Seahawks QB Geno Smith gets highest ranking yet from the Ringer – Seahawks Wire

Geno Smith is a radically different quarterback today than he was when he came into the NFL. His first two years as a starter for the Jets, Smith threw more interceptions (36) than touchdown passes (28). One viewing would explain why – Smith ran into a road block that many young quarterbacks in the league do. Still relying on his plus arm talent, he tested pro defenses down the field too much, resulting in a lot of reckless play and turnover-worthy throws.
These days Smith is a much more conservative passer – a point guard or game manager type of quarterback. He won’t throw bombs but he rarely makes mistakes with the ball and relies on his ability to read the defense and take what he’s being given.
While that strategy isn’t as exciting as rolling out, dancing around pass rushers for seven seconds and throwing 40 yards down the field it is a lot more sustainable – which is probably what Pete Carroll wants more than anything after 10 years of Russell Wilson’s unique brand of chaos. If nothing else, Smith’s approach should keep Seattle’s offense from falling into the gutter.
Most QB rankings this offseason have put Smith somewhere in the high 20’s – some places as low as No. 32 overall. Until today we had Smith ranked higher than anyone else – putting him at No. 25 in ours.
A new ranking from Steven Ruiz at the Ringer has Smith as high as we’ve seen him so far – at No. 22. That’s better than Tua Tagovailoa and several other up-and-comers at QB. Ruiz broke down the game of all 32 projected starters through a variety of metrics on a 100-point scale, gauging accuracy, arm talent, creativity, decision-making, pocket presense and pre-snap.
Smith earned decent ratings across the board in these categories, with no one area being any lower than 71. He also didn’t go any higher than a 79, which Smith earned in the arm talent category.
“Say what you want about Geno, there’s one thing you can’t deny: He throws dimes. He doesn’t have elite arm strength, but his poise in the pocket allows him to drive the ball on longer developing passes, whether it’s a deep dig route aimed between the numbers or an out-breaker to the sideline.”
Ruiz also identified the weakest part of Smith’s game as accuracy – especially on shorter throws his ball placement can be off. He also mentions Smith hanging onto the ball too long, which we found to be his Achilles’ heel last season – leading to 13 sacks taken in three starts. Especially against teams like Pittsburgh with a strong pass rush, Smith will be forced out of his comfort zone. In matchups like that the best line Seahawks fans can hope for is something like 200 yards and one touchdown. Smith is sharp enough to feast on dysfunctional defenses like he did against Jacksonville last year – he just won’t be able to lead a lot of comebacks.
Add it all up and you have a capable caretaker QB with a high basement but a low ceiling.
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