* Geno Smith is a hot topic around the NFL right now. He fired his agents and many people think this makes Geno look bad. Since he didn’t get picked early, he’s trying to play the blame game.
I didn’t think the agents did a good job at all. Geno isn’t without fault, but the whole point in hiring an agent is having someone to guide you through the pre-draft process.
Geno skipping the Senior Bowl was the first major blunder. You can only skip the Senior Bowl if you are an elite prospect that is all but assured of being a Top 10 pick. The agents should have done everything possible to get Geno to Mobile. That would have given him a chance to show what he could do in a pro style offense. It would also have let him spend time around NFL coaches.
Many QBs over the years have benefited from this. Donovan McNabb impressed Jon Gruden in 1999. Philip Rivers impressed Marty Schottenheimer in 2004. Even odd QBs like Jake Locker, Tim Tebow, and Colin Kaepernick benefited from the Senior Bowl. EJ Manuel benefited in a big way this year.
You go there to sell yourself. You show that you’re willing to compete and get into an uncomfortable situation. You show how you can adapt to a new offense in a short time. You can show that you’re coachable.
Not going raises questions. It makes the player look either scared to compete or over-confident. Neither is a good option. It means that the player won’t meet teams until the Combine, which isn’t an ideal setting. Players are tired from medical exams and the crazy set up. The Senior Bowl is more relaxed and everything is football down in Mobile.
Geno had some bad meetings with teams, some at the Combine and some in visits. From the sound of things, he simply hadn’t been prepped on what he needed to do and say. A lot of it should be common sense, but things can be a bit complicated when millions of dollars are on the line.
This doesn’t make Geno a bad guy. It doesn’t mean that he won’t go on to have a great NFL career. Things got off to a rocky start because he either hired the wrong people or wouldn’t listen to their advice. Teams want to be comfortable with a QB when they invest a high pick in him. Drafting the wrong QB can lead to a coach and/or GM getting fired.
This isn’t just about money. The point is that the coach and GM must show that they can choose the right player to lead their organization. Talent is part of that, but brains, work ethic, maturity, tact, and mental/emotional toughness are every bit as important. We know Geno has NFL talent. The other stuff seems like more of a mystery at this point. He can answer a lot of those questions by how he handles things in the coming months.
I hope Geno does well. The NFL needs all the talented passers it can find and Geno has the potential to be a good QB and one that’s fun to watch.
* I am happy that NFL teams showed discipline this year in regard to drafting QBs. It hurts both teams and the players when the guys get over-drafted. That puts undue pressure on them. Guys like Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, and Tyler Wilson won’t be looked at as franchise QBs, but they all have the potential to be starters, whether in 2013 or down the road.
* Was there a better pick than the Ravens getting LB Arthur Brown in the 2nd round? That just feels like a great fit.
* I was surprised to see the Texans take Sam Montgomery to play LB. He looked a bit stiff to me. I thought he was more of a DE than a LB. I do trust Wade Phillips. If he thinks Montgomery can be a LB, who am I to question that.
* If RB Chris Thompson can stay healthy, the Skins are going to have one hell of a running attack. Thompson broke his back in 2011 and tore his ACL in 2012. The reason he was still a 5th round pick is that he has explosive speed. And he’s a tough runner for a small RB. The thought of him and RG3 in the backfield together is scary.
* Tim Tebow is on the street and no team seems to be interested. This isn’t about football. This is about the circus that comes with him. There are plenty of coaches who would like a chance to work with Tebow as a role player. No team wants the attention that he brings. Tebow brings a lot of this on himself. He should shun the media for a while if he wants to stay in the NFL. It would also help if he would tell teams that he’s open to playing H-back.
* What are the Lions going to do at OT? LT Jeff Backus retired. RT Gosder Cherilus left in free agency. Riley Reiff is the projected LT for now. There is no one on the roster that looks like a reliable RT. QB Matt Stafford has elite potential, but he needs protection in order to play up to that potential. I hope the Lions have another move planned.
* It is going to be a lot of fun this year to see what Gus Bradley can do in Jacksonville. He’s got an infectious personality and that is a big part of what that organization needs. Gus will bring over some ideas from Seattle. I’m very curious to see what he can replicate and what he can’t.