TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT CHIEFSPLANET NOW YOU ****ING STUPID BASTARD! YOU, ****ING BASTARD!
AUSTIN, Texas -- Geno Smith is the real deal.
That opinion should certainly not surprise anyone who read the piece I penned last week comparing Smith to USC's Matt Barkley, but it was validated by the way the Heisman Trophy hopeful worked his magic against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night.
Brooks: Matt Barkley vs. Geno Smith
Which college QB would go first if the 2013 NFL Draft were held now: Matt Barkley or Geno Smith? Bucky Brooks examines. More ...
Smith completed 25 of 35 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns in leading West Virginia to a 48-45 victory. Those numbers fell short of the ridiculous output he posted in the Mountaineers' win over a Baylor a week ago, but they were indicative of Smith's workmanlike performance against a top-15 team.
Every Monday, NFL.com college football expert Bucky Brooks looks back on the weekend action and evaluates which prospects are rising and which are sliding.
Watching Smith from field level, I was impressed by his diverse all-around game and his ability to make plays from the pocket against a fierce pass rush. He never flinched under duress, and his willingness to stand and deliver with defenders in close proximity spoke volumes about his toughness. In addition, he showed tremendous grit and determination by leading the Mountaineers to victory in a hostile environment.
Now that I've had a day or so to reflect on Smith and his performance Saturday, I've identified three aspects of his game that really stood out to me:
1) Leadership: I have no concerns about Smith's leadership skills after what I saw Saturday. From the time the Mountaineers entered the field for pregame warmups until the conclusion of the game, Smith showed outstanding leadership qualities. He encouraged his teammates at every turn, refusing to hang his head when he turned the ball over on a pair of strip-sacks. Smith was obviously annoyed by the mistakes, but he didn't appear to wallow in self-pity, responding instead with improved play on the subsequent series.
2) Poise: Great quarterbacks are unflappable in moments of stress, and Smith clearly handled himself well. He took a beating at the hands of the Longhorns' defensive line, but his game in the pocket never changed. Smith consistently delivered accurate throws to his intended receivers, despite having rushers in close proximity. He refused to wilt under the pressure of constant harassment, and his courage under fire helped West Virginia make several critical conversions with the game on the line. Smith tossed three lasers to Stedman Bailey on slants for scores, despite having defenders in his face each time he released the ball; on each toss, he stood in and took the shot while making an accurate throw. Most quarterbacks alter their release point or delivery with contact on the horizon, but Smith's ability to fire an accurate strike under duress was a testament to his courage and poise.
3) Accuracy and anticipation: Many assume that a quarterback with a gaudy completion percentage is the product of a system predicated on making easy throws like bubble screens and swings. The Mountaineers certainly incorporate such concepts in their playbook, but I was impressed with Smith's ability to excel on intermediate throws from the pocket. He consistently delivered pinpoint passes to his receivers on short posts, square-outs and seams. I loved his rhythm as a passer and his ability to quickly transition from play-fake to delivery without skipping a beat. This skill will help him acclimate quickly to the pro game; he already understands how to reposition his feet in the pocket to make throws, so adjusting to three-, five- and seven-step drops will not be a problem.
Smith also displayed fine awareness and anticipation while throwing his receivers into open areas. He repeatedly led wideouts away from defenders, and pinpoint placement prevented tips or deflections at the second level. Smith consequently avoided throwing any interceptions against a defense that maintained tight coverage for most of the night. On the season, Smith has thrown 24 touchdown passes to zero interceptions.
Conclusion: Smith just might be the best quarterback in college football after his impressive showing against the Longhorns. He has all of the physical tools you look for at the position, in addition to the intangibles one needs to be great at the next level. The season is far from over, but it's hard to find a hotter prospect in the 2013 draft class than Smith at this point.
**** off you stupid ****ing bastard.