Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brett Smith Statistical Projections

While he may not end up declaring for the draft this year, one guy I have wanted to take a look at is Wyoming’s Brett Smith. Smith has been overlooked so far in the draft process, most likely due to the fact that he plays at such a small school. Let’s take a look at the statistical profiles of college quarterbacks that Smith most compares to:



Name
Atts/G
Adj. Comp %
Adj. Att/TD
Adj. Att/INT
HT
WT
Bradlee Van Pelt
22.85
63
17.50
21.86
74
220
Chase Daniel
37.71
66
18.29
21.33
72
225
Brett Smith
39.00
65
18.50
27.75
75*
205*
(Adjusted rates are adjusted for level of competition. Only defenses that let up less than 27 points per game are counted. Asterisk = listed HT/WT)


While this doesn’t exactly seem encouraging, Van Pelt was a 7th round pick and Daniel was a undrafted free agent. Smith right now is getting mid round buzz, which is huge. Smith is also only 21 if he were to declare this year, which would give him another big projection boost.


Another interesting angle to take, is his arbitrage potential with a certain quarterback from Texas A&M. Take a look at them side by side:


Name
Att/G
Adj. Comp %
Adj. Att/TD
Adj. Att/INT
HT
WT
Brett Smith
39.00
65
18.50
27.50
75*
205*
Johnny Manziel
32.50
69
11.91
27.40
73*
210*
(Adjusted rates are adjusted for level of competition. Only defenses that let up less than 27 points per game are counted. Asterisk = listed HT/WT)


While Johnny is better is almost every area, Smith is close enough to make it interesting. When you consider that Johnny may end up as a first round pick, while Smith could be available in the fourth, is the minute difference really worth the 3 round jump? As an organization, you always want to be maximizing returns on each pick. For example, if you are the Cleveland Browns picking at ~7th overall, it probably makes more sense to take the best player available and Smith in the 4th round, than take Manziel and a 4th round best player available.


Conclusion:


If I am an NFL team, I would be doing all of my homework on Smith. If his background, interviews, and psychological evaluations come up with no red flags, then he may be my target at QB if I can’t secure a top 5 pick. His potential arbitrage value cannot be understated. A franchise QB with a cheap contract opens up your options to build a great team around them. Just look at what the Seahawks can do because Russell Wilson is so affordable. Because of this, Smith is a low cost lottery ticket absolutely worth taking. Here are his and his comparable prospects projections:



Name
Proj. WPA/S
Proj. Passer Rating
Bradlee Van Pelt
-2.13
61.85
Chase Daniel
-1.21
65.53
Brett Smith
1.19
71.24
(Smith’s draft position is estimated as a 4th round pick until he is actually drafted)

As you can see, I have Smith to far surpass what his comparables were able to do. It will be interesting to see what scouts really think of Smith as the offseason starts to get rolling, but if it stays relatively close to what it seems now, then he will remain with a solid projection in my model.

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