The NFL draft is May 8 and this time of year always makes me scratch my head.
I’m sure you’ve no doubt read mock draft after mock draft trying to slot where guys are going to go, what teams are going to trade up, and who is going to, inevitably, make that splash selection that “experts” have been telling you a team should make. I’m here to remind GM’s of these teams of their job: to make their team competitive by taking the guy who can help them the most as quickly as possible while at the same time not rendering your organization devoid of resources.
In the NFL the quarterback position is the most important position in the sport. This year’s crop of draft hopefuls is no different from any other when you break it down. You have some hits, and you have some misses. Based on everything I’m hearing the Rams, Browns, Texans, Jaguars, and Raiders are all in the market for a quarterback and I would like to make a suggestion.
Can I throw Brett Smith of the Wyoming Cowboys into the national conscience?
Now, while those who don’t watch the Wyoming Cowboys on a week-to-week basis (can’t say I was dialed in every week either) Google him allow me to explain. You see, Most teams fall in love with the guy they see all the time. It’s how Jamarcus Russell goes number one in a draft and how a coach trades up into the first round to select Tim Tebow. Sometimes it’s how teams give up multiple draft picks for a guy who, for all intents and purposes, could be the guy (Robert Griffin III), yet could have saved those resources and drafted a guy who also could be the guy at a more affordable slot for team building purposes (third-round pick Russell Wilson). Most general managers and team personnel will tell you that if it weren’t for incessant coverage, mock drafts, and “experts” the draft would look a lot different because then they would be able to draft the guy they like instead of the guy they’re told they should draft.
Brett Smith is this year’s best kept draft secret, and if teams were smart they would start considering him when they bounce around the idea of drafting a quarterback. No, Brett Smith didn’t just pop up on my radar when he flashed his impressive physical abilities at Wyoming’s pro day. He impressed me when his tools jumped off the screen against Nebraska and almost pulled out the victory against the (then) 18th ranked Huskers. He impressed me when he went over 180 consecutive passes without throwing an interception. I don’t care WHAT conference you play in (and I’ve given the Mountain West Conference its fair share of criticism through the years), that statistic tells me he gets it.
He just flat-out impresses me.
So what makes me think he deserves to be mentioned among top draft prospects like Bridgewater, Bortles, and Manziel? All I can tell you is I have a hunch. But if you’re going to bet the farm on the other three, know your comparisons.
Quarterback A: 8,834 yards, 61.9% completion, 76 TD’s, 28 INT’s, 139.1 rating, 1,529 rushing yards, 20 RuTD’s
Quarterback B: 9,817 yards, 68.4% completion, 72 TD’s, 24 INT’s, 157.2 rating, 170 rushing yards, 6 RuTD’s
Quarterback C: 7,598 yards, 67.8% completion, 56 TD’s, 19 INT’s, 163.4 rating, 561 rushing yards, 15 RuTD’s
Quarterback D: 7,820 yards, 69.9% completion, 63 TD’s, 22 INT’s, 172.9 rating, 2,169 rushing yards, 30 RuTD’s
I’ll let you chew on those numbers a moment while I go over some things. Physically, Brett Smith has no issues. He’s 6’3″, 205 pounds. He runs a 4.51 40-yard dash (faster than Manziel) and his arm (as seen in the video linked above) shows the requisite strength to make all the throws necessary at the next level. Generally, the numbers don’t lie. I am not one to go strictly by numbers at all times. I take into account that one of the quarterbacks played a softer schedule this season compared to the other. I take into account that one of the quarterbacks played his worse games against the best opponents. But if I’m going to go strictly by numbers, I’m going to ask you to reference back to quarterbacks “A” through “D” and tell me how you would rank them. If it looks something like this:
Or like this:
Or if you have quarterback A anywhere in the front of your mind when ranking them then guess what? You recognize just how good Brett Smith played on the football field too. At Wyoming. Wyoming.
I don’t consider myself an expert. I have a fascination with the quarterback position and offensive football that dates back to around fifth grade. So my suggestion is just that, a suggestion. But please, Cleveland, you have a wide receiver who is possibly the most gifted young wideout in the NFL, you spent a fortune upgrading your defense, and brought in Ben Tate to improve your running game. Don’t blow this opportunity to adequately build your team. Oakland…well what more can you really say other than if the rumors are true and you are interested in a wide receiver, pair him with this guy after drafting responsibly. Bill O’Brien is as great an offensive mind as any, so would it shock me if he already sees what I do? St. Louis reaped the benefits of the RGIII trade and they have an opportunity to take Sam Bradford’s replacement later in the draft right under everyone’s’ nose. Take that shot.
But again it’s only a suggestion. Take it or leave it.
Brett Smith throwing at Pro Day: