- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A few quick thoughts on the New York Jets' second-round pick:
The pick: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State.
My take: It's easy to see why the Jets made this choice -- speed. Smith is one of the top vertical threats in the draft, and he should be a nice complement to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The long-term success of the pick hinges on whether Smith can expand his game. Right now, he's a one-trick pony. If he doesn't develop, it'll go down as a wasted pick.
Home run hitter: Smith was a big-play machine for the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes. He averaged an FBS-high 28.2 yards per catch last season -- 931 yards on 31 receptions, including 12 touchdowns. He's the master of the "9" route -- i.e. the "go" pattern. In other words, he can blow the top off a defense. In fact, he led all receivers in the Power 5 conferences in receptions (17) and touchdowns (10) on passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield. He ran the 40 in 4.42 seconds at the scouting combine, but the trait that gets evaluators excited is his ability to track the ball in the air. That's an underrated quality for wide receivers. The concern with Smith is that the rest of his game needs work, namely his hands and route running. He was so limited at Ohio State that he averaged only two catches per game. That's a bit alarming. You can't run by cornerbacks on a consistent basis in the NFL, so it's imperative that he learn the route tree. He also offers special-teams value, as he was a terrific gunner in college.
Help for Geno: You can't say the Jets aren't trying to improve Geno Smith's supporting cast. They've made two significant moves in that regard -- the Marshall trade and the Smith pick. Hey, that's what teams do when they finish 32nd in passing offense. Geno Smith has two good possession receivers in Marshall and Decker, and a long-ball threat in Smith. It's hard to believe, but the Jets haven't drafted a wide receiver this high since 2001, when they selected Santana Moss in the first round. Smith's arrival raises questions about Jeremy Kerley's role. The Jets are four-deep at receiver, a dramatic turnaround from a couple of years ago. Remember the days of Chaz Schilens? Yeah, they've come a long way.
It's easy to see why the New York Jets made Devin Smith their choice in the second round -- speed.