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Six-Pack of Quarterbacks

Posted Apr 27, 2013

Now that the 2013 NFL Draft is complete, Jets Nation will debate the Green & White’s next move at the quarterback position.

“We are constrained by a 90-man roster and we’re going to take it one step at a time,” said GM John Idzik on Saturday.  “Let’s get through the draft and then we are going to formulate things as we go into minicamp. We are not going to carry six quarterbacks on our roster.”

The Jets had five QBs — Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Greg McElroy, Tim Tebow & Matt Simms — entering the weekend.   But after addressing the defense with a pair of first-round picks, West Virginia QB Geno Smith was there for taking with the Jets Round 2 selection Friday night.

“He’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s got a good head on his shoulders,” Idzik said after the Jets tabbed Smith with the 39th overall selection.  “We spent a lot of time with Geno. We spent a lot of time with a lot of our draft prospects. But him in particular, we’ve visited him, we went out to dinner with him, we brought him to New York, we went to his pro day, we’ve watched him play and we’ve been on his campus. So we did our homework on Geno and we got a real good feel for him.”

The 6’2”, 218-pound Smith threw for 11,662 yards at WVU with 98 TDs and just 21 INTs.  Last season, Smith completed 71% of his passes with a school-record 42 TDs and six INTs.

“We got a quarterback that has outstanding skill and ability,” said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Senior personnel executive Terry Bradway was on hand for Smith’s pro day and the future Jet looked solid not only throwing the football but displayed sound footwork.

“I thought the thing that impressed me (in) that workout was the fact that his footwork —which he didn’t have an opportunity to do a lot of at West Virginia — looked good relative to the route depths,” said Bradway.  “Again he threw the ball very well and he threw it accurately.”

Soon the rookie will receive valuable reps and it will be interesting to see how the offensive staff will script workouts once OTAs begin later in May.

“We’ve got a host of quarterbacks and highly talented young men, and this thing is going to be about competition and that brings out the best,” Mornhinweg said.  “Now you give up just a little bit doing it that way with the reps, so that’s going to be an important process — well-thought out, very well structured as far as how we go about practicing.”

Most pundits continue to believe that the Jets and Tebow will ultimately part ways.  The offseason arrivals of both Smith and Garrard have added talent to the position and the Jets are in a better spot at QB than they were when the 2012 season ended.

“We’re going to be very prudent about what we do and just let it play out. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse and try to predict who’s going to be in camp and who’s going to be in minicamp,” Idzik said.  “Let’s just take it one day at a time, one offseason week at a time, and once we get into OTAs, let’s take it one OTA at a time, and once we get into minicamp, let’s see how they do in minicamp, and we’ll take it from there.”

Sanchez, who reportedly is due $8.25 million of guaranteed salary in 2013, lost his firm hold of the No. 1 position on the depth chart late last winter.  And now as spring has sprung, the Jets warmed to the idea of a young prospect. 

“We just feel like in watching him play, again, his arm talent, his accuracy, his ability to move, to make plays on the move are things that are going to help him be successful in this league,” Bradway said.  “I think every quarterback in college is going to have some period of transition coming to this level and playing this game. Physically, he’s got the skills and mentally, he’s got the skills to handle that.”

Geno Smith may very well be the future, but how far away is that?  The Jets are taking it one day at a time and keeping their options open.

“My goal is to be a franchise quarterback but, as of right now, there’s a lot of work to be done,” Smith said.  “I’ve got to handle my playbook, I’ve got to get into the weight room, and start preparing myself for training camp right now.”

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