Geno Smith Addresses His Critics Ahead of Draft - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Geno Smith Addresses His Critics Ahead of Draft

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NEW YORK -

Geno Smith has a message to all of his critics: Doubt me at your own risk.

The West Virginia quarterback has heard just about everything from pro football analysts leading up to Thursday's NFL Draft, whether it be positive or negative. On Tuesday, he took to Twitter to express how he felt about the less appealing evaluations that are floating about.

"Just want to thank all those so called ‘experts' who say I can't be an NFL QB," he tweeted. "Thursday will be a special day but the work has only begun."

A day before the Draft, Smith joined his college teammate Tavon Austin in running through some drills for the NFL Play 60 Football Festival. When the event broke for media availability, reporters wanted to know precisely what the Mountaineer hoped to get across when he used his 140-character limit to call out those "experts."

"We all have chips on our shoulders, we all have doubters, we all have people who say you can't do this or you're not fit for this," Smith said. "It's just based on the work that you're going to put in and how much are you going to dedicate yourself to getting better daily."

Smith felt that the message in his tweet was quite clear and needed no explanation. He has fought throughout his playing career to find success and would like to think that the results would speak for themselves.

Still, as a player poised to hear his name called in the first round and would ultimately be seen as the face of a franchise if everything worked out how he plans, Smith is aware that he may have to be more careful with what he puts out on a public forum like Twitter.

"I understand that in the position that I'm in, everything's going to get overblown, everything is going to be analyzed and just let people do their jobs. I've got to do mine, they have to do theirs," he said. "I'm not going to sit back and take all that criticism, especially the unjust criticism. You know, things that are made up."

Smith gave a knowing look to the gathered media at this point as one reporter asked what made up thing he was referring to. He replied with, "You know what I mean."

What he means is the ProFootballWeekly.com evaluation in which Nolan Nawrocki blasted Smith for a number of deficiencies that teammates and coaches have since strongly refuted.

Not everyone who read the report heard all of the claims of it being so off base, though. There are many who have a perception of Smith that leads them to believe that he may see his stock slip greatly and somehow could even fall into the second round after being projected as the No. 1 overall selection at one point.

"I hold absolutely zero hope for my mock draft. Zero," NFL Network Draft guru Mike Mayock said on Wednesday. "I'm not real confident about it this year."

The question marks from top to bottom will make for quite an experience as Smith waits for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step up to the podium and call his name.

There are plenty of interested parties, though. Smith says that after meeting with many of the league's teams, he likes them all and wouldn't be surprised if he ended up going to just about any of them. His conversations with the decision makers out there leave him feeling comfortable and confident as he gets ready to walk through the doors of Radio City Music Hall on Thursday.

"I continue to work and the one thing that I know is that the GMs and the coaches, they don't listen to any of that and I don't, either," Smith said of the criticisms. "[Analysts] have scouts and they have their people who do their research and if you do your research on me, you know exactly what I'm about and who I am."

In the meantime, he intends to enjoy himself. Why not, right? Besides, Thursday isn't just special because of the Draft.

"It's my mom's birthday," said Smith. "That's the biggest thing for me. Like I always say, I'm a selfless guy, so I'm really there to enjoy the birthday with her and once I get drafted, then we'll share a moment then, but right now, I'm just happy-go-lucky."

Smith assures us he has gotten his mother "plenty of gifts," not the least of which will be the sound of his name echoing across Radio City Music Hall.

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