CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Will Kansas City select Geno Smith as the No. 1 draft pick?
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-Ray Lewis may have retired.
But, the game goes on.
And, before we can start bouncing basketballs and filling out brackets for March Madness, discussion about the 2013 NFL Draft have already begun.
Why? Because, last year’s draft produced three outstanding rookie quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III, the 2012 Rookie of the Year, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson, all whom made the playoffs.
For this reason alone, this year’s top quarterback prospects have a tough act to follow and a lot of pressure to perform instantly in their rookie season.
Leading the pack is Oklahoma’s Laundry Jones, USC’s Matt Barkley, the Wolfpacks’ Mike Glennon, who replaced Russell Wilson at NC State, and West Virginia’s Geno Smith.
And while most of the attention has been placed on Jones and Barkley, Geno Smith has a lot of NFL scouts chatting and taking notes, especially after his impressive 2012 season, were he completed 32 out 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns against the Marshall Thundering Herd on opening day.
Then, on the second game of the year, he threw for 411 yards and completed 34 passes out of 39 attempts with five touchdowns against James Madison, becoming the all-time leader for career passing yards in school history, by passing Marc Bulger’s total of 8,191 yards.
But that was just the beginning.
Because, in week 4, Smith did the unthinkable with his performance against Baylor in a 70–63 win, where he threw for an unbelievable 656 yards,8 TDs, with 45 completions (all three Mountaineer records), and only six incompletions.
And in his final regular season game as a Mountaineer, he dazzled football fans again with his accuracy, by completing 23–of–24 passes for 407 yards along with three touchdowns in a spectacular performance against Kansas in 59-16 victory, before winning the 2012 Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers in a 70-33 rout , which he tied three individual bowl records: most touchdown passes (six), most touchdowns overall (seven) and total points (42). Plus, his 401 yards passing broke Tom Brady‘s Orange Bowl record of 396 that he set in 2000 while at Michigan.
With his big arm, athleticism and accuracy, if selected the No.1 overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, who are in desperate need of a quarterback, Smith could be the fourth African-American quarterback to accomplish this feat in NFL history.
The QB’s, who are members of this elusive club include Michael Vick, who was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, JeMarcus Russell, the 2007 selection of the Oakland Raiders and Cam Newton, who was selected by the Carolina Panthers in 2011.
With Smith displaying so much talent, he could be Andy Reid’s, the new head coach of Kansas City Chiefs, version of Michael Vick.
USC’s Matt Barkley, on the other hand, who heading in the 2012 NCAA season was the consensus top QB prospect before undergoing shoulder surgery, must try to remove the USC’s quarterback curse of “being good but not good enough” which have plagued USC quarterbacks like 2002 Heisman Trophy winner, now Oakland Raider, Carson Palmer, 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, Matt Leinart, who also plays for the Raiders and NY Jets Mark Sanchez.
Along with Barkley and Smith, key quarterbacks to keep a close eye on are EJ Manuel (Florida State), Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) and Ryan Nassib (Syracuse).