(USA Today Sports Images)
One of the biggest criticisms of the 2013 NFL draft class is the lack of a star quarterback, but former West Virginia signal caller Geno Smith is ready to dispute that.
Smith told KCSP in Kansas City with Danny and Carrington that not only is the characterization of this year’s quarterback class wrong, but that he thinks he could be the No. 1 pick.
“I don’t know why but I hear about people saying it’s a weak quarterback class, which is something that I don’t believe in because every quarterback is going to have to make a transition into the NFL one way or another. That’s all based on the individual,” Smith said. “My goal is to be picked No. 1 overall but at the same time, wherever I get picked I’m going to come in with the same mentality, same goals in mind, so I’m not really worried about what anyone says because everyone has an opinion.”
Last season, Smith completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He was the Heisman favorite for the first half of the season before his team started losing and he fell out of contention.
Smith chose not to play in the coveted Senior Bowl,, which drew a lot of criticism, but Smith said he intends to throw at the NFL combine, which begins this week, and show that he’s worthy of first-round attention.
“People saying it’s a weak quarterback class or Geno Smith is hiding or he’s not a competitor, whatever questions there may be out there about me,” Smith said. “I’m just going to do my best to go out there and showcase who I am because I have full confidence in my ability on and off the field, so why not do it at the combine?
“In my case, I made this decision and I told everyone that I’m tired of this speculation and I’m ready to go out there and try to end all of that.”
Smith said he understands he needs to prove himself and he has a long way to go to disprove the misnomer that quarterbacking talent is down in 2013. He said he knows that being picked among the first few picks does not automatically equate to success. He pointed to top quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, who were not top picks, and said he was confident he could have the same success if given the chance.
“I consider myself one of the best at what I do,” Smith said. “You talk about this class and there are some great guys out there, but my goal is to always separate myself from the rest of the group and my goal is to be the best wherever I am. Once I go to the next level I’m going to compete, going to work, and my goal is going to be to be the best in the NFL.
“I just want to make sure people know that I have a goal, I have ambitions and I’m going to work until I get there. I’m not a guy who is cocky or over the top with it, I’m a very humble guy, quiet and I keep to myself, but when it comes down to football, this is something that I love to do and quite honestly I want to be the best at it.”
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