NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Johnny Manziel? Who’s he? Teddy Bridgewater? Come again?
As far as Phil Simms is concerned, Geno Smith is better than anyone the Jets could select in the upcoming draft.
“If you’re the New York Jets you’ve got to sit there and go, ‘Wow, good thing we made a move last year and we didn’t wait until this year,’” Simms told SiriusXM’s Adam Schein on Wednesday. “My first thought is just physically and how he played at the end of the year I would be pretty happy going, ‘Man, all right, we got a guy.’ I think if Geno Smith was in this draft class he would be the number one guy, without question.”
Just to clarify, Simms, who was a quarterback for 14 seasons with the Giants and was named Super Bowl XXI MVP, thinks Smith, a second round pick out of West Virginia, is better than Louisville’s Bridgewater and Texas A&M’s Manziel, who are considered the cream of this year’s quarterback draft class, Blake Bortles of Central Florida, Derek Carr of Fresno State and Zach Mettenberger of LSU, among others.
Simms characterized Bridgewater’s arm as “middle of the pack,” questioned Manziel’s explosiveness and arm strength and took issue with Bortles’ throwing motion and slow 40-yard dash time.
Simms said the Jets would be crazy to use a pick early on a quarterback, further enforcing the belief that the best way to get the most out of Smith in his second year is to sign a capable veteran free agent to challenge him from the second training camp starts.
“Usually my first instinct — every once in a while I do back up and go, ‘Oh, boy, I should have watched more film on him before I opened my big mouth’ — but, no, my first thought is none of them jump out at me saying, ‘This is the guy. If I had to pick a quarterback first, this is the one I would take,’” Simms said of this year’s draft class.
Smith completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,046 yards as a rookie. He threw just 12 touchdown passes and turned the ball over 25 times, but added 366 yards and six TDs rushing. He was especially good over the last four games as the Jets rallied from 5-7 to finish 8-8, completing 59 percent for 600 yards, with four TD passes, three rushing scores and just two turnovers.
The Jets are reportedly interested in free agent signal-callers Michael Vick and Josh McCown, though it is believed McCown will be asking for more money than the Jets may be willing to spend.
New York also has to make a decision on Mark Sanchez, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery that knocked him out for the entire 2013 season. Sanchez is scheduled to make $13.1 million next season, and is due a hefty roster bonus in March.
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