void of playmakers. In dynasty leagues Geno has a chance to develop into a solid low-end fantasy starter with time. But don’t get your hopes up for any RG3 or Andrew Luck numbers anytime soon and maybe not ever.