West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith will return to the green room at Radio City Music Hall for Day 2 of the 2013 NFL draft, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Smith, who is regarded as one the top three quarterbacks in the draft, did not hear his name called during the first round on Thursday night. Only one quarterback was selected — Florida State's E.J. Manuel was picked by the Buffalo Bills with the 16th selection — in the first round and Smith had actually left the building before the Dallas Cowboys made the penultimate pick in Round 1. The Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens, who picked 32nd, both signed their quarterbacks (Tony Romo and Joe Flacco) to $100 million extensions this offseason and were unlikely to pick a quarterback in the first round.
ESPN's Suzy Kolber reported that Smith was planning to return home and would not attend the draft on Friday night, leading to criticism that the quarterback's decision to head home was sending a message to teams about how he would handle adversity at the next level.
During the draft process, Smith was on the receiving end of a scathing scouting report from Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly, who questioned Smith's work ethic, demeanor and wrote that Smith needed to be "coddled" by his college coaching staff. That report was debunked by Smith's quarterback coach, as well as his teammates and draft analysts like Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah (a former NFL scout) of the NFL Network, but deciding to go home after not hearing his name called in Round 1 on Thursday night might have validated at least a portion of the PFW report.
Instead, Smith is heeding the advice of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and will "hang in there" for Day 2 of the draft, which begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday night. Smith may not have to wait too long as the Jacksonville Jaguars have the first pick of the second round and, after two seasons of Blaine Gabbert, could be in the market for a quarterback. The Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders each have a need at QB and possess picks early in the first half of Round 2.
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