Widely regarded as the draft’s top quarterback prospect, Geno Smith takes umbrage with some evaluations of his pro potential at the NFL Draft Combine. The West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback and erstwhile 2012 Heisman Trophy front runner took to Twitter to target some critics on Sunday:
Can’t believe they are pulling this racial stuff! Regardless of race or type I am a QUARTERBACK! Simple.
— Eugene Geno Smith (@GenoSmith_12) February 24, 2013
Smith ran the fastest 40-yard dash time among quarterbacks at the Combine, clocking in at an impressive 4.59 seconds, just .04 behind Russell Wilson’s mark a year ago and equal to Cam Newton’s 2011 time. Both Wilson and Newton made their bones operating as dual threat quarterbacks — Smith is a pocket passer.
He’s coming off a senior season in Morgantown wherein he threw 42 touchdowns with just six interceptions, and completed 71.2 percent of his 518 pass attempts for 4205 yards. West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is an air raid spread guru, in part responsible for Brandon Weeden’s ascension at Oklahoma State that culminated in a first round draft pick last year.
Smith rushed some in the pass-heavy Mountaineer offense last season, accruing 151 yards with a pair of touchdowns. But he would hardly qualify as a dual quarterback
Agent Bruce Tollner issued a report on Sunday stating Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei has pulled from Combine workouts due to a heart condition. Lotuelei has been near the top of draft boards at his position for more than a year, but his stock might face a slide with Sunday’s revelation.
ESPN.com NFL beat reporter Chris Mortensen tweeted that Lotuelei’s left ventricle was pumping at a rate 11 percent below the typical, healthy range. While this is a serious development, Lotulelei is still slated to perform all workouts on his March 20 Pro Day.
Lotulelei capped a standout career at Utah with his second All Pac-12 1st Team selection. He registered 42 tackles, including a team-high 10 for loss, with five sacks. Lotulelei also forced three fumbles.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are rumored to be interested in Lotuelei with the No. 2 overall pick, though LSU Tigers defensive end Barkevious Mingo is shooting up draft boards. Sunday’s news could play an integral role in the Jaguar organization’s decision.