I can already here MaLoR yelling at me through the computer.
So with a whole 2 weeks 'till Steelers football resumes, I figured I'd revert to some of my older methods and try and do a couple of write ups for players I'd like to see the Steelers add come April.
Enter Torrey Smith, junior wide receiver and recent 2011 NFL draft entree from the University of Maryland.
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A Brief Rundown:
Weight: 200 lbs
Age: 21 (1/26/89)
Word on the Street:
Let me start by quoting BTSC's resident Ravens fan Mr MaLor, who is also a student at the University of Maryland, where Smith attends school, and answered with the following response when I brought up Smith to him:
Wish he would stay because him and our future heisman QB could really rip through the NCAA next year, but he deserves to be drafted in the first 3 rounds.
Holds nearly every receiving and offensive record at MD and did it in only 3 years. He will be a dangerous #2 or slot WR in the NFL if he goes to the right system. The dude can fly.
From everything that I've read and heard, that's pretty much spot on.
The kid's lightning fast-not Mike Wallace fast, but not far from it. From my armchair scout's eye he looks like a burner with good hands, body control, and phenomenal shiftiness after the catch that can turn short routes into TD's. He's also been an all-world return man, who set the NCAA-Division 1 return yards in a single season mark a year ago. Honestly he reminds me a lot of our own stalwart deep threat, Mike Wallace. As I mentioned a couple sentences back, I don't think he has quite the speed of Wallace but I'd put his 40 time in the 4.3's. The one thing I'd say Smith has over Wallace is his ability to come back to an under thrown ball. After the Carolina game in week 16 Big Ben made a big deal over one particular catch Mike Wallace made in which he made a great leaping catch on pass that was behind both him and the defender. Ben said it was the first time Wallace had made that kind of adjustment in a game, and that's what he had been getting after Wallace about to do more often. If you take a look at some of the highlights I'll post below, you'll see that Smith already has this as part of his arsenal.
Now many of you are probably wondering where such a player would fit into our already young and promising wide receiving corp. More importantly some of you are probably wondering where Smith will end up going in this year's draft. Well, firstly, addressing our depth chart, I am as every bit as surprised and pleased with the development that our rookie receivers and Mike Wallace have made this year and truly am excited about what each brings to the table. That being said, the Steelers under Kevin Colbert are a team that selects the best player available when they are on the clock, and that strategy has won them two Superbowls in the last 6 seasons. If Smith falls to the Steelers at the end of round 2 would they take a shot at him? I'm not sure, but from the look of it, Smith is the kinda guy Pittsburgh loves to bring into their organization. Nothing I've seen or heard leads me, the character nut, to believe that this guy is anything but a hard worker, and a grounded football player. No ridiculous Touchdown celebrations or loud mouth complaints, just a guy who goes out and plays the game of football the way it's meant to be played. This and the fact that Hines Ward is not far from retirement, especially if we do end up winning the big dance this year, a feat that if accomplished, will most likely have the bittersweet implication of our beloved #86 hanging up his cleats for good. Who knows what will happen if we fail to win #7, and then there's a lockout next year. Many will say that Brown and Sanders will be sufficient in covering for Ward's departure, and I hope you are right, but Mike Tomlin has show in the past that he loves bringing in fresh blood to challenge players to elevate their game to another level in order to keep there starting position. As for Smith's draft stock, expect it to be anywhere in the second to early third round. In any case, I wouldn't mind at all if we added Smith. I could see he and Wallace being a deadly combination for years to come if paired together.
Highlights (bound to be some repeats):