Nov 23, 2013; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith (16) runs against the Hawaii Warriors during the second quarter at War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Warriors 59-56 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2014 Prospect Profile: Brett Smith, Quarterback, Wyoming


Brett Smith – Quarterback – Wyoming
Ht: 6’3’’
Wt: 206 lbs

2013 Passing (National Ranks)
3,375 Passing Yards (20)
29 Touchdowns (14)
11 Interceptions
62.7 Comp %

Projected round: Late 2 – 3

Brett Smith is the best college quarterback that no one is talking about. The main reason for that is because he plays in Wyoming. Smith was not very heavily recruited by big colleges during high school. Although he was on Oregon State’s radar during his senior year, he never received an offer. Over his career with the Cowboys, he broke most school passing records, as well as the Mountain West conference record for most offensive yards (640) in a single game against Hawaii in November.

Positives:

Nov 16, 2013; Boise, ID, USA; Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith (16) sets up to pass down field during first half of against the Boise State Broncos at Bronco Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Smith has some of the most sound mechanics out of any of the other quarterback prospects. He has a short,
quick delivery which helps him get rid of the ball in a hurry. When he sets his feet and has time to square up his shoulders, he becomes a very accurate passer. Coaches at the next level are going to love the way he throws the ball.

He is deceptively athletic. On game film he is much quicker than his numbers let on. He consistently makes the defense miss with his feet and picks up big chunks of yardage. Smith is most dangerous when he is throwing on the run. He also looks most comfortable when he leaves the pocket, which is not necessarily a good thing.

He has great pocket presence. He can feel the defenders closing in on him. His ability to step up in the pocket and avoid the rush is one of his biggest assets. If there is nobody open, he doesn’t hesitate to scramble.

Smith does a good job of reading the defense before and after the snap. He goes through his reads quickly and is a good decision maker. He will find the open guy if given time in the pocket. This is a key to why he has had low interception numbers throughout his career.

Confidence is one of the main features to look for in a quarterback. Brett Smith has tons of it. He isn’t afraid to try to sling it into tight windows. He also knows he can make the defenders miss when he is on the run. While he does trust his arm, he knows when to throw it away if the play is broken.

Negatives:

He has the ideal height, but he needs to bulk up. His small frame will make him vulnerable at the next level where the defenders are bigger and faster. If he can add weight in the offseason he could be more desirable to NFL teams.

When he isn’t able to set his feet, he loses a large amount of velocity on his throws. His arm strength is very average, which can lead to the ball trailing the receiver on their routes. This also leads to a very inaccurate deep ball. He doesn’t have the power that is needed to drive the ball downfield. The ball comes out wobbly and off target when he tries to hit a receiver deep.

Sometimes he is too over-confident. He trusts his arm too much in some situations. He tends to try to fit it into a hole that is not open for someone lacking good velocity. This can lead to defenders making a play on the ball and killing drives. He also takes some big hits when he tries to extend the play.

Conclusion:

Brett Smith won’t wow anyone at the combine, but he will show up on game day. He is an accurate, athletic passer, who can extend the play and score points. He is very dangerous in the red-zone because of his dual threat ability. He is a calmed down version of Johnny Manziel.

Pro comparison: Alex Smith. Like Smith, he can surprise defenses with his ability to extend the play with his legs. Neither guy will win you over with their arms, but they are accurate in the short game and can consistently move the sticks.

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