2015 NFL DRAFT

West Virginia Pro Day: Geno Smith shows first-round stuff

By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com

West Virginia's campus was swimming with scouts on Thursday. Quarterback Geno Smith and Tavon Austin were the star attractions.

Smith showed a mastery of his 64-play scripted workout put together by his personal coach and former NFL quarterback, Chris Weinke. He completed 60-of-64 with two drops by Stedman Bailey.

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Most impressive in the workout was his downfield touch and accuracy, zip on the move and balance throughout his compact release.

Smith's college playbook from the "Air Raid" system was mostly horizontal and crossing route dependent. Intermediate accuracy is his greatest strength. What evaluators needed to see was whether Smith can throw on the move, maintain his balance and accuracy on rollouts and waggle design, and throw with zip while hitting targets at 25-plus yards and beyond.

Thursday's pro day was attended by 28 NFL teams. The Eagles worked out Smith earlier in the week and ran him through an unrehearsed, full-scale passing workout that exceeded 80 throws. Bills general manager Buddy Nix was present as were high-ranking reps for the Chiefs (No. 1), Jaguars (No. 2), Raiders (No. 3), Browns (6) and Cardinals (7), among others.

Head coach Gus Bradley represented the Jaguars, and Mike Tomlin represented the Steelers, who could have interest in Austin after losing Mike Wallace in free agency. The Minnesota Vikings, who lost another high-profile receiver in Percy Harvin, were also on hand to look closely at a player with a similar skill set in Austin.

Any team interested in Smith will want to see more and get him out of the overpracticed routine that he owned at the team's indoor practice facility on Thursday.

If he can replicate his pro day performance in that next phase of the predraft gauntlet after a solid showing at the scouting combine, Smith solidifies a spot in the top half of the first round.

For more NFL draft news and analysis, follow Jeff Reynolds on Twitter at @ReynoldsJD.

 
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