Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki, who called Cam Newton a “fraud” and a “con-artist,” is back with another…interesting…review of a black quarterback. His assessment of Geno Smith was quite harsh, claiming the West Virginia star is “not a student of the game,” “does not command respect from teammates” and “did not show an understanding of concepts.” Ouch.
Not a student of the game. Nonchalant field presence — does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire. Mild practice demeanor — no urgency. Not committed or focused — marginal work ethic. Interviewed poorly at the Combine and did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board. Opted not to compete at the Senior Bowl and has approached offseason training as if he has already arrived and it shows in his body with minimal muscle definition or strength. Has small hands and glaring ball security issues (32 career fumbles). Really struggled handling the snow in Pinstripe Bowl (took two safeties) and will be troubled by the elements. Needed to be coddled in college — cannot handle hard coaching.
Nawrocki, purely coincidentally we’re sure, described Smith as a cross between two black quarterbacks, Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks.
A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities.
Comparing Smith’s assessment with that of golden boy Matt Barkley provides interesting reading. Nawrocki gives Barkley the benefit of the doubt for having a “leaky, injured offensive line.” Smith receives no credit for facing an entirely new slate of tougher conference opponents. Barkley losing three of his four final starts went unmentioned. Smith’s team losing six of his final eight was. Smith having two playmakers at wide out was mentioned as crucial to how much success he had. No mention of Barkley throwing to Woods and Lee.
Nawrocki’s take on Smith differed from assessments made of Smith when he was, you know, playing football. His leadership qualities were praised. His “gifted” intelligence was a running story throughout the season. His former quarterback coach said “I’ve never seen anybody study harder with the tape than he does.”
NFL Draft Analysis can be the absolute worst.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]