Where Geno Smith will be drafted remains unclear

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,John Keim

He long ago earned the honor as the most scrutinized quarterback in this year's draft. And with a week remaining before the NFL Draft, it's still difficult to know exactly where West Virginia's Geno Smith will be selected.

There were early reports he would fall into the 20s. Then came reports about him being a possible top-10 choice. Buffalo or Philadelphia could select him high.

"Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden -- he of the quarterback crushes -- worked with Smith at his QB camp for ESPN. What impressed Gruden is that West Virginia gave Smith three or four options on every play.

"He does a lot above the neck as well as making plays with his arm and ability," Gruden said. "He's as complete from a versatility standpoint as there is in the draft. He can run a 4.55 [in the 40-yard dash]. I've seen him drive the ball accurately down the field. I've seen him throw with touch and accuracy and make quick decisions. I've seen him be dominant at times."

West Virginia faltered after a hot start; Smith's play sagged along with it. Yes, Smith fumbled too often (32 times in his career), and he's not as ready to play immediately as last year's first-round quarterback class.

Gruden wrote off some of Smith's issues to the style of West Virginia's offense, which he said rarely used a tight end or max protection.

"I won't make excuses for him," Gruden said. "He has to do a better job taking care of the ball and managing the game snap by snap."

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner