NFL Draft Player Profile: Geno Smith

In the 24 hours leading up to the NFL Draft, has there been a player that is as hard to place as West Virginia’s Geno Smith?

With mock draft experts projection Smith as high as a second-round, to even slipping out of the top 10, Geno Smith is a puzzling prospect. While several teams inside of the top ten need a quarterback, Smith has not overwhelmed the scouts with his off-season performances. Smith has also started to be mentioned behind players like USC’s Matt Barkley and Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib. In fact his criticism has instigated a Twitter war of sorts. Smith was asked about this so-called social media battle on Wednesday.

“I don’t want to take away from the draft process. But I know how to be a competitor. I know how to fire back when I feel it is necessary.”

The continued criticism is almost sure to fuel Smith even more than he already has been. In fact the receiver has mentioned that it might make him play with more of a chip on his shoulder than he might have otherwise.

“I think that’s something that everyone should have,” said Smith about the proverbial chip on his shoulder. “Everyone should have that mentality. People overblow stuff that shouldn’t be in my opinion, and they just need to go out there and do their job.”

While Smith may not be a top ten pick, he figures to be the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. Smith responded to the possibility of being the first QB taken.

“It’d be an honor. I respect all of these other [quarterbacks]. Even if I’m not, I respect all of these guys and won’t be bitter about not being drafted first because there’s always another day.”

Another West Virginia play, not named Austin or Smith, will be drafted this weekend. Wide Receiver Stedman Bailey, a long-time friend of Geno Smith, is one of the most underrated prospects available in this year’s draft. Smith spoke on the subject of being in the same draft class as his good friend.

“It means a lot. He’s a guy that’s been by my side for ten year now. Started playing out here at the sandlot, went to the same high school and college, and now we’re here at the NFL Draft. For both of us, we are having our NFL dreams come true and our families are very proud of us. It just means to the both of us.”

“His on-field production speaks for itself. He has scored more than 40 TD’s in two years and that’s more than most running backs. You can’t be great and do that. He’s doing it against the best corners too. People want to look at his height/weight, but when you put the pads on, he’s one of the best receivers to play the game.”

West Virginia is sure to produce a number of difference makers in 2013, with Smith being chief among them. There is still much speculation regarding where he will wind up, but expect Smith to be the first signal caller to hear his name called at Radio City Music Hall come Thursday.

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