5. Geno Smith, QB, Jets: There were a couple of different directions to go in with the final selection: the Patriots rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins, who shined in preseason; the Jets starting running back Chris Ivory, who had sizzling expectations coming into preseason but has simmered since; or the Jets star cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who was torched for seven receptions for 154 yards by Tampa Bay’s Vincent Jackson. But ultimately it all comes back to the quarterback position. It wasn’t a pretty start to the career of Smith, who lost a fumble and was intercepted on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter. But in the second half offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg dialed things back for his rookie quarterback and allowed him to gain some confidence that sparked a poised two-minute drill that lead to the game-winning field goal by Nick Folk. A dialed back offense won’t work against Belichick, who’ll be chomping at the bit to get after Smith Thursday night. Smith doesn’t need to win to win over supporters, but he does need to show poise in the pocket, command of the offense, ability to read and react to the defense and just a dash of dynamic plays with his feet to put faith in fans for the future.
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