Here, Baylor tries to deceive the West Virginia quarterback. The linebackers rush while the defensive ends roll out into coverage. This results in man coverage down the field—the archenemy of defenses facing mobile quarterbacks.
Knowing that the secondary can't afford to have eyes in the backfield and his receivers' routes will pull defensive backs toward the sideline, Smith drops back just long enough to sell the pass, then takes off down the right half of the field.
It's clear that Tavon Austin (No.1) and Smith are on the same page, as Austin stops his route to drag his defender away from the quarterback's running lane.
This is the most demanding pass that a quarterback can throw.
On 3rd-and-6, Smith knows that he needs to make a play (despite West Virginia hammering Clemson by 36 points). Clemson rushes three linemen and tacks on a safety blitz.
Realizing that there's no containment, Smith rolls right and unleashes a 32-yard missile across his body—between two diving defenders—for the first down.
Somebody might ask, "How is that considered "'intangible'?"
Although the escapability and cross-body bullet will trigger the applause (as it should), Smith's decision-making is equally impressive. Knowing the safety beelined in on a blitz, Smith strolled toward the sideline and waited for his receiver to cross the vacated zone that the aforementioned safety would otherwise cover.
And while Smith left the Pinstripe Bowl in defeat, his stats (19-of-28, 201 yards, two touchdowns) bested Ryan Nassib's (11-of-23, 130 yards, two touchdowns, one interception)—another potential first-round quarterback. With an avalanche covering the field, Smith watched the opposing offense churn out 369 rushing yards—the deciding factor of the game.
In his previous bowl—when weather didn't oppress the passing game—Smith (32-of-43, 407 yards, six passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown) spearheaded a West Virginia onslaught that posted 70 points—an Orange Bowl record.
And although Smith didn't hoist the Heisman Trophy, his senior passing stats (71.2 completion percentage, 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns, six interceptions) are comparable to Robert Griffin III's (72.4 completion percentage, 4,293 yards, 37 touchdowns, six interceptions).
Considering the buffet of offensive schemes and conferences, stats are normally rendered worthless when projecting prospects to the big league. But both Smith and Griffin operated spread offenses, in the same conference, one year apart. The caliber of offensive talent surrounding them is comparable, too. And with West Virginia's migration to the Big 12, Smith hadn't ever seen the majority of defenses he faced during his senior campaign, unlike Griffin.
Nobody is claiming that West Virginia's quarterback is better than the 2011 Heisman winner. But, strictly from a passing perspective, Smith's production as a three-year starter is nothing to scoff at.
The Chiefs' stubborn 25-year philosophy of drafting quarterbacks after the first round and dumpster diving for other teams' leftovers hasn't paid off.
Football is personified chess; if you spend a quarter-century being checkmated, it might be time to rethink your strategy. And if not now, then when?
Geno Smith can complete every throw, diagnose every read and puts in more overtime than Walmart's Black Friday payroll. He's also a proven leader.