Apr 28, 2012
Michael Smith to Tampa Bay
After a terrific senior season, MVP honors of the Players Classic All-Star Game and a phenomenal pro day workout, Michael Smith got his name called as a seventh round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith will join a backfield that will be a bit crowded, giving him much less of an ideal situation than what Robert Turbin landed into in Seattle. LeGarrett Blount is the team's leading returning back after racking up 781 yards on 184 carries in 2011. Between Blount and quarterback Josh Freeman, the Bucs only amassed nine rushing touchdowns over the course of the season.
Obviously with Blount's production being only mediocre, the Bucs were looking for a big upgrade, and they appear to likely have one... in Doug Martin.
As it stands, Smith looks like he'll be, at best, the No. 3 guy in that running back rotation behind Martin and Blount. Still, that's one injury away from being a major contributor among the team's top two backs. Also, neither one of Martin and Blount have Smith's top-end speed, even if they are bigger in size.
All in all, Smith has himself in a decent situation. It's far from perfect, but as somewhat of an under-the-radar prospect, Tampa Bay could see some serious value in him, and he'll have his chance to compete for carries in training camp.
With the draft finished, this marks the first year since 1984 that Utah State has had three players get picked in the same draft. Anybody want to still question Gary Andersen's impact on Utah State football??? Didn't think so.
Congrats to Michael Smith!!! Best of luck to my old neighbor at Oakridge.