CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This is the week Geno Smith becomes the first West Virginia University quarterback drafted in the first round by a National Football League franchise.
In a few days, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will approach the podium and announce where Smith, a record-setting QB for the Mountaineers over the past four seasons, is headed to begin his professional playing career.
Destination: There are few rumors and little agreement among the mock drafts that litter the Internet, and it'll be years before it's determined if Smith deserved to be selected in the top five, 10 or first 32 picks.
It's clear, however, that few draft pundits and analysts agree with Nolan Nawrocki's Pro Football Weekly report that hit the Internet on April Fools' Day.
Nawrocki wasn't joking when he listed Smith's positives and negatives in his scouting reports of former Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley and Smith.
Nawrocki's 196-word list of negatives nearly doubled the 108 positive words he had for Smith, which was followed up by a summary of the scouting report that read, in part:
"A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, over-hyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be over-drafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities."
Maybe, someday, Nawrocki will be proven correct, but for now he's on an evaluation island as the three-day draft looms.
"I wouldn't buy into the criticism, personally," said ESPN's Jon Gruden, a former NFL coach who has a popular annual pre-draft feature on the network called QB Camp.
During a conference call last Monday, Gruden answered questions about Smith, with whom he chatted for hours about football for the QB Camp segment.
"Hopefully the thing that came across (on the show) is West Virginia runs a lot of plays in every game," Gruden said. "Eighty five, 95, 105 plays. Up-tempo, no-huddle, lot of pressure on the quarterback to get every play communicated at warp speed.
"I just think he's exhausted at the end of every Saturday afternoon. They put a lot on the quarterback's plate and I think it's very underestimated what this kid can do from a football standpoint. He does a lot above the neck as well as making plays with his arm and his mobility."
Gruden's fellow ESPN personalities, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, have targeted the Cleveland Browns as a potential destination. In his most recent ESPN contribution, Kiper has the Browns trading down to No. 25 to select Smith (nine picks after WVU's Tavon Austin goes off the board to the St. Louis Rams).
McShay has the Browns staying at No. 6 and gambling on Smith early in the draft.