The scout did his best to soften up the young quarterback during their first few meetings during his senior year in Morgantown, W. Va. The key is to make the kid comfortable. Allow him to open up about his strengths and weaknesses; give him a chance to let personality shine through.

Mike Davis, a Jets regional scout based out of Richmond, Va., about a five-hour drive from Geno Smith and the Mountaineers, had seen all the tape. He started logging footage of the versatile 6-2¼, 220-pound prospect the summer before Smith’s senior year in preparation of a long season ahead.

If the personality matched the arm, the speed and the footwork, it was worth keeping up on.

"He knew the history of football," Davis said. "Sitting down talking to him, he’s all the things you want your quarterback to be."

The offensive coordinator was brought in for the next step. At dinner on the night of March 13, Marty Mornhinweg, Davis and Jeff Bauer, the Jets director of player personnel, wanted to vet all the legwork and talk football.

Based on a dismal Jets season in 2012, it was apparent the team could go in a different direction at the position if need be.

"That was an important deal there," Mornhinweg said of the dinner. "In my mind, I wanted to get to know the man."

More than a month later, their target still lingered on the board entering the NFL Draft’s second night, and was in the green room at Radio City Music Hall waiting for someone to pluck him.

Smith said that he spoke to the Jets during the first round. They called and told him they had waffled between Smith and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson with the No. 13 pick.

Now it was the No. 39 choice (the team’s third of the draft) and all the vetting, interviewing, tape logging and talking had weight on the pick. There were already five quarterbacks on the depth chart, including the 2009 No. 5 overall pick, Mark Sanchez.

Then head coach Rex Ryan, dressed in a white button-down shirt with light green tie, got on the speakerphone shortly before 7:05 p.m. Friday. Smith was on the line.

"Just think, man, in two weeks we get out there on that field and by then, it doesn’t matter where you got drafted or anything else," Ryan said on the phone. "We’re all Jets, and we’re proud to have you here, okay?"

And to think, this was the easy part. Bringing in Smith, widely considered the best quarterback in the draft took just a second. One phone call after months of scouting and an afternoon’s worth of discussion. Now, the hard work begins.