While I realize there are not a lot of options in the draft as far as quarterback goes, Geno Smith may not be the best fit for the Arizona Cardinals. Sure, he has all the stats that look great. He threw for 4,205 yards with 42 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2012. Yes, that does look impressive. At times it was, at times, not so much.
Smith started out the season great and seemed unstoppable. After five weeks it appeared he was headed towards being the number one pick in the draft. He had thrown for 24 touchdowns and no interceptions after the first five games. His West Virginia Mountaineers were 5-0. Then came the meat of the schedule. Over the next eight games, his production dropped off a bit, as he threw 18 touchdowns and threw all six interceptions in the last eight games.
I’m not going to knock the six interceptions because that’s impressive, only getting picked six times with as much as he threw the ball. The 18 touchdowns are still pretty darn good during that stretch. However it was clear as the competition grew better, Smith’s production tailed off.
What also worries me about Smith playing in Arizona, is playing behind the Cards offensive line. Yes, it might look different in 2013, however we don’t know what the makeup of the line will be yet. Free agency and the draft still are to come and the Cards undoubtedly will address that issue. To what extent though remains to be seen.
Smith had negative rushing yards in five of his 13 games last season. He had five yards or less of rushing in two other games. He struggles behind less than stellar offensive lines. Not exactly what you want coming to Arizona.
He shredded bad teams like Maryland, Baylor, Kansas but struggled more against teams like Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Syracuse in their bowl game. I’m not going to jump off any ledge if the Cards decide to take Smith in the draft. I just think he may not be the best fit for this team going forward.
With Kevin Kolb returning if he restructures his contract, he most likely remains the starter. I think Smith could start coming right out of college, however he needs a team where he isn’t going to be running for his life all the time.
The Cards are better off spending their first round pick on the offensive line and then getting a decent quarterback to back Kolb up in the second or third round. They can develop that guy to replace Kolb a couple of years down the road.