NEPD Editor: James Christensen
Geno Smith came into this game as our number one quarterback prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft. If it were possible to do so, we’d like to move him up even further.
Mountaineer receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin also put on a show, and the Baylor Bears offense with the dynamic Terrance Williams wasn’t far behind.
Read on to see how these vaunted offensive draft prospects looked on tape.
#12 QB Geno Smith
-Playing out of the “Pistol” formation.
-Throwing a beautiful ball, has plus arm strength.
-Nice high release, classic throwing style.
-Goes through two reads, hits his third option underneath.
-Looks very comfortable with trash at his feet – strong enough to shrug off some would be tacklers.
-Can tuck and run with the ball – has some elusiveness and speed but it is his last option.
-Effective selling play-action, really holds the defense.
-Reads cover three and finds the receiver in the soft spot.
-Reads cover zero, tucks the ball and gains 15 easy yards.
-Hits Austin on skinny post, obscenely small window – so accurate.
-Throws off his back foot in the face of pressure, still accurate with perfect placement and arm strength to spare.
-Works from left to right, hits third progression – put ball in a nice spot.
-Effortless 50-yard flick, hits receiver in stride on deep post.
-Keeps his eyes down the field while escaping pocket, finds open WR in the back of the end zone.
-Shows arm strength throwing from the left hash to outside the numbers, ball didn’t drop.
-Perfect touch on fade route, couldn’t place it any better.
-First poor throw of the day, tries to force it into double coverage over the middle.
-Sees quarters coverage, on the same page with receiver as he sits down in front of safety.
-Throws a fastball underneath, whistles it through Austin’s hands – needs to tone that one down.
-Patient in the pocket, could have ran for a few yards but delivers a beautiful deep ball for a TD.
-Phenomenal touch – leads receivers with unreal precision down the field.
-Leads Austin a little too much, has to dive for the ball.
-Telegraphs the pass a bit, throws the ball on inside shoulder, knocked down by CB.
-Works left to right, hits third read on the sideline with pretty ball.
-Doing a fantastic job of spreading the ball around to his array of weapons.
-Deep ball thrown a yard too deep, receiver looked like he was held.
-Tucks ball, finds the sticks and smartly slides.
-Very nice footwork, always seems to be in balance as he moves.
-Another effortless flick right into the awaiting arms of his WR in the back of the end zone – tons of time.
Overview: Geno Smith is having an incredible season and this was no different. His accuracy was unreal (more TD’s than incompletions), regardless of how long he had to throw or how talented his receivers are. He is still our #1 QB for the 2013 NFL Draft. His coaches and teammates talk endlessly about his pursuit of perfection – he might be closing in. I understand the criticism of the Pistol offense, but I think it is off base. These aren’t prescribed throws, he makes two or three reads multiple times during this game – moving long to short, left to right, and right to left. Like Robert Griffin III, I think Smith can be successful right away in the NFL.
#1 WR Tavon Austin
-Lining up as slot receiver, also returning kicks and punts.
-Takes flick from Smith on end around, shows unreal acceleration getting to the edge.
-Makes tough catch with corner on his back.
-Very elusive with the ball, sharp cuts and gets back up to speed very quickly.
-Willing to throw blocks, even with his small size gets some push.
-Fearless over the middle, makes a great catch going to the ground with three defenders around him.
-Sells his moves, gets separation very easily.
-Makes two miss in the open field – so shifty, makes it look simple.
-Very dangerous as a kick returner – lightning in a bottle.
-Quick in route, runs out of an ankle tackle and takes it 50 yards to the house – not going to catch him.
-Durability is going to be a concern, got nicked up a bit and is pretty small.
-Ball rifles through his hands, wasn’t quite ready as he turned.
-Adjusts route after being covered by linebacker, gets open deep and hauls in long touchdown.
-Fantastic diving catch on the goal line, snags the ball out of the air.
Overview: Austin is small, but he is a player that can win against man coverage consistently at the next level. Unlike a guy like Wes Welker, his elite speed makes it even more difficult to cover his route possibilities. His ability to contribute on special teams only enhances his value.
-#3 WR Stedman Bailey
-Playing a variety of receiver positions, also returning kicks.
-Strong seal block on end around.
-Beats corner on stutter-go, draws pass interference penalty.
-Physical with the ball in his hand, dragging tacklers for extra yardage.
-Bobbles ball on kickoff return.
-Unselfish, pitches ball back to Austin on kickoff return and throws a block.
-Another solid job blocking on jet sweep, engages the defender and sustains.
-Gets over the top on deep post, perfect over the shoulder catch – tracked the ball very well.
-Spikes the ball after touchdown, draws a dumb penalty.
-Keeps his route alive as his QB scrambles, makes wide open TD catch.
-Fantastic concentration on fade route, tracks the ball and brings in his third TD of the half.
-Inside screen, finds a seam and explodes through the hole.
-Makes two defenders miss on receiver screen, one with a juke, one with power.
-Another gorgeous over the shoulder catch, consistently taking the top off of the defense.
-Wheel route, uncovered, out runs the Baylor defense for the long touchdown.
-Rope-a-dope on the safety, powers down and then burns by him to get open in the end zone.
Overview: 300+ yards and five TD’s says a lot. He showed speed, savvy, elusiveness and the ability to block. He tracked the ball very well and looked very natural catching. Just a junior, if Bailey elects to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft he could be a top 100 selection – he is a prototypical “Z” receiver in the NFL.
Baylor draft prospects can be found on page two.