Weapons are coming for Geno Smith. With the NFL Draft underway, he knows he could have some new toys to play with this season.
Smith endured a turbulent rookie season with the Jets. He was benched three times and threw more interceptions (21) than touchdowns (12). Part of his slow acclimation to the league stemmed from a transition from the wide-open Air Raid offense employed at West Virginia to a pro-style offense. But an equally big part was the lack of weapons on last year's Jets roster.
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The Jets' top receiver last season was Jeremy Kerley, who had 523 receiving yards — just 86th in the league.
And while New York went with safety Calvin Pryor at No. 18 overall, the team is expected to invest in receivers early in the draft.
“I'm definitely excited to see the guys that we get,” Smith said. “With the draft class that we had last year in [general manager John] Idzik's [first] year, I think we did a tremendous job of getting guys. I think maybe five or six of us started games from that draft. We're trying to improve from Year 1 to Year 2. I do believe that no matter who we select, they will be the right guys for the team. It is just about us the veteran guys, the older guys and then myself, helping lead those guys and transition them into what we do here with the Jets.”
Smith spoke to the media at the Jets' season ticket-holder draft party at MetLife Stadium. The event was attended by over 3,000 fans.
He said his confidence hasn't changed.
“My level of understanding is far ahead of where I was coming in, which is to be expected,” Smith said, who said he's been working overtime all offseason. “[I've] watched a lot of tape of last year — went over every single play, every single game, scenario, over and over and over. Just trying to kind of speed up the learning curve.”
The team did address this lack of weapons on offense with the free agent signing of wide receivers Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford. In addition, free agent running back signing Chris Johnson is a pass-catching threat as well.
While Smith is watching the draft this year to see if another complementary piece comes onboard, he also acknowledged his improved play would be the best way for the offense to improve.
“I do see us improving. Over the course of last year, you could really see us improving later on into the season. Simply because we got better at the quarterback spot,” Smith said. “If we take care of our job at quarterback, we'll have a good team because we're set up; we have good players at every other position. Those guys are going to come out and executing. Ultimately, it comes down to quarterback play. The position where we want to be at this upcoming season is where we're having consistent quarterback play and we can help this team win games.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.