West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith worked out for teams around the league Thursday during his Pro Day.
According to a USA Today report, 29 of the NFL’s 32 franchises had a representative there, including the Eagles, who sent senior scouting adviser Tom Donahoe.
Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman did not need to attend because they already worked Smith out earlier in the week. The coach and GM were joined by owner Jeffrey Lurie on Monday in Morgantown.
Ron Jaworski was in attendance Thursday and asked Smith about his meeting with the Eagles’ brass.
“He said the Eagles gave him a pretty rough workout,” Jaws told Mike Missanelli during an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic. “He threw almost a hundred balls on Monday. He said a lot of those were the movement-type throws – sprinting right, sprinting left, coming back against the grain. A lot of those types of throws that we know in Chip Kelly’s offense, he’s going to demand mobility from the quarterback.
“He also said the meeting was very intense at the blackboard. It was Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, and of course Chip Kelly. He said he felt very comfortable with them. He seemed to think they were comfortable with him. But he said it was a pretty grueling, intense workout they put him through.”
As we mentioned earlier in the week, there are two possibilities here. One is that the Eagles are considering Smith with the No. 4 pick. And the other is that they want to create the impression that they’re interested in Smith for trade purposes.
I tend to lean towards the former.
As for Jaws, he said he’s already seen improvement from Smith since the end of the college season, now that he’s working with pro QB coaches. Asked about Smith’s fit in Kelly’s offense, Jaws said, “I think he’s a guy that’s going to play in this game for 10 to 12 years, be your prototypical pocket passer.
“I would almost say a little bit like Russell Wilson. He’s a guy that will take the running opportunities. And they’ll design some runs for him [Wilson] out in Seattle. But I think when you look at Geno, he’ll play from the pocket, but he can also beat you with his legs.”
Jaws quickly added though that Kelly will have to adapt his Oregon offense in the pros, so it’s difficult to project potential fit without knowing exactly what he’s looking for.
“The offense that we saw at Oregon will not be run in the NFL,” he said. “I will tell you that right now, categorically, it will not work.”
Jaws likes Smith’s arm and athleticism, but said interested teams need to make sure Smith possesses the right leadership qualities.
Asked if he thinks the Eagles will snag Smith with the fourth pick, Jaws said, “I would probably say it’s 50-50.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles signed cornerback Cary Williams and safety Kenny Phillips.
Williams says he wants to show he’s not a crazy, wild man.
The Birds also added outside linebacker Connor Barwin.
T-Mac talks Geno Smith in his weekly mailbag.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Now with the Broncos, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie talked about his time with the Eagles. From Pro Football Talk:
“When you have a lot of talented guys like that a lot of things are expected of you,” he said. “Don’t get caught up in the hype of names of people on the roster.”
“It seemed like we had everything,” he said. “The coaches, the players — sometimes in football it just doesn’t go your way.”
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com offers his take on the Barwin signing:
While it’s entirely possible that Trent Cole and Brandon Graham, who were defensive ends last season when the Eagles lined up in a 4-3, can handle the likely change in roles, it’s also possible that they cannot. Bringing in someone such as Barwin augments the pass rush with someone the Eagles know can handle it, deepens the pass-rushing talent on the roster and improves the Eagles’ versatility on several fronts.
We’ll talk to Williams and Phillips this afternoon. And who knows? Maybe another signing or two will come down today.