He was the man who consistently found the open spots on the field and is one of the most reliable pass catching tight ends in college football for the last couple of years.">
He was the man who consistently found the open spots on the field and is one of the most reliable pass catching tight ends in college football for the last couple of years.">

Ravens DOUBLE Play-making Presence...

<b>...Pass-Receiving TE Trent Smith...</b><br><br> TE Trent Smith, the seventh-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens had been a pass-catching machine for the Sooners and THE "go-to" guy they look for in clutch situations when his team needed him most. <br><br> He was the man who consistently found the open spots on the field and is one of the most reliable pass catching tight ends in college football for the last couple of years.

Then why is he a seventh-round draft pick do you ask? One thing and one thing only is his main detraction; he's a sub-par blocker. What does this mean? Simply put, if you're a TE who only a sub-par blocker then your value drops like a rock. 

But when it comes to his skills as a receiver, he easily ranks as one of the top tight ends in the country. Smith has been a very effective weapon for Oklahoma's passing game over the last few seasons as their "go-to guy". 

He possesses great size potential, decent speed, and he represented a complete mismatch at the college level. And he has the base to get bigger and stronger on his tall, lanky frame. Smith looks to be more of an H-back when projecting him to the next level right now but his receiving skills are without question his greatest asset.

Smith has very good hands and can improvise on the football field. Smith doesn't have great speed but he's quicker than he's timed as he creates separation, positions his body very well and shields the ball from defenders. 

As teams have concentrated their efforts to keep him from making big plays this past year after a sensational season in 2001, his numbers slightly dropped but his impact did not as he consistently drew defenders and opened up the offense for the other receivers.

He will be a good fit for any West Coast style offense. Smith plays faster than he times and gives great effort during every game. He has very good to great hands and can string together multiple moves in the open field. He is an excellent athlete who can both run and jump with relative ease and he knows how to use his athleticism. 

Smith knows what it takes to get the ball in his hands and he usually wins close battles. He times his jumps perfectly. He has good strong hands. He is very quick coming off the line and he runs very good routes. He's very smart and he spends a lot of time in the film room.

His offense used him more like an extra receiver and rarely asked him to block much at all. Smith can be extremely dangerous if in the right offensive package but with good coaching and weight room work he could be an outstanding all around TE too in time.

Pro's Take: How Will Trent Smith be used In the Ravens Offense? 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and take a wild guess as to what I think the reasoning behind drafting a TE/H-back hybrid like Trent Smith. Smith more than likely will see a lot of time on the field in the Ravens 2-TE packages because although he's a sub-par blocker, his pass-catching capabilities are outstanding. 

It's likely that the Ravens observed with a keen eye what the Dolphins were able to do with another H-back style of player in TE Randy McMichael, and that may have played a part in their selection of TE Trent Smith. 

McMichael was a fourth round draft choice (114th overall selection) by the Dolphins in the 2002 draft. Although they went out and signed former Bronco TE Desmond Clark to fill their need at TE, McMichael literally stole the show and Clark's job in the process. 

Although he's not considered a great blocker by any stretch of the imagination with his lanky frame, all McMichael did was finish third on the team in receptions and in reception yardage with 39 catches for 485 yards and four touchdowns. His reception yardage ranks sixth among all AFC and eighth among NFL tight ends. 

Now I doubt that the Ravens intend to replace their Pro-Bowl TE Todd Heap by any means, but what if you could complement him? What if you had another player who could also be a threat at receiver playing the TE position? 

And I'm not just talking about an average receiver; I'm talking about a true red-zone threat with soft hands and clutch receiver skills. That's probably how Smith was perceived when the Ravens crafty scouting team selected him.

Isn't it kind of odd that they didn't select a single WR from the draft even though they had ample opportunity? It's more so that they didn't feel that what was available provided an improvement over the developing receivers they already have currently on their roster. 

Ah, but Smith WAS selected. And with good reason too. You see, whether Smith lines up in either a true TE's spot or the slot as another receiver he'll more than likely draw a linebacker to cover him. Smith made his living beating the best LB's that college football has to offer which is something that needs not be overlooked.

Now the light should come on for you. Heap will be moved around but depending on the coverage will sometimes draw a defensive back since he's a Pro-Bowl TE. But Smith will more than likely draw a linebacker wherever he lines up on the field. Now you've just created a mismatch, especially in the red-zone. 

Smith's receiving skills will make him a valuable asset for the Ravens and should more than likely depending on how well he shows up during training camp will constitute more two-TE packages being installed in the Ravens offensive scheme.

If all that Smith does is take one more defender out of a play, then it was worth utilizing a draft pick for his presence. But I'll bet that if used correctly Trent Smith can be a great complement to Pro-Bowler Todd Heap in getting him and the rest of the Ravens receivers more single match-ups and in turn more opportunities to make plays overall. 

Selecting TE Trent Smith may turn out to be one of the shrewdest moves toward developing more offensive weapons for their offense. More options lead to more completions. More completions lead to more scores. And that is exactly what the Ravens are looking for and hoping for. Look for Trent Smith to possibly make a significant impact on the Ravens offense real soon.

I think Smith will have an excellent career in the NFL and he may turn out to be one of the better or maybe the best TE in this class because he is such a hard worker, athletic and he's a wonderful pass receiving TE.-Pro-


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