A scouting report released over the weekend by Pro Football Weekly's well respected draft guru Nolan Nawrocki is causing some waves. In the report, which also included a look at Matt Barkley, he absolutely takes Geno Smith to task.
Some of the scathing report is about his physical ability, but mostly it's about his mental makeup.
Not a student of the game. Nonchalant field presence - does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire. Mild practice demeanor - no urgency. Not committed or focused - marginal work ethic. Interviewed poorly at the Combine and did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board. Opted not to compete at the Senior Bowl and has approached offseason training as if he has already arrived and it shows in his body with minimal muscle definition or strength. Has small hands and glaring ball security issues (32 career fumbles). Really struggled handling the snow in Pinstripe Bowl (took two safeties) and will be troubled by the elements. Needed to be coddled in college - cannot handle hard coaching.
In his summary, he makes it clear that he sees no way Smith will be a success at the NFL level.
A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities.
Greg Rosenthal pointed out that this isn't the first time Nawrocki wrote up a brutal report on a top QB prospect. He had similar things to say about Cam Newton's personality and makeup. That said, he did seem a little higher on Newton's ability.
The response to Nawrocki's report has been equally as tough as the report itself, however Mike Mayock has come to his defense saying that he would "pound the table" for Nawrocki as a draft guy. He also said that Nawrocki's information comes from NFL scouts. So it's very possible that these are the kind of things that teams have in their scouting reports as well.
The only difference is... we'll never see those.
For his part, Geno Smith has called the allegations in the report "untrue in all things" and his QB coach said it made him laugh. The coach, Jake Spavital, called Smith one of the hardest working QBs he's ever seen and a "coaches dream come true."
So who to believe? It should be interesting to see not only what comes of Smith in his career, but on draft day specifically. Could he be in for a Brady Quinn type slide?