Quarterback Geno Smith won’t be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft but at the West Virginia Pro Day on Thursday, he showed scouts his wide range of talents along with the rest of the former West Virginia players.
Since Smith finished the NFL Combine with solid running numbers, he focused mainly on throwing, to show the scouts his arm. During the passing drills, he threw 65 times and completed 60-of-64 passes. One deep pass was caught in the netting inside the dome. Many scouts were impressed that Smith could make every NFL throw and that he looked very calm and confident throughout the drills.
In addition to his arm, Smith was eager to show scouts his improved footwork, ability to throw on the run, mobility inside the pocket and ability to take snaps under center. This was an important piece of the Pro Day for Smith since he didn’t have much of a chance to show these skills during the season, under West Virginia’s fast-paced, pass first offense. He had no problem in either of these drills and many scouts left feeling he could be a top five pick in the upcoming draft.
Smith finished his day meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars and confirmed he has workouts scheduled with at least a dozen other NFL teams leading up to the draft. The Buffalo Bills will meet with Smith March 22.
His main two wide receivers in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, made it easier on Smith during drills, and the Pro Day gave his receivers a chance to show off their talents too.
Austin, who set a school record with 2,910 all-purpose yards this season, decided not to run at the Pro Day since his 4.34 40-yard dash was good for second at the Combine. His main goal was to show the scouts his speed and ability to catch the ball.
The 5’8″, 174 pound wide receiver didn’t drop one pass and was extremely quick on a few deep throws from Smith. He was so fast on a few throws, he had to slow down in order to make the catch.
Austin could very well be selected in the top 20 due to his solid Combine and Pro Day.
Stedman Bailey on the other hand, didn’t benefit from the Pro Day. He clocked an unofficial 4.51 40-yard dash and dropped two balls during the passing drills. While it’s not likely to hurt him due to the fact he was a solid pass catcher all year, scouts were looking for a clean day from Bailey and didn’t get it.
Bailey remains a player to be drafted somewhere in the third or fourth round.
Other Mountaineer players that participated in the Pro Day included Joe Madsen, J.D. Woods and Josh Francis.
Linebacker Josh Francis gained the most from the Pro Day, recording a 4.67 40-yard dash, a 4.29 20-yard shuttle, a 11.98 60-yard shuttle and a 7.06 in three cone shuttle. The most impressive part was the 40 time for Francis and he knew it. After the 40, he ran by the scouts in attendance and said “I got paid!”
He impressed in his strength as well, finishing with 25 bench reps which will also help his draft stock.
Francis broke out this season for the Mountaineers and was a big factor for them on defense. He finished the season with 4.5 sacks and made noticeable improvement as a two year starter for West Virginia, after transferring from a junior college.
Francis very well could have solidified himself as a player that will get drafted, even if it’s late in the seventh round.
Center Joe Madsen competed hard as well, even though he wasn’t as busy. The All-Big East first team lineman finished with a vertical of 27″ and a broad jump of 8’10”. He didn’t participate in other drills due to a successful Combine.
The 6’4″ 305 pound lineman will either be a late round selection or a premier free agent following the NFL Draft.
Wide receiver J.D. Woods was a Mountaineer who took a step back with his Pro Day results. He ran an unofficial 4.58 40 when most team were looking for a time in the high 4.4’s or even a low 4.5. The chances of Woods getting drafted doesn’t look promising following his performance.
Other results for Woods included a 4.37 20-yard shuttle, 11.31 60-yard shuttle, 9’5″ broad jump and a 31.5″ vertical.
Lastly, former Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White was in attendance and worked out for the scouts following the former West Virginia players.
White, a former Mountaineer, was released by the Dolphins prior to the 2010 season. He currently has an offer to play for the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, but would prefer to see if he has any NFL interest first.
White spent the past month working with guru George Whitfield, who also has tutored quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones.
Watch the video of Stedman Bailey talking to reporters following his Pro Day below.
Tags: 2013 Nfl Draft Andrew Luck Ben Roethlisberger Cam Newton Geno Smith J.D Woods Joe Madsen Josh Francis Landry Jones Miami Dolphins Oklahoma Pat White Stedman Bailey Tavon Austin West Virginia Pro Day