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The rankings rise of Alex Smith

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 12.12.57 AM

There was a time, not all that long ago, when Alex Smith looked like he might be deemed one of the worst No. 1 overall NFL Draft selections of all time.

As a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, he threw one touchdown and 11 interceptions. The next year, he went 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, then 2-4 in  an injury shortened 2007. When he missed the entire 2008 campaign, well, he was wearing that Ryan Leaf scent.

As the years have passed, however, Smith’s stature has only grown. No, he’ll never be better than Aaron Rodgers, who was selected 23 slots later in the 2005 Draft. But the guy has pieced together one solid-to-exceptional season after another, to the point where his numbers (191 touchdowns, 98 interceptions, 33,449 yards) read almost Hall of Fame-esque. (To be clear, Smith is no Hall of Famer. I get it).

Anyhow, I wanted to see where I’d rank Smith among the last 31 No. 1 overall picks—excluding the past three seasons (Too early to judge). Well, he winds up very high.

Here’s how I have it …

• 1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (1998

• 2. Bruce Smith, Buffalo (1985)

• 3. Orlando Pace, St. Louis Rams (1997)

• 4. Troy Aikman, Dallas (1989)

• 5. Eli Manning, New York Giants (2004)

•  6. Cam Newton, Carolina (2011)

•  7. Drew Bledsoe, New England (1993)

• 8. Matthew Stafford, Detroit (2009)

• 9. Alex Smith, San Francisco (2005)

•  10. Bo Jackson, Tampa Bay (1986)

• 12. Vinny Testaverde, Tampa Bay (1987)

• 12. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (2003)

• 13. Keyshawn Johnson, New York Jets (1996)

•  14. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2012)

•  15. Michael Vick, Atlanta (2001)

• 16. Jadeveon Clowney, Houston (2014)

• 17. Mario Williams, Houston (2006)

• 18. Russell Maryland, Dallas (1991)

• 19. Jeff George, Indianapolis (1990)

• 20. Jake Long, Miami (2008)

• 21. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (2015)

• 22. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (2010)

• 23. Dan Wilkinson, Cincinnati (1994)

• 24. Eric Fisher, Kansas City (2013)

• 25. Steve Emtman, Indianapolis (1992)

• 26. David Carr, Houston (2002)

• 27. Courtney Brown, Cleveland (2000)

• 28. Tim Couch, Cleveland (1999)

• 29. Ki-Jana Carter, Cincinnati (1995)

• 30. Aundray Bruce, Atlanta (1988)

• 31. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland (2007)

 

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