Jets draft QB Geno Smith in second round

West Virginia's Geno Smith waves to fans on the red carpet before the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
West Virginia's Geno Smith waves to fans on the red carpet before the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) (Craig Ruttle)
Posted: April 27, 2013

Geno Smith's long wait to hear his named called at the NFL draft stretched from Thursday into Friday, creating an extra day of suspense that Smith neither wanted nor expected. It finally concluded when the New York Jets picked Smith at No. 39, the seventh pick of the second round.

After potentially escaping New York, where the draft was held, Smith will stay and play for one of the league's most visible teams.

The Eagles twice passed on Smith, the West Virginia quarterback who Jeffrey Lurie personally scouted with coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman. But Smith found the one quarterback competition that will draw more attention than Philadelphia's by ending up with the Jets.

Kelly will likely choose between Michael Vick and Nick Foles. Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, the longtime Eagles play caller, has Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, David Garrard, Matt Simms, and Smith on roster.

"I'm ready to go in there and compete for a starting job," Smith told NFL Network, later excitedly saying that the Jets will make the playoffs.

It was a reversal from one night earlier, when Smith was visibly disappointed after falling out of the first round. He reportedly planned on leaving New York and not attending the draft on Friday but reconsidered and decided to return to the green room.

"The importance for me to stay was because, first of all, I have a lot of family and a lot of people who stand behind me and who have supported me my entire career," Smith said in the TV interview. "And I wanted to be here and represent all of them on this stage today."

The Jaguars and Eagles quickly passed on Smith before the Jets ended his wait. The Jets provide a good opportunity for Smith to become a starting quarterback, and Mornhinweg's offense could be a good fit for him.

"I can't speculate on what other people are doing," Kelly said.

Considering how the quarterbacks went in this draft, Smith's place among the top at the position might have been an indictment of this year's class. EJ Manuel was the lone first-round quarterback. Smith was the lone second-round pick. Mike Glennon went in the third round.

"It's hard to predict the NFL draft," Roseman said. "You go into it thinking certain things are going to happen, and then it falls out differently. It's hard to know what other people are looking at and what their grades are, and that's what makes it so much fun."


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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