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QB Paul Smith from Tulsa is going to be something special


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008 NFL Draft Prospect - Scouting Report

Smith played in eight during the 2003 season as a true freshman. Redshirted in 2004, he finally took the QB starter position in the spring of 2005, starting all 13 games. He completed 62% of his passes for 2,847 yards with 20 TDs and six interceptions and was named the MVP of the 2006 Liberty Bowl. In his junior season, he passed for 2,727 yards with 15 TDs and was voted to the Second Team All C-USA squad. In 2007, Smith gained 4,753 through the air. He recorded a school record 42 TDs. After the season, he was voted Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year. He made the First Team All C-USA squad, Capping off an impressive senior season with an equally impressive game performance at GMC Bowl.

Smith is an experienced three year started who is very intelligent (doing well with pre-snap reads). He makes good, audible decisions. He has good footwork and although he is tot fast or very athletic, he is good at gaining time with his slides in the pocket. Showing poise and pocket presence, Smith has patience going through his progressions. He has a good touch and above average arm strength. He has been very accurate, with a good career TD-to-INT ratio. Smith will need coaching on his mechanics and must avoid taking unnecessary risks, because he throws sometimes into coverage. He can also become overconfident as the games move on, but he has benefit greatly from the Tulsa offensive system. Although, he did not play well against top-level programs, thus the level of completion is a concern.

At the beginning of the season, Smith was regarded as a late sixth or early seventh round selection. He upgraded his draft status with a spectacular season. But, he is on the thin side and many wonder if he can take the punishment at the next level. He is very accurate on the shot to intermediate zones, but the ball tends to die when he is throwing downfield. Smith does not have the arm strength to fit the ball in tight places, but he is a good developmental type player. He just needs time to adjust to the speed of the pro game.

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I like Smith, and I think he'll catch on somewhere in a backup 3rd QB role for a while before he has the opportunity to maybe get a starting role. I also think he can develop into an adequate starter. But I don't think we should be the team that selects him, especially if we are planning on developing him as our QB of the future. He's 3 to 4 years away from starting.

He's also probably a better fit in a WCO type scheme, he reminds me of Jeff Garcia somewhat. I don't think he'll be suited for the offense that we're going to try and run here. I do think he'll get drafted in the 6th/7th round by some WCO team.


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