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Patriots 2011 Draft Report: Torrey Smith, Maryland

Torrey Smith would give the Patriots a true deep threat in the passing game. (Photo on vegassharps.com)

Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

Height: 6-0
Weight: 204
40: 4.43
2010 stats: 67 receptions, 1,055 yards, 12 touchdowns

Overview:

Torrey Smith is one of the quickest wide receivers out of the 2011 crop. At 6’0″, 204 pounds, Smith shows terrific footwork and vision down the field. Despite Smith’s quickness, he plays a lot bigger than he actually is. Smith will go across the middle and make the difficult catch, however he is most dangerous when asked to go downfield.

Last season with freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien at the helm, Maryland relied heavily on the one-two rushing attack of Davin Meggett — son of former Patriot David Meggett –  and Da’Rel Scott, who totaled 1,428 yards on the ground. But, when offensive coordinator James Franklin — now head coach at Vanderbilt — let O’Brien throw, he looked toward Smith. In fact, the second leading receiver for Maryland had roughly a quarter of Smith’s production in 2010.

Smith, who only received one Division 1 offer, has the budding potential to be a star in the NFL. Along with playing receiver, Smith was also an elite kick returner for the Terps. In 2009, Smith returned two kickoffs for touchdowns while posting a 25.7 kickoff return average.

In the NFL, Smith will have to become more consistent with his hands as he lets too many passes ride into his chest. Because he’s a speed-first receiver, Smith made a lot of the over the shoulder receptions, so he’ll need to adjust and become more well-rounded.

Outside of Georgia’s A.J. Green and Alabama’s Julio Jones, the No. 3 receiver spot is up for grabs. It’s a tough call between Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin and Smith, but where they end up will surely be based off team need. If a team is looking for a big, possession receiver than Baldwin is their guy. If they want a burner, deep threat — insert Smith.

Patriots Outlook:

Like we talked about before, the receiver need for the Patriots boils down to how the team feels about Brandon Tate and Taylor Price. In the past the Patriots have had a difficult time drafting receivers.

Nobody can forget when New England traded up 16 spots in the 2006 NFL Draft to select Chad Jackson. Green Bay, the team the Patriots traded with, ended up taking Greg Jennings. In 2003, Bill Belichick and co. gambled on the Texas A&M speedster Bethel Johnson, who proved to be nothing more than a kick returner.

Smith gives the Patriots a true deep threat who is more like an elusive running back in the open field. But, to a degree Tate can do some of the same things. However, Smith is far more polished than Tate at the receiver position and would push to start from day one.

Since the departure of Randy Moss, the Patriots have lacked a true playmaker offensively. Smith could fill this void either at No. 17 or No. 28 — if the Patriots are lucky enough for him to fall.

Note: The Patriots have held a private workout with Smith.

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About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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