Former Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith didn’t have some of the experiences as a couple of his teammates, or others who are eligible for this year’s NFL Draft, which is Thursday through Saturday in New York City.
Smith didn’t play in any of the college all-star games. But that wasn’t his fault. Those games are for college seniors. Smith announced in December he would forego his senior season at UW to enter the draft.
Smith also wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, in February. That was more of a surprise to many, including Smith. Former UW receiver Robert Herron and defensive back Marqueton Huff were invited to the combine.
But Smith did work out with EXOS, formerly known as Athletes Performance, in Carlsbad, California over the winter. He worked with renowned trainer Brent Callaway and former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia. Some of the other quarterbacks that trained with Smith were San Jose State’s David Fales, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Washington’s Keith Price.
“I got to see a lot of cool stuff, and I love California,” Smith said. “I grew up going to California every summer with my family, and I missed it a lot. I met a lot of new people and experienced a lot of cool things.”
Most NFL Draft experts and websites project Smith to be taken in the later rounds, which will be held Saturday. Some don’t have him being drafted at all, but signed as a free agent.
Smith finished his UW career as the career leader in total offense, touchdown passes and touchdowns responsible for. Many were surprised he declared for the draft, and through a year with first-year coach Craig Bohl and his pro-style offense would have been good for Smith to get a taste of what the pro game would be like.
Whether he is drafted or not, Smith will get a chance to make an NFL roster and that’s all anyone can ask for in his position. Do you think Smith will be drafted or sign with a team as a free agent?
For more on Smith, see Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net
Here are few interesting NFL Draft notes regarding UW players:
–Since 1947, UW has had 78 players selected in either the NFL for AFL drafts.
–UW has had three first-round picks: Ron “Pedro” Billingsley to the AFL’s San Diego Chargers in 1967; Lawrence Gaines to the Detroit Lions and Aaron Kyle to the Dallas Cowboys in 1976.
–Gaines, a running back, is UW’s highest-selected player in NFL Draft history as the 16th overall pick
–The most UW players taken in a single draft was five in 1968: (Jerry DePoyster, Detroit; Mike Dirks, Philadelphia; Jim Kiick, Miami; Mike LaHood, Los Angeles; Paul Toscano, Houston).
–UW has not had multiple players taken in a draft since 1997 when it had three: WR Marcus Harris (Detroit) and OL Steve Scifres and DB Lee Vaughn (Dallas).
–Three of the last four UW players taken in the draft were Wyoming natives: QB Casey Bramlet of Wheatland (2004, Cincinnati Bengals), DB John Wending of Rock Springs (2007, Detroit Lions) and DB Chris Prosinski of Buffalo (2011, Jacksonville Jaguars).
How many UW players do you think will be drafted this weekend?