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  1. #1
    K Train's Avatar
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    Steve Smith

    http://cbs.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10117190
    good read, even though prisco is an assface

    Not quite 1st round material imo, but good for him finally being reconized

    They questioned his speed, wondering if he was a burner who could make the big play.

    He had the same name of an NFL receiver who could take it the distance in the blink of an eye, but the scouts wondered if he had that same type of speed. So the USC receiver named Steve Smith, who was often overshadowed during his career with the Trojans by players like Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarrett, did something about it.

    Smith's 4.44 was the fastest among receivers at the combine. (Getty Images)
    Smith's 4.44 was the fastest among receivers at the combine. (Getty Images)
    He showed them all.

    At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February, Smith was timed at 4.44 in the 40, one of the fastest times of all the receivers who ran.

    Where did that speed come from? Wasn't he supposed to be a possession receiver?

    "I guess people didn't see it because we didn't run a lot of go-routes at SC," Smith said. "And when we did have a lot of explosive plays, a lot of the balls were under-thrown. That's the only thing I can think of why people didn't think I was that fast."

    With less than three weeks until the NFL Draft, Smith's stock is soaring because of that performance in Indy. That's the opposite of what scouts are saying about Jarrett, whose 4.62 40 time at his Pro Day has some dropping him down draft boards.

    Jarrett is a big receiver at 6-4, while Smith is just a shade under 6-feet. Jarrett's loping, long stride is what many people remember from the last two seasons of the USC offense, but it was Smith who led the Trojans in catches last season with 71.

    "I think everybody likes to see the big receiver," Smith said. "We had a lot of big receivers at USC, which is why some people might think of me as being overshadowed."

    This year's receiver class is as good and deep as any we've had in the past 10 years. As many as six receivers could go in the first round, with 12-15 in the first three.

    Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson is the clear No. 1 receiver, but after that it's wide open. Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr., Jarrett, LSU's Dwayne Bowe, Tennessee's Robert Meachem and Smith all could be first-round picks.

    "There are a lot of guys if you're in need of a receiver," said an NFC head coach. "You can wait and get some good receivers down the line. It's a deep class. Johnson is special, but there are a lot of other guys, too."

    There was one receiver taken in the first round of the 2006 draft, with that being Santonio Holmes by the Pittsburgh Steelers. But that was an aberration. There were six receivers drafted in the first round in 2005, seven in 2004, three each in 2002 and 2003 and six in 2001.

    A third-round receiver from that 2001 draft was a guy named Steve Smith. He came out of Utah as a speed player who was on the smaller side, which is why he lasted until the third round. After starting one game as a rookie for the Carolina Panthers, he has since developed into one of the league's best receivers.
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    Now we get another Steve Smith.

    "I'm Steve Smith II because my dad is also Steve Smith, so that might help people separate us," said this Steve Smith. "But I'd love to talk to him. He's one of the top receivers, if not the top one, in the league. He's an explosive player who makes a lot of plays after the catch. I love his intensity."

    It's another great receiver who Smith tries to emulate. That would be Jerry Rice, who is part of the agency that represents Smith. Rice's visit to the Smith home helped convince him to sign with his current agency and agent Ralph Cindrich.

    Rice, in fact, was the one who pushed Cindrich to make a run at Smith.

    "He told me he's the guy he really liked," Cindrich said.

    When the greatest receiver of all time is in your house making a pitch, how do you say no?

    "He came to my house and we talked about how hard he worked to make himself great," Smith said. "I think he can still go out and challenge to make plays. That's a testament to the hard work. That's what I want to do. Talking to him about what it takes to make me better was something that will help me down the road."

    One thing Smith has over Rice is speed. Rice was a 4.6 guy who played fast. Smith is a 4.4 guy who plays fast.

    It's that speed that has scouts moving him up. They knew he was productive, but some thought he was a possession guy.

    They don't think that anymore.

    Forty yards of burning up the track changed that.

    Steve Smith might have run himself right into the first round.

  2. #2
    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    This guy is going to be a good player in the NFL no doubt. I liked him before he started shooting up draft boards. I didn't know he was that fast and that just makes me like him more.

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