While Geno Smith has declared that his decision to fire his agents was not a result of his dropping to the second round of the draft, sources from NFL teams have revealed other reasons why one of the draft’s highest-rated quarterbacks found himself stuck in the green room Thursday night.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports via sources that Smith acted aloof, disengaged and displayed a general bad attitude during pre-draft meetings. Sources were critical of Smith spending much of his visits on the phone, reading Twitter and texting friends.
From Yahoo! Sports:
“All these other players who were in there were talking to the coaches, trying to get to know people and he was over there by himself,” one source said. “That’s not what you want out of your quarterback.”
“He doesn’t have much presence, not much of a leader,” one executive who studied Smith said. “I don’t think he’s a bad person, but that’s not enough to be a quarterback in this league.”
Cole’s report also includes reports of Smith, two days before the draft, toasting and thanking his agents, calling them “family” and saying they would represent him his entire career.
“His biggest problem is that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know,” said a league executive, who spent extensive time assessing Smith before the draft. “I’m not sure he knows how to take instruction because he pretty much wouldn’t listen or talk to our coaches … he’s talented. He can sling it, he can fit it into tight spots, he can do a lot of things and I think he wants to be good. But you can’t tell him anything right now. He’s tuned out because he thinks he’s got it all down.”
Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky cited a person close to Smith as saying his decision to fire his agents was based on the agency’s failure to successfully promote his value when it became apparent he might fall out of the first round. Smith was also unhappy with the negative fallout from not playing in the Senior Bowl — a decision his agents pushed.
Smith, taken by the Jets in the second round, said his goal is to become the team’s “franchise quarterback” but realizes that he has a lot of work to do.