Bills GM Buddy Nix said he and his scouting staff would be taking a long, hard look at all the quarterback prospects in this year's draft class. He assured that they would be sure to get up close and personal with them at the NFL Combine, at their pro day or at One Bills Drive on a pre-draft visit. Nix, assistant GM Doug Whaley and Pro Personnel Director Tom Gibbons did just that Thursday as they were in attendance at the West Virginia pro day to watch QB Geno Smith. They’ll also be meeting with him again in a week’s time.
That according to Smith himself.
“I had a private workout on Monday that was with the Eagles that went well,” said Smith following his workout. “I’ve got something coming up with the Bills on the 22nd. As of right now I would expect between 10 to 12 (pre-draft visits), maybe more.”
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Smith performed in front of a reported 29 NFL clubs Thursday on the Morgantown campus with several of his draft eligible college teammates.
“I feel as though I did a pretty good job of just being accurate with my throws,” said Smith. “I was 62 for 65, but I’ve got to improve. I’ve got to be 100 percent perfect. Overall I’ve had a fun time with this. I’ve always gotten good responses and really good feedback. I guess we’ll see where that goes on draft day.”
Playing in an offense that had him operate exclusively from the shotgun, Smith was asked to work under center by NFL scouts and coaches and obliged.
“They haven’t seen much of me under center, so it’s something that they all want to see, including myself,” said Smith. “I wanted to see how I would react to that. I just wanted to show that I was able to do a multitude of drops and hit a bunch of different route patterns in different areas of the field and be accurate and be able to move my feet and set up and kind of move around and do some things on the run. Just exhibit everything you would want to see from a quarterback on a pro day.”
Despite superior arm strength the West Virginia signal caller has been criticized for his deep ball accuracy. Smith believes he dispelled that criticism in his on campus workout, but feels his game tape says it all.
“The scouts and coaches don’t need to see me throw. They’ve seen it on tape. All the throws that you want to see are there,” he said. “The main thing is to get in the classroom with them. They understand who I am as a person, my background, my character. That’s really what they care about and the production and how well you were able to lead your team and the turnover ratio and the stuff that truly matters on Sundays.”
Bills GM Buddy Nix and his personnel staff have been tireless in their efforts to nail down every last detail of each top quarterback’s skill set and personality makeup.
“There will be one or two quarterbacks in this group that will rise to the top,” Nix said. “I think there’s enough talent for that to happen. The key is figuring out which one of those two that it is.”
Nix has already attended Syracuse’s pro day to watch Ryan Nassib. On Friday he’ll be at the Arkansas pro day to watch prospect Tyler Wilson throw.
“What it comes down to is each team’s evaluation of each guy,” said Nix. “What they’re looking for. We’ve got our grades that we’ve compiled and we know where they are right now.”
Nix has said there are “six or seven” quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class with attractive qualities.
“We’ve just got to decide who will best fit what we want and where to take him,” Nix said. “We’ll try not to reach for guys. We’ll go with the integrity of the board.”