The New York Jets were wise to announce that all five of their quarterbacks will have an opportunity to earn the starting job. However, Geno Smith is the only player who can drastically change the team's fortunes.
Even though he went from being in the conversation as the top pick in the draft to the second round, Smith still represents new hope for the Jets.
It is hard to imagine the players in the locker room getting excited about Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy, David Garrard or Matt Simms. It takes a while for rookies to win over their teammates, but it isn't as if Smith has to supplant an established veteran with proven success.
Sanchez is...Sanchez, Garrard is at the journeyman portion of his career and McElroy and Simms have done next to nothing in short NFL careers.
This is Smith's job for the taking.
He Has the Arm Strength and Accuracy
He can make every throw an offensive coordinator would ask him to; he also may have the best arm strength of the five quarterbacks.
His 71.2 completion percentage in college was backed up at his pro day. Smith completed 60 of 64 passes in front of representatives for 29 NFL teams. Overall, his combination of arm strength and accuracy should be the best the team has.
He Has the Mobility
Smith isn't Robert Griffin III, but he's a better-than-average athlete. He recorded the fastest 40-time of any quarterback at the NFL Scouting Combine. Garrard has always had decent mobility, but he's 35 years old and has had recent injuries.
Smith seems to be the best option for keeping plays alive.
He Has the Right Mental Approach and Support
Garrard has also stated he has no problem mentoring Smith as the more seasoned veteran. This could give Smith even more support and put him in a position to succeed.
Aside from Garrard's assistance, Smith is a sharp guy. Watching him communicate and talk football with Jon Gruden during Gruden's QB Camp on ESPN was impressive.
This only further supported the notion that Smith can handle an NFL offense. So much of what he did at West Virginia prepared him for the quick decision-making necessary for success in the NFL.
The Jets can and should have their "competition." After all, you don't want to just give a rookie anything. But in the end, there is really only one man who can help the Jets win now and later.
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