Michael Vick Vs. Geno Smith QB Competition: Why The Jets Should Choose Younger Smith Over Veteran Vick
With the No. 39 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the New York Jets selected quarterback out of West Virginia, Geno Smith. Smith is by no means the next Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck out of college, but he did receive high grades by many NFL scouts and agents. On March 21, the Jets signed veteran quarterback Michael Vick to a one year contract.
So who should the Jets start?
The Jets should start Smith for a number of reasons, with age being the most obvious. Smith is 10 years younger than Vick. The Jets aren't a team that is ready to win a Super Bowl right now or contend in the AFC, so why add 10 years to your starting quarterback? Another obvious factor is health. Michael Vick has played 11 seasons in the NFL and only one time has he played all 16 games, in 2006. Smith has only played one season and he already has a 16 game season under his belt.
Even if Vick were young and in his prime it wouldn't be the right choice, because he can't stay on the field.
Smith, unlike Vick, has been able to avoid defenders when running with the football and gets out of bounds. Vick's injuries keep piling up. Vick always tries to get the extra yard and always tries to do too much, which result in season ending injuries. Smith is also noticeably bigger than Vick and can take more hits from defenders.
Is Geno Smith the next Dan Marino? No, but you drafted him in the second round just last year and you have to at least give him a chance on the field to succeed, or fail. Last season, Smith threw an atrocious 12 touchdown passes to 21 interceptions, however he was taking over a Jets team that was dead in the water with nearly no offensive support whatsoever. Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes (who is still a free agent) has been injury plagued and the Jets best tight end, Dustin Keller, was sent to Miami.
In 2012, the Jets went 6-10 before drafting Smith. Last season, Smith led the Jets to an 8-8 with five game-winning drives.
The Philadelphia Eagles didn't trade Vick, he was benched and then they let him go. This is because Vick is not worth a roster spot or building a team around. His inaccurate passing, constant injuries, small stature, and inconsistent play isn't going to win football games in January. Vick has never thrown for more than 3,400 yards in a season, which is incredibly low considering quarterbacks today are throwing for 5,000 yards. When Vick begins throwing to his targets in New York, he's going to wonder where all those great receivers like DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin are. Even LeSean McCoy provided a great threat for Vick while he was in Philadelphia.
Smith is far from perfect, but again, he's only played one season with some of the worst offensive talent in the league. For historical perspective, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway threw 7 touchdowns,14 interceptions, and a putrid 54.9 quarterback rating his rookie year. Should the Denver broncos have given up on him after just one season? Brett Favre was also a quarterback drafted in the second round. However, the Atlanta Falcons didn't like what they saw after just one year and, well the rest is history. You can't give up on a quarterback you drafted high in the second round just one year ago, it would be validation of a wasted draft pick. The Jets only gave Vick a one year contract, so it doesn't appear they think very highly of him either. The Jets should build around the quarterback they drafted in the second round.
The only thing worse than not finishing what you start, would be to not even fully starting it all.