It took Greg Jennings years to learn how to put the team on his back. Torrey Smith knew how to do just that from day one. The Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver looks like the next Jennings with an even higher ceiling.
In his NFL debut, Smith’s first three catches were touchdowns. His annihilation of the Rams secondary left St. Louis in a 21-point hole that they weren’t going to climb out of against the Ravens defense. Smith already has more touchdown receptions than former Maryland wide out Darrius Heyward-Bey who was drafted with the 7th overall pick compared to Smith who was selected 58th overall.
The Green Bay Packers’ Jennings is 5’11”, 198 pounds and ran a 4.48 40-yard dash coming out of Western Michigan. Smith is 6’0”, 205 pounds and recorded a 4.43 40-yard dash at this year’s NFL Combine. Each was selected in the second round as well; it took Jennings his entire rookie season to catch three touchdowns though.
From 2007 to 2010, Jennings recorded over 4,500 yards receiving along with 37 touchdowns. Smith has slightly more physical ability than Jennings, but if the rookie can put up stats that resemble the Super Bowl champion’s numbers, Joe Flacco will be a happy man. With Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans aging, Smith will be in position to take over as the Ravens’ No. 1 wide out, if he hasn’t already.
As soon as Baltimore’s offense matches their defense, they’ll be Super Bowl favorites. Smith has the potential to make that happen. Evans isn’t the deep threat he once was and Boldin was never one to spread the field; Smith showed three times against the Rams that he has the ball skills to make a defense pay if the only thing left between him and the end zone is green grass.
Now, the reason Smith dropped to the second round wasn’t because of a lack of big-play ability as National Football Post’s scouting report on the wide out reads:
“An explosive deep threat who tracks the football well and has the speed to open up the field vertically. However, isn't a real natural catcher, looks a bit stiff and is raw as a route runner and is going to need to learn to beat press. Looks more of a vertical route runner. There is a spot for him in the league and he can be productive but looks limited in what he can offer.”
Well, Smith has yet to break the mold of a designated vertical threat. Until he puts together multiple 10-reception games where he shows off precise route running, a comparison to Greg Jennings may be premature. Doubts still remain, but Smith revealed his ceiling in week three and it’s sky-high.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a Syndicated Writer. Follow him on Twitter.
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