One quarterback was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, and to the surprise of many, it was not West Virginia's Geno Smith.
With the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens holding the final two picks, Rich Eisen of the NFL Network noted that Smith had exited the green room at Radio City Music Hall, knowing full well that two teams that signed their own quarterbacks (Joe Flacco, Tony Romo) to $100 million contract extensions this offseason were not going to select a quarterback this year.
According to ESPN, Smith will not be returning to Radio City Music Hall for day two.
Before Smith left the green room, he had received some words of encouragement from Green Bay Packers quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers.
Hang in there Geno, "good things come to those who wait" -Paul Tagliabue
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 26, 2013
Rodgers is living proof that it's not about how highly you're drafted into the NFL, it's about what you do when you get there.
In the 2005 NFL draft, Rodgers thought he had a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick of his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers instead took Utah quarterback Alex Smith and Rodgers spent hours in the green room until the Packers selected him with pick No. 24. Smith is now on his second NFL team (the Kansas City Chiefs acquired him from the 49ers on March 12), while Rodgers is arguably one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFL, leading the Packers to a win in Super Bowl XLVI (and earning MVP honors in the process), earning NFL MVP honors in 2011 and being named to three Pro Bowls in the last four seasons.
Smith was highly rated, cracking the Top 10 in the "Shutdown 50", the highest among what's generally regarded as being a mediocre crop of quarterbacks. Like Rodgers, Smith may not be ready to start right away and could have to sit and watch for half or a full season before he gets his opportunity to play.
While slipping out of the first round will have financial ramifications (the difference in guaranteed between the last pick of the first round and first pick of the second round is around $1.5 million), Smith may not have to wait long to hear his name called on Friday night. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the first pick of round two and could take a quarterback, as could the Philadelphia Eagles (No. 35), Arizona Cardinals (No. 38), New York Jets (No. 39) and possibly the Oakland Raiders at No. 42.