FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets have selected West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with their second-round pick in the NFL draft.
After falling through the first round Thursday, Smith was taken by New York on Friday night as the likely future replacement for Mark Sanchez, the team’s first-rounder in 2009 who has struggled mightily the past two seasons.
Smith could compete for the starting job this season with Sanchez, who is owed $8.25 million in guaranteed money this season.
The Jets currently have Sanchez, David Garrard, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms — and now Smith — as quarterbacks on their roster.
The Jets drafted Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth overall pick and Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson at No. 13 in the first round Thursday night.
Smith was a question to even show up Friday night after he lasted through the entire selection process less than 24 hours before, but he ultimately decided to take his seat backstage once again and it paid off just seven picks in.
“It’s extremely relieving,” Smith said in an on-stage interview. “I withstood the test of time yesterday. It felt like forever.”
“It’s a dream come true for me playing in the NFL,” he said. “With my work ethic… I’m going to try to win the starting job and I’m going to try to win games.”
Following his selection, Smith made it clear that he is excited for the future and ready to start working with his new team right here in the city where he was drafted.
“Whatever my role is with the team,” he said, “I’m going to accept it and do my best.”
West Virginia Quarterbacks in the NFL Draft:
2013 Geno Smith (2nd), New York Jets
2009 Pat White (2nd), Miami Dolphins
2000 Marc Bulger (6th),New Orleans Saints
1990 Major Harris (12th), Los Angeles Raiders
1984 Jeff Hostetler (3rd), New York Giants
1982 Oliver Luck (2nd), Houston Oilers
1956 Fred Wyant (3rd), Washington Redskins
* Rasheed Marshall was drafted in 2005 as a wide receiver