Leak & Smith: NFL=Not For Long?

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Anyone who witnessed last year’s national championship Rose Bowl contest between USC and Texas knew they were watching two legitimate NFL QBs – Vince Young and Matt Leinart. This season we’re not so certain of the pro prospects for Florida’s Chris Leak and Ohio State’s Troy Smith.

Both young men are great talents. They possess the intelligence, savvy and leadership traits to excel in the NFL. But do they have the game?

I’m not Mel Kiper, Jr, but here’s the deal: Leak no doubt helped himself by guiding his Gators to a stunning 41-14 whomping of favored No. 1 Ohio State. He was a surgeon-like 25-for-36 for 213 yards and a TD. He did not make a single mistake. He was poised and precise. Yet at a smidgen under 6-feet he will be hurt on draft day and largely ignored until the later rounds. His future ill depend totally on the team that drafts him and whether they have a system that allows him to flourish. I ay he goes no earlier than second round and I would not be totally surprised if he slipped further. You know NFL guys. They typically draft with their tape measurer and not their gut. Some smart team will look at his production and his recent performances under pressure and get a steal. He may not be a great NFL QB but could be be Matt Hasselbeck? Sure.

As for Troy Smith, his stock dropped like Time Warner with his woeful performance at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. With more sacks (five) than completions (four) he tumbled out of the lower end of the opening round and into the second, at best. Again I would not be surprised to see him selected lower. He looked small and slow against Florida. Imagine how he’d look against the Bears. Hmm, maybe like Rex Grossman? Anyway, I digress.

Where Smith did maintain his status was at the post-game press conference. He showed the kind of intelligence and class that he displayed throughout his senior year, the kind that too often gets deleted by folks after the kind of abysmal performance he experienced. He will recover and, like Leak, probably be able to have a solid NFL career with some team. Maybe not spectacular, but solid. He’d be a great teammate and leader.

Most pundits are saying it will never get any better n a football field for these two young men. We’ll see.

Florida v Ohio State

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12 thoughts on “Leak & Smith: NFL=Not For Long?

  1. wyclefdoug says:

    I really didn’t watch Leak at all this year, but I have during the previous 3 years of his career. At best he’s a 3rd stringer and more. Matt Hasslebeck is a pretty damn good NFL QB. I don’t see Leak being anywhere near that good.

    Troy Smith, he’s just gonna be one of those players who don’t make it in the NFL.

  2. Stephen says:

    I wouldn’t call Leak a 3rd stringer. He’s very accurate and smart, has some mobility and has the pedigree of having been a 4-year starter. His performance against OSU’s defense doesn’t hurt, either. I’d also point to the numbers he put up at Florida. It’s not as if he sucked. Sure, he’s undersized, doesn’t have a great arm and didn’t live up to the once-lofty expectations, but compare him to Seneca Wallace. Wallace is actually shorter, has a weaker and less accurate arm and didn’t accomplish as much in college. He’s a backup on a good NFL team and started a 4-5 games this year. Did fairly well. He’s more athletic, but as a pure passer, Leak is better. I think he could go as high as the 3rd round – depending on his Combine – and eventually be a backup for a team with a West Coast Offense.

    But I do agree that he shouldn’t be compared to Hasselbeck, who is 4 inches taller (maybe more, Florida might’ve embellished Leak’s height) and has a stronger arm.

    I don’t think Troy Smith is much more talented than Leak, either. Similar size, he’s got a stronger arm (not a cannon though) and is more athletic. But the disparity isn’t that great.

    By far the most talented QB coming out is JaMarcus Russell. He’s got the biggest arm and is actually more accurate than Brady Quinn. He looks and plays like Daunte Culpepper. Quinn, though, has Notre Dame + Charlie Weis + three strong seasons on his rèsumè + 2006 Heisman contention + national spotlight & hype backing him. Then again, the Raiders are picking 1st. Russell, because of his arm, looks like the one who’d make Al Davis salivate more. Then again, the Raiders are picking 1st. They haven’t have a decent draft since 1998. Not even one of those “It made sense at the time” drafts. Wouldn’t be shocked if they use the pick on Uche Nwaneri, a guard from Purdue. Don’t worry, nobody’s supposed to know who he is.

  3. Rush Propst says:

    Roy

    Chris Leak throws a pretty ball. Chris Leak’s problem is that he would rather play flag football than Big Boy Football. NFL? Nope. Area Football? Never (to violent) CFL? Maybe

    Roy, I kinda like this site. I might comment more often. I really thought you would delete my previous comment. It was to “incorrect”, but you handled it well. ANd Roy, I wasn’t being mean-spirited, just that perceptions can be reality….after looking around here, I might be wrong about you.

    Bonne Chance, Amigo

  4. MIGHT be??? 🙂

    Hey, come on back. I welcome all comments, even “incorrect” ones!

  5. Rush Propst says:

    Roy

    Good to see you rolling with it

  6. Rush Propst says:

    I meant to comment on Smith, I have not seen him play to make a “judgement”. Armchair that it would be. Leak, I have watched many games. I always feel a little sick in my stomach as I watch him run the option.

  7. Why? Especially,if you have not “seen him play.”

  8. Rush Propst says:

    I was talking about Troy Smith, I have not seen him play. Leak on the other hand, Wow

  9. adrian says:

    I think that troy smith can and will be one of the best QB’s to come out. because he showed me leadership and ability to take pressure situation. I am a little bit worried about his hight but other than that he’s a great pick for the 2nd round in the draft. Cris leak, he’s a great QB to but they did not show his ability to take on a great team like florida. BUT, the only problem with him is his speed, being a NFL QB now days you need speed and thats something that leak dont have.

  10. Brian Dunbar says:

    What Cris Leak is faster than lots of NFL QB’s if thats all you think is wrong with him your wrong. The thing I think is wrong with him is he somtimes throws the ball into places were the D might get it when he can jst throw for 5 or run.

  11. 1988 burt reynolds

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read.

  12. Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Soccer / Football greats you should write about next!

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