Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Michael Kafka, John Skelton, Jonathan Crompton, Rusty Smith, Dan LeFevour, Joe Webb, Tony Pike, Levi Brown, Sean Canfield, Zac Robinson.
Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Tajh Boyd, Johnny Manziel, A.J. McCarron, Stephen Morris, Aaron Murray, David Fales, Derek Carr, Braxton Miller.
The first list is every Quarterback taken in the 2010 NFL Draft. The second list is every Quarterback listed in projections to go in just the first two rounds of the 2014 Draft.
Looking at those names alone, it is clear why Geno Smith’s time to show he is the Jets franchise QB may be running out.
Any quarterback taken in the NFL Draft who is worth starting relatively quickly has a certain amount of time to settle in before they have to fear for their jobs.
Some get a lot of time, like Alex Smith, who despite being in and out of the lineup for seven years, eventually got one last opportunity with the 49ers and grew into an NFL franchise QB.
Others get very little, like Tim Tebow, who despite showing a prowess for winning, was shown the door with the Denver Broncos because they felt like they could improve on what he gave them.
And in that spectrum, there are some who obviously succeed and have long careers, and those who bomb, and have very short careers.
This exercise is to prove that while Geno Smith has shown flashes, promise, potential, and any other word for the longer phrase, “Has not shown it on the field”, every young quarterback has an expiration date they must prove wrong. The Jets took him in what for all accounts was a weak draft for signal-callers; next year will be very different.
When Mark Sanchez entered the equation back in 2009, he was part of a draft considered middling for quarterback potential. But when he entered the league, he had different circumstances with the Jets. The team around him was prime for a playoff race, he won playoff games, and the next QB class in the 2010 draft was nothing to fear, competition-wise, come the late round time the Jets would pick.
Next year, the draft could be flooded with great college quarterbacks with NFL-level skills; where 1st round talent may fall into the 2nd or even 3rd round.
Thus the Jets temptation to draft a quarterback in 2013 could still be apparent in 2014, especially with a much stronger class when, yes those keywords like promise and potential, will exist in an even larger magnitude. Unless of course, Geno Smith can turn around the start of his career.
Through four games, Smith is 26th in completion percentage, tied for 26th in touchdowns thrown, second to last in interceptions, tied for last in times sacked, and tied for the league lead in fumbles.
If you project his numbers over an entire season, he is on pace to end up with the 4th most interceptions in a single season in NFL history, 2nd most of the Super Bowl era. When the Jets looked to replace a turnover-prone QB, this was not what they had in mind.
He is only four games into his career, but that said, it may turn out to be a quarter of the games he actually has to prove himself. If the Jets wind up with a bad enough record due to his struggles, they may clean the slate again with the potential of the 2014 QB class (especially if they wind up with a new head coach), and Geno Smith will have seen his shelf life end with the Jets, only a year after it had begun.