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Geno Smith a franchise quarterback worthy of a first-round pick
There has never been a more wide-open draft in NFL history, and there's such a significant range of opinions out there about players. This is no less true when it comes to the quarterback position, with members of the media elite beating the drum about how this class lacks sizzle at that spot.
Accordingly, the rumors about Smith are flying in rampant fashion. Some believe he's a sure-fire top-five pick. Some believe he'll tumble all the way out of the first round.
I believe you should tune out the noise.
Geno Smith is a franchise quarterback.
Now, before you fly off the handle, let's examine what that means.
Smith isn't Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson; last year's quarterback group was special. I don't think he'll blossom into a player like Peyton or Eli Manning, either. But there is a next tier of "franchise quarterbacks," and I think Smith fits right in.
Is he capable of playing at a level somewhere between that of Tony Romo and Andy Dalton? Absolutely. Is he capable of being better or more consistent than Jay Cutler or Matthew Stafford? Without question. Do I trust him more than I do Cam Newton? Of course.
Smith has all of the tangibles -- and intangibles -- you look for in an NFL quarterback. He can make every throw. His arm strength is legit. He's also a football junkie, and winning is important to him. He takes the game and the preparation involved very seriously. He's smart. Teams crave quarterbacks with these traits, because teams crumble when they draft frauds.
Of course, there are dissenting opinions. One NFL general manager told me, "He's absolutely the best QB in the draft and will have a long career." Another general manager said, "I'm not buying in. He makes some 'wow' throws but he struggles with field reads."
Why is Smith under scrutiny? Is it because he's not a "can't miss" prospect like Luck or RG3?
Some scouts question the offense he played in at West Virginia. Others question his in-game decision-making and fluidity. But Smith completed 71 percent of his passes last season. He threw just six picks against 42 touchdown passes.
Forget the NFL Scouting Combine or pro days or who gets hot close to draft time. How Smith played on Saturdays -- and how it should translate to his performance on Sundays -- has to count for something.
Actually, in some ways, it's kind of comical that he isn't a lock to be a top-five pick.
Smith would be the best quarterback on the Jacksonville Jaguars' or Oakland Raiders' rosters. But he likely isn't even being considered by either team with the second or third overall pick, respectively. Jacksonville, which has so many holes to fill, is still licking its wounds from the Blaine Gabbert fiasco, and Oakland needs, well, everything.
Then there are the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4.
I understand why Chip Kelly kept Michael Vick; what else was he going to do? But Philadelphia can't bank on Vick to stay healthy. Vick also won't be an Eagle past this season. Meanwhile, if Nick Foles is the answer, I'd love to know the question.
Smith would be a great fit for Kelly's offense; he just makes sense for the Eagles. I think it would be the best possible match for both player and team.
Of course, Philly isn't the only potential landing spot. Two general managers I polled believe the Cleveland Browns are going to pick Smith at No. 6. The new brass there has no attachment to incumbent quarterback Brandon Weeden, who represents a waste of a first-round pick by the Mike Holmgren regime a year ago. Smith is a Day 1 starter.
The Arizona Cardinals, who have the seventh overall pick, just traded for Carson Palmer. Desperately in need of offensive line help, they'll draft someone who can provide it -- and that's the move to make. However, if the Cards were to select Smith, he would be the best quarterback on their roster.
I chuckle when I hear people say Smith can't play in Buffalo. I don't think the Bills should draft him with the eighth overall pick, but not because he wouldn't be able to succeed there; as I wrote in January, I just think Ryan Nassib, who played for Doug Marrone at Syracuse, makes more sense.
The New York Jets are in major need of a quarterback, and Smith must be considered if they keep the ninth and 13th overall picks -- though their top priority should be to trade down and accumulate as many extra selections as possible. The Jets are another team that needs, well, everything, including an offensive guard and a pass rusher. Still, a franchise quarterback would be high on their list, and they should absolutely consider adding Smith and/or his college receiver Tavon Austin.
What happens if Smith slides? First, teams will live with regret. Second, you have to believe someone will trade back into the first round to nab him.
Will a sleeper team emerge? Could the Tampa Bay Buccaneers package next year's first-round pick and a pick in the second or third round this year -- which they successfully avoided giving up in the trade for Darrelle Revis -- in a deal to get Smith? Have the Tennessee Titans gotten off of the Jake Locker bandwagon?
It's so en vogue to talk about who Geno Smith isn't -- and he isn't perfect. Here's what he is: an answer for quarterback-starved teams, someone who should be a starter and a really good player in this league for a while.
That means there's a place for him in Round 1. That makes him a franchise quarterback.
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Rise of the National Football League
The national football league was founded in 1920 on August 20th. The current commissioner Roger Goodell, who was born in 1956, was by surprise selected the commissioner in 2001 after the then commissioner resigned.
It is currently made up of 32 teams from various regions in the US. During its initial days, it was composed of only eleven teams and by then the NFL was called American Professional Football Association until 1922 when the current name was founded. Just like any other emerging group, there was a management problem at the beginning and this made many teams to join and leave the league annually. However, this did not make the management lose hope. Dallas Texans in 1952 was the last team to turn back and most of its members formed another team, the Baltimore Colts.
There was a second chance. The reason why you should smile is that, today the national football league is one of the most stable associations in sports in the whole world. The member teams form what is described in America as major or professional sports leagues. The term was first used in 1921 referring to the most top level professional players. Apart from football, major sports leagues are also identified in hockey, golf, tennis and basketball.
For this reason, other major leagues are National Hockey League or NHL and National Basketball Association, famously known as the NBA, among others. The three leagues are considered the richest and professional clubs that goes for worldwide competitions and are therefore crowned the name cultural icons both in Canada and U.S because they enjoy a bigger place in what is called pop culture. The NFL is however ranked at the top of the three.
The league exists into two major conferences which are: The National Football Conference or NFC, and the other one called American Football Conference or AFC. Each of these conferences has sixteen teams grouped into fours. From research findings in the US, the NFL in relation to other domestic sports in the world is attended to by very many people. On average, the attendance per game was slightly above 67500 in 2009.
The NFL has attempted to partner with other organizations and currently it is in partnership with a number of media in the US including CBS, NBC, NFL network and ESPN. It has also risen to a level that it runs its own website, nfl.com.
In the year 2007 there was some scandal among some of the NFL players' actions away from the field and this saw the emergence of another NFL Personal Conduct Policy which was announced by Goodell. Earlier in 2006 following rumors alleging that the NFL would expand outside the United States, the commissioner, Goodell, replied about it being a reality by saying the possibility was there.