NFL Films’ Greg Cosell has watched extensive film of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, whom is regarded as the top QB prospect in this year’s draft, but he thinks Smith inability to deal with pressure could lead him to struggle in the NFL:
The more I watched Smith, the more I saw some problems that need to be addressed. Returning to the earlier discussion about pocket toughness, and the innate ability to make difficult throws when functional pocket space has been reduced, I found myself constantly noting that I will be anxious to see how Smith deals with pressure once in the NFL. There were numerous times I felt he perceived pressure that was not really there, and as a result, over-reacted and broke down in the pocket. Again, it was not a large sample, but that’s the reason I watch every play with a remote and rewind as many times as I feel is necessary. In addition, there were times Smith drifted backward in the face of pressure. That tendency must be eliminated as quickly as possible. It’s the absolute worst response a quarterback can have when he senses the pass rush. These are all factors that must be taken into account in the complete evaluation of Smith.