Will Smith Bypass His Draft-mates?


By Zack Cimini


Drafted in the first and second rounds last year at wide receiver were A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Torrey Smith. Each of the rookies endured a successful season comparable to expectations of a rookie. With a mini-camp and training camp unlike last season, will a rise occur in statistics from all of them?

Our infatuation rests in the speed of Torrey Smith. Like the receiver beside him in Anquan Boldin, Smith may bolt up in fantasy receiver rankings; ignoring the fact he was a second round pick. A year ago Smith dotted the fantasy spectrum with his three touchdown performance against the St. Louis Rams, and a masterful game winning catch against the Steelers.

How he caught the majority of his touchdowns were on laser throws from Joe Flacco. That is the area that the connection currently lies between Flacco and Smith. The player that was supposed to stretch the field for the Ravens last year was Lee Evans, which never unfolded the way the Ravens would imagined.

With the big seasons first round picks A.J. Green (1,057 yds, 7 Tds) and Julio Jones (959 Yds, 8 Tds), you would of thought their statistics engulfed Torrey Smith’s. In actuality Smith was right there with both of them. Having near 900 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Neither of the three were high volume catchers, but all did great in the department of yards per catch. Averaging between sixteen and eighteen yards amongst each other.

Smith has the most upside of any of the three going into 2012. For one, the Ravens are going to have to unleash Joe Flacco more than they have. Ray Rice is carrying the load far too much. Giving Flacco an extra five to seven throws a game will be beneficial to Smith. Anquan Boldin still has some years left in the league, but has been right up there with Hines Ward in his physicality at the position. Blocks, runs after the catch, and his overall play has resulted in Boldin teetering down quicker at the receiver position.

The area for improvement you can circle for Smith is caught balls. He only had fifty catches in his rookie season. With his speed in the open field, Baltimore has to figure a way to get him more throws. Expect the possibility of the Ravens inserting the New England Patriots quick read throw at the line of scrimmage. Letting Smith catch the ball at the line of scrimmage and try to toast the corner with a quick cut once the cornerback runs up to him.

Deep ball catches may even rise. Feel comfortable in having Smith as your number two wide receiver. In Atlanta, the Falcons may have too many weapons, including Roddy White who is not going to decline in any facet. Cincinnati is dealing with a new running back tandem and unproven talent at wide receiver behind A.J. Green.

The possibility of Smith outperforming Jones and Green could be a thought to entertain in your fantasy drafts.


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