NFL analyst trashes Geno Smith in quarterback power rankings

Smith is ranked as the third-best quarterback in the NFC West.
Michael Owens/GettyImages

No offense to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, but is his success due to his skill or rather the 49ers' system? Would someone such as Gardner Minshew or Derek Carr have just as good of numbers as Purdy does? Or, perhaps, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith?

Give most quality NFL quarterbacks the kind of offensive weapons Purdy has as well as a a great defense and offensive line and they might be MVP candidates too. This includes Geno Smith who has shown he can be extremely accurate and has a good arm. His arm talent is definitely as good as - and likely better than - Purdy's.

The reason for bringing up the comparison is that according to CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin, Purdy is the second-best quarterback in the NFL and only Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is better. Part of Benjamin's short write-up about Purdy mentions the 49ers' excellent nucleus around the quarterback but also praises him for acting like a 10-year veteran.

Is that really enough to make him the second-best QB in the league? Of course, not.

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith gets shafted by CBS Sports' QB power rankings

Meanwhile, Benjamin sticks Geno Smith at number 18. In essence, Benjamin sees Smith as a bottom-half-of-the-NFL quarterback even though Smith's overall numbers the last two seasons have been in the top half of the league. Does Benjamin expect Smith to somewhat diminish in 2024 even though Smith has basically the same offensive skill players around him and hopefully has better direction with new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb?

It may be telling that Purdy could appear to be the better quarterback because the 49ers have had a better team. For instance, he has one game-winning drive in his two-year career, and that came in 2022. Smith led the league in the category in 2023 with five and has eight in the least two years. Purdy's team has been good enough that the quarterback does not have to bring his team back from behind. Smith has and multiple times.

Purdy's interception percentage is also much higher than Smith's His career number is 2.4 which is pretty much what he has had in both his first two seasons. Smith's is 1.8 percent over the last two years. Purdy simply has to do less with more while Smith has had to try to do more with less overall talent around him and worse coaching.

In comparison to the rest of the league, Smith's total QBR was 15th in 2023 and seventh in 2022. Smith also led the league in completion percentage in 2022 and the NFC in touchdown passes. Besides leading the league in game-winning drives in 2023, he also led the NFL in fourth quarter comebacks.

Geno Smith may not be a top-five quarterback but he also is not the 18th-best QB in the NFL. Neither is Brock Purdy the second-best quarterback. They are likely both top ten and are fairly comparable.

Read more from 12th Man Rising