Summary: Torrey Smith lost some money when the NFL moved the kickoff spot back to the 35-yard line. He is one of the top kick return threats in the 2011 NFL draft class, but this skill becomes less valuable with more touchbacks expected going forward.
Offensively, Smith profiles as a potential No. 2 although he needs to run better routes. Like many college receivers, he was not asked to run many different routes. He also has to work on his downfield blocking if he wants to secure a starting role.
At worst, there is a place for him as a deep threat and teams still need someone to return kickoffs even if there are fewer to bring back. Even at best, he is a complementary player as opposed to someone a team can build around as a primary receiver.
Player Comparison: Earl Bennett. This is not just about the obvious HWS (height-weight-speed) similarities. When I think about Torrey Smith's future, I see similar production to Bennett. Clearly Smith is a more prolific returner although if the Bears did not have better options, Bennett might be contributing more in that area as he did just a little in 2009.
As a straight receiver, I see both deep threats as merely solid guys on the roster as opposed to players sending an opposing defensive coordinator to the Pepto Bismol bottle.
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