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Jets draft QB Geno Smith in 2nd round
At this point, with the new future franchise quarterback on board, owner Woody Johnson could be prepared to cut his losses now. Idzik would not say with certainty that Sanchez will be in training camp with the Jets to even compete with Smith.
“We’re not going to try to forecast anything or predetermine anything,” Idzik said. “Just put it out on the field and let it play out.”
The Jets also drafted versatile Kent State offensive lineman Brian Winters in the third round, and acquired running back Chris Ivory from New Orleans for their fourth-round selection.
New York drafted Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth overall pick and Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson at No. 13 _ a spot they also considered taking Smith _ in the first round Thursday night.
Smith’s wait didn’t take long Friday night even though a few teams that were expected to be in the mix for him _ Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Arizona _ went in other directions.
Former wide receiver Wayne Chrebet took the podium at Radio City to announce the pick, and Jets fans gathered there were loud, with many cheering and others booing. Smith, considered by many to be the top quarterback available in this year’s draft, wasn’t even the first player at his position taken. That was Florida State’s EJ Manuel, who went to Buffalo with the 16th overall pick on Thursday night.
As Smith sat uncomfortably through the first round, television cameras caught him frowning at times and clearly disappointed that someone who has had so much success on the field was becoming a draft-night punch-line.
“I think it was just a test of patience, a test of character,” Smith said. “I wanted to make it my duty to come back today and still represent for my family and all of those that support me.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers knows the feeling well. He was considered a top-5 pick in 2005, but slid all the way to No. 24 as TV cameras captured many of the same looks that Smith had. Eight years later, Rodgers has a Super Bowl ring and signed a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season Friday.
“Tough situation that I was in eight years ago, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Rodgers said at Lambeau Field. “April 24, 2005, I didn’t know exactly what I was in for. I remember a great conversation I had with (former Packers linebacker) Na’il Diggs that I was reminded of yesterday. The excitement started to grow when I got to the facility when I saw some of the trophies and the names on the stadium. It’s been a great run.
“And hopefully for Geno’s situation, he’s going to have a similar opportunity and obviously he’ll have a lot of people to prove wrong.”
Smith, who owns almost all of West Virginia’s passing records, gets rid of the ball quickly, but has had some accuracy problems. He can make completions on the run and is capable of making big plays _ something the Jets sorely lacked last season.
Smith threw for 11,662 yards _ including back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons _ 98 touchdowns and only 21 interceptions in four years at West Virginia. The Miami native had dinner with new Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg before the draft, and Mornhinweg reportedly raved about Smith to Ryan and general manager John Idzik.
“I had pretty good meetings with them and when I visited, it went well,” Smith said. “But, as you can see, nothing is really 100 percent. Right now, I’m just proud to be a Jet and I’m ready to get to work.”
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