Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

April 27, 2013

NFL DRAFT: Jets select QB Geno Smith in 2nd round

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Geno Smith's surprising slide through the NFL draft stopped in the second round.

Now, he might get a chance to be the New York Jets' starting quarterback.

The former West Virginia star was taken with the seventh pick in the second round, 39th overall, on Friday night and could be the future - or maybe even present - replacement for Mark Sanchez.

"Once I received the call,'' Smith said, "I was extremely elated.''

Smith went from looking embarrassed and frustrated Thursday night on national TV during the first round, sitting back stage at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan as pick after pick came and went, and he remained seated and wondered where he'd end up - and when.

He originally planned to head back home Friday, but opted to stay for the second day of the draft.

"Right now, none of that matters,'' Smith said during a conference call. "My time has come now.''

It's the second straight year the Jets have made major news at the quarterback position, and none of it has been good for Sanchez, although he agreed to a contract extension last offseason. But less than two weeks later, the Jets stunned the rest of the league - and Sanchez - by trading for Tim Tebow.

The selection of Smith by new general manager John Idzik seriously clouds the future of Sanchez, the team's first-rounder in 2009 who led the Jets to consecutive AFC championship game appearances but has struggled mightily the past two seasons.

"What this means for Mark Sanchez is competition, and Mark is open to that,'' Idzik said. "We've had discussions about that, and I think he buys into the fact that that helps him and it helps any player on our team, and as a result, it helps our team.''

Smith should compete for the starting job this season with Sanchez, who is owed $8.25 million in guaranteed money this season. But Rex Ryan's Jets currently have Sanchez, Tebow, David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms - and now Smith - as quarterbacks on their roster.

"We're actually going to add two or three more, I think,'' Idzik joked.

Tebow was expected to be traded or released, but in a surprising twist could now potentially stay.

It remains to be seen whether Sanchez will remain on the roster by the beginning of the regular season, despite his hefty contract. Idzik acknowledged that he hadn't spoken to Sanchez just before or after the Jets drafted Smith.

The one-time franchise quarterback counts $12.85 million against New York's salary cap this year. If the Jets do decide to cut him as a June 1 designation - and that could be done at any point between now and then - they would take a salary cap hit of $12.35 million this year and $4.8 million next year.

At this point, with the new future franchise quarterback on board, owner Woody Johnson could be prepared to cut his losses now. Idzik would not say with certainty that Sanchez will be in training camp with the Jets to even compete with Smith.

"We're not going to try to forecast anything or predetermine anything,'' Idzik said. "Just put it out on the field and let it play out.''

The Jets also drafted versatile Kent State offensive lineman Brian Winters in the third round, and acquired running back Chris Ivory from New Orleans for their fourth-round selection.

New York drafted Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth overall pick and Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson at No. 13 - a spot they also considered taking Smith - in the first round Thursday night.

Smith's wait didn't take long Friday night even though a few teams that were expected to be in the mix for him - Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Arizona - went in other directions.

Former wide receiver Wayne Chrebet took the podium at Radio City to announce the pick, and Jets fans gathered there were loud, with many cheering and others booing. Smith, considered by many to be the top quarterback available in this year's draft, wasn't even the first player at his position taken. That was Florida State's EJ Manuel, who went to Buffalo with the 16th overall pick on Thursday night.

As Smith sat uncomfortably through the first round, television cameras caught him frowning at times and clearly disappointed that someone who has had so much success on the field was becoming a draft-night punch-line.

"I think it was just a test of patience, a test of character,'' Smith said. "I wanted to make it my duty to come back today and still represent for my family and all of those that support me.''

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers knows the feeling well. He was considered a top-5 pick in 2005, but slid all the way to No. 24 as TV cameras captured many of the same looks that Smith had. Eight years later, Rodgers has a Super Bowl ring and signed a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season Friday.

"Tough situation that I was in eight years ago, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel,'' Rodgers said at Lambeau Field. "April 24, 2005, I didn't know exactly what I was in for. I remember a great conversation I had with (former Packers linebacker) Na'il Diggs that I was reminded of yesterday. The excitement started to grow when I got to the facility when I saw some of the trophies and the names on the stadium. It's been a great run.

"And hopefully for Geno's situation, he's going to have a similar opportunity and obviously he'll have a lot of people to prove wrong.''

Smith, who owns almost all of West Virginia's passing records, gets rid of the ball quickly, but has had some accuracy problems. He can make completions on the run and is capable of making big plays - something the Jets sorely lacked last season.

Smith threw for 11,662 yards - including back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons - 98 touchdowns and only 21 interceptions in four years at West Virginia. The Miami native had dinner with new Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg before the draft, and Mornhinweg reportedly raved about Smith to Ryan and general manager John Idzik.

"I had pretty good meetings with them and when I visited, it went well,'' Smith said. "But, as you can see, nothing is really 100 percent. Right now, I'm just proud to be a Jet and I'm ready to get to work.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Southwest Baptist slips past NSU, 5-3

     The Northeastern State baseball team lost 5-3 to Southwest Baptist Thursday afternoon at Dobson Field.
     
    The RiverHawks (19-22, 15-18 MIAA) held a 3-0 lead early in the contest, but a late rally from the Bearcats (23-18, 19-13 MIAA) and costly errors from the visitors allowed the home team to secure the series-opening triumph.

    April 18, 2014

  • WOMEN'S TENNIS: Conference champion NSU lands top seed in MIAA tourney

    The No. 31-ranked Northeastern State women's tennis team has drawn the top seed in the 2014 MIAA Women's Tennis Championship, the league announced Thursday morning.

    April 18, 2014