Thursday, January 25, 2007

Leak vs. Smith, again

One of the things that perplexed me in the run-up to the BCS Championship game was how Troy Smith was getting played up as a legitimate NFL prospect, with some speculating that he'd be a late 1st rounder or early 2nd rounder while Chris Leak was dismissed as late 2nd day pick, if at all. One of the things that was cited was Chris Leak's height. He has been listed at 6' even and Troy Smith allegedly had an inch on him at 6' 1". When the game ended and the two hugged at mid field it became apparent to me that they were exactly the same height.

Well, in preparation for the Senior Bowl all players are weighed in and measured. Troy Smith came in at 6' even and Leak came in at 5' 11-7/8" inches. He's 1/8 of an inch shorter than Smith. If you have a ruler nearby take a minute to observe how much of a difference an eighth of an inch is.

As far as weight goes, Smith looked a little chunky to me in the big game and he weighed in at 222 lbs for the Senior Bowl, while Leak came in at 203 lbs.

Smith was also described as a mobile quarterback. To me that usually means fast. But Troy Smith doesn't look too fast. He got chased down by Gator defensive ends Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey on dead sprints. Smith is estimated to have a 40-yd dash time of 4.6. Leak is estimated at an even slower 4.73. But it's possible that the Troy Smith hype machine is at work here too. We will see actual 40 times in the NFL combine.

I didn't get a good look at Smith throwing the ball on the run during the regular season, and obviously with 4 completions in the only game I ever watched him play in person I can't judge his ability to do that but I can say that Leak is certainly mobile in that he can roll out to either side, square his shoulders to the target, and deliver a strike. This is a required tool if you are going to be a short quarterback in a big man's league.

I'm not saying that Leak should be drafted highly, or even at all. What I'm questioning is how Troy Smith can be considered so much better a prospect. I don't think either will be a permanent starter for an NFL team but I certainly am pulling for Leak to prove his critics wrong once again.


jimcaserta said...

Ask the San Diego Chargers. In 97 they got a big strong-armed QB with the #2 pick and look where that guy ended up. 2001, they went small and got this guy in the 2nd round. For the record, he's 6' 209 - about the same as Leak, and hasn't needed above-average mobility.

Henry Gomez said...

Jim, I tend to agree with you. CHad Pennington is another small-ish, weaker-armed QB that seems to win.I think with 4 years under Meyer we'd have a different perception of Leak. But 3 coordinators and two completely different offensive systems in 4 years is hard to overcome. We shall see what Leak can do. I just heard today that basically played as good as he could play in the Senior Bowl practices and that he'd be about a 4th rounder.

I added you to our blog roll under Gators BTW.

Anonymous said...

Hey Henry,
We're all trying to find someone to wipe that shit eaten grin off your face....maybe Troy Smith did that today at the Senior Bowl.

Henry Gomez said...

The Senior Bowl? Are you kidding me? Far from removing the smile from my face, I sprayed milk all over my monitor when I read your comment.

Did you miss the game on January 8th? You know, the one that counted.

By the way Troy Smith today 5 for 15 for 52 yards is an improvement over 4-14 for 35 yards but still nothing to write home about.

Anonymous said...

People see that "5 for 15" and think he had a bad game ,during the regular season that would be true but the Senior Bowl is stacked to be tough against the QBs. Scouts were more interested in which QB led scoring drives, converted important downs and avoiding interceptions. Smith led the NORTH on 3 of it's 5 scoring drives. Highlights included a big fourth down conversion, a double reverse where he threw the lead block downfield and a classic "Troy moment" late in the game when he moved from the pocket & threaded the needle with a TD pass that exceeded Mach1. Several times he drew gasps by slipping out of sure tackles to scramble open and make throws...that were then dropped by WRs or the game would have been even more lopsided than the 27-0 NORTH domination led by BIG TEN players. Defensively, the NORTH's front four completely dominated the SOUTH's O-line as OSU's Pitcock and Patterson combined for three sacks -15 yards. Patterson had his best game when it counted the most (for him). If a ball carrier got past them then the UM crew of Hall, Harris, and Burgess dropped them cold splitting 12 tackles. In other words they had their way with a certain future CFL-punt coverage specialist named Chris Leak. Chew on that Henry.

Henry Gomez said...

You are the champions!


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