Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press
Wyoming's Brett Smith threw his hat into a crowded quarterback draft class.
This draft has been hailed as one of the best quarterback drafts in recent years, deep with players like Manziel, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and more.
So why did Wyoming’s Brett Smith decide to throw his hat in the ring?
Smith has been called a more controlled version of Manziel. He has solid mobility and quick feet but sometimes forces passes into tight windows and looks for the big play.
He also needs to improve his pass velocity.
In 2013, Smith passed for 3,375 yards with 29 touchdowns, completing 62.7 percent of his passes. He enjoyed a career day against Hawaii, setting a Mountain West single-game record with 640 yards of total offense (498 passing and 142 rushing).
Following the season, Wyoming coach Dave Christensen, who recruited Smith to Laramie, was fired. He was replaced by Craig Bohl, who led North Dakota State to the last two FCS national titles.
Smith told the Salem (Ore.) Statesman Journal that he liked Bohl’s staff, but that Christensen’s departure did play a role in his decision to leave, too.
There’s such a high demand this year for quarterbacks in the NFL, and I wanted to put myself in the category of being a top quarterback chosen. I felt like I could be put in potential position to be one of the quarterbacks taken in the first five rounds, so that’s what I wanted to do. I still think it was the right decision because there’s such a high demand for quarterbacks this year that the smartest decision was to leave this year as opposed to next year.
It’s unclear whether that will happen. He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and is projected as a sixth-round pick by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.
He isn’t generating nearly as much buzz as some of the other junior quarterbacks. While adjusting to a new staff would be difficult, Smith could surely have enhanced his stock with a monster senior season at Wyoming.