Was Landry Jones Snubbed by Big 12, Geno Smith?
In some areas, this award may seem heedless. Jones has thrown for 93 touchdowns and over 12,000 yards in his three-year collegiate career, and sustained the nation's No. 5 passing game in 2012. You can make the case that he's a better NFL prospect than Smith, which at this point is still hard to determine.
However, the award isn't titled 'Big 12 preseason Best NFL Quarterback Prospect of the Year,' now is it?
Sure, Smith is entering uncharted territory by joining a new conference and will face defenses that he's never seen before. But let's be serious here—Big 12 defenses aren't much better than those of the Big East.
That said, it's not out of the question that Smith will match and even surpass the numbers he put up last season: 346-of-526 (65.8 percent), 4,385 yards, 31 touchdowns, seven interceptions. Dana Holgerson's pass-happy dink-and-dunk offensive attack will allow him to do that.
The only reason Jones is returning for his senior year is because of his disappointing junior performance, where he threw two less touchdowns than Smith and more than doubled the amount of interceptions.
Both will be explosive this fall, there's no doubting that. Each have an offensive unit returning that will be able to put points on the scoreboard at will. But which quarterback will post better numbers?
Unfortunately for Jones (and other Big 12 quarterbacks, for that matter), the conference POY award is solely based off statistical outcome. You throw for more yards and touchdowns, you win the award—and Smith is set to do that in high fashion.
As for who the better overall player is, it's a toss up. Personally, I think that Smith is a quarterback of the system and is at the top of his ceiling. Jones is more of the prototypical, NFL-ready type of QB but needs vast improvement with accuracy in all areas.
Time will certainly tell, but as for now, the league got this one right.
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